RIPLEY, W.Va. – Hundreds of children from across West Virginia will converge at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Jackson County next month to learn how to protect our environment at the 35th annual Junior Conservation Camp.
The camp, being held June 15-19, is open to West Virginia children ages 11 to 14 and includes activities designed to teach participants about forestry, wildlife, archery, recycling, hunter safety and fishing, canoeing and other outdoor activities. The classes are outdoors, very hands-on, and engaging. They are taught by dedicated and knowledgeable instructors from agencies that include Department of Environmental Protection, the Division of Natural Resources, the Division of Forestry, and the WVU Extension Service. There are multiple scholarships available to cover campers’ lodging and meals.
“Junior Conservation Camp is important for many reasons,” said Camp Director Diana Haid, who heads up the DEP’s Youth Environmental Program. “The campers learn good environmental management practices and become stewards of our natural resources. Most importantly, they’re having fun outside. Each year there are several children who’ve never been to a camp before, never fished or shot a bow and would not have been able to without the financial assistance provided by our camp sponsors. I am very proud to say that Junior Conservation Camp provides a very positive camping experience full of fun and environmental learning to about 200 West Virginia children each year.”
Several camp sponsors have requested that scholarships be made available to children from certain areas of the state. Parents with children interested in attending camp can request these scholarships if the children reside in the following counties: Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Harrison, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Mercer, Nicholas, Raleigh, Ritchie, Summers, Tyler, Wayne, Webster and Wood. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The scholarship requests should be emailed to Diana Haid at Diana.K.Haid@wv.gov.
For general information about camp or to obtain an application form, go to www.dep.wv.gov and click on the “Junior Conservation Camp” link on the right side of the screen under the “Events” heading. The application deadline has been extended to May 20. The cost for children without scholarships is $172 each. To apply, mail the application and a check to DEP, Attention Diana Haid, 601 57th St. SE, Charleston, WV 25304.
This year’s Junior Conservation Camp sponsors, to date, are: Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia; Appalachian Power; Antero Resources; the shareholders of West Virginia American Water; the Braxton, Doddridge, Fayette, Harrison, Jackson, Lincoln, Marshall, Putnam, Taylor, Upshur, Wetzel and Wood county solid waste authorities; the Region VIII Solid Waste Authority; Jackson Resources Co. of Hamlin; the Berk-Mar, Forest Ridge, Hill and Hollow, Kanawha Estates, Lubeck Acres, Quiet Dell, St. Albans, Salem and Vienna garden clubs; the GFWC woman’s clubs of Bridgeport, Capitol, Charleston, Clarksburg, Clendenin, Cross Lanes, Elizabeth, Elkins, Grafton, Huntington, Mannington, Montgomery, Ronceverte, Shady Spring and South Parkersburg; the Parkersburg and Philippi Lion’s clubs; the Newark Shining Stars 4-H Club; the Hancock County 4-H Foundation; the Capitol, Elk, Little Kanawha, Tygarts Valley, Upper Ohio and Western conservation districts; the Pink Chucks Studio of St. Albans; the Moundsville Tuesday Arts Club; Weyerhaeuser of Braxton County; S&S Engineers of Charleston; OPB&E Rentals LLC of Fairmont; Guy’s Buick GMC of Ranson and the West Virginia Breeders Classic Ltd.