The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is launching a new online registration system for its summer environmental education camps for the 2013 season, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced Tuesday.
"DEC's environmental education camps have a long tradition of providing fun and educational experiences to young people and inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards," Martens said. "This new registration system will make registration faster and easier for families and sponsors to sign up kids for a great summer outdoor adventure. Gov. Cuomo asked agencies to improve processes for the public and customers we serve. Online camp registration will speed up the process for parents and sponsors, improving customer service and streamlining the registration process."
The new online registration system allows those registering campers to determine which camp sessions have openings, sign campers up directly, and pay by credit card or e-check. Paper applications and paper checks will no longer be used. For the 2013 camp season, the fee remains a very reasonable $350 per one-week session per camper. In addition to being able to immediately select which camp session their child will attend, parents will also be able to sign their camper up for the optional sportsman education program offered at each camp.
A link to the online application can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/education/29.html in the "Environmental Education Summer Camps" section of DEC's website. Step-by-step instructions will detail how to complete the form to register a child.
Campers ages 11 through 17 enjoy week-long adventures in conservation education at DEC's residential summer camps, entering their 66th year in 2013. They participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities including fishing, bird watching, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering and optional hunter safety education. Campers also learn about fields, forests, streams and ponds through fun, hands-on activities and outdoor exploration. DEC counselors teach youth conservation techniques used by natural resource professionals, such as measuring trees and estimating wildlife populations.
All four camps serve children ages 11 through 13: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake, Franklin County; Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor, Sullivan County; Camp Rushford in Caneadea, Allegany County; and Pack Forest in Warrensburg, Warren County. Pack Forest and Camp Rushford also host week-long Teen Ecology Workshops, which are more in-depth environmental studies programs for ages 14 through 17. In 2013, Pack Forest will host five Teen Ecology Workshops and Camp Rushford will host two.
All four camps will operate for seven one-week sessions (Sunday to Saturday), beginning June 30. Campers may attend camp for more than one week during the summer, but will not be able to stay at camp on Saturday night. Parents must make alternate arrangements if two or more consecutive weeks are selected.
In addition to inviting parents to register their children to participate in the DEC environmental education camp program, sporting clubs, civic groups and environmental organizations are encouraged to sponsor one or more children for a week at camp. Groups who sponsor six paid campers will receive a scholarship to send a seventh child to camp for free. Information about becoming a sponsor is available at www.dec.ny.gov/education/29.html on DEC's website.
For more information, visit the DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov, call 518-402-8014, visit "NYS DEC Summer Camps" on Facebook or write to DEC Camps: 4th Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233-4500.