When school breaks for the summer – or even before then – the state Junior Conservation Camp will be in full swing, offering West Virginia’s youth more ways to learn valuable lessons about protecting the environment and conserving the state’s natural resources.
Applications are being accepted for the 35th annual camp, scheduled June 15-19 at Cedar Lakes in Ripley, Jackson County. Sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Youth Environmental Program, the camp is open to youth, age 11-14. The cost is $172 per child and the deadline for paying the application fee is May 1.
Junior Conservation Camp offers a wide variety of classes that focus on sound environmental education and other topics, such as first aid and hunter safety. Approximately 200 campers will learn how to conserve West Virginia’s natural resources by attending classes on subjects such as wildlife, recycling, geocaching/orienteering, water study, forestry, fishing and more. Sports activities include swimming, basketball, kickball, volleyball, Wiffle Ball and relay races.
Camp assemblies take place Monday evening and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Campfire programs are scheduled Monday through Wednesday nights with a dance set for Thursday night. Each year, the assemblies feature presenters from organizations around the state who provide demonstrations for the campers. Past presenters have included the Oglebay Good Zoo; the state Division of Natural Resources (snake presentation and mechanical deer and turkey demonstrations); DEP Division of Air Quality (energy efficiency demonstration); DEP Dive Team; and the state Division of Forestry (fire dog demonstration).
Camp counselors and leaders include dedicated and knowledgeable employees from the DEP, DNR, Division of Forestry and the West Virginia University Extension Service. For more information and application forms, please contact Diana Haid at 304-926-0499, ext. 1114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Forms are also available by visiting the DEP Web site at www.dep.wv.gov and clicking on “Youth Environmental Program” under “Inside DEP.”
For youth age 14-18, the West Virginia State Conservation Camp at Camp Caesar in Webster County is scheduled for June 15-20. The camp is sponsored by the West Virginia Conservation Agency. For more information, go to www.wvconservationcamp.com or call 304-358-3298.