State Conservation Camp Marks 75 years


CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Named one of the “55 Good Things About West Virginia” by The State Journal, recipient of one of only four national “Honor Roll Awards” presented by the Izaak Walton League of America, and believed to be the oldest camp of its kind in the United States, this summer marks 75 years of conservation education at the West Virginia State Conservation Camp.

The 2016 camp is scheduled June 13-18 at Camp Caesar, near Cowen in Webster County. Registration is now open for young people ages 14-18. Sponsored by several state and federal agencies, State Conservation Camp has attracted more than 16,000 West Virginia youth since it first began in 1941, said Camp Director Mike Hall, of the West Virginia University Extension Office.

The focus of the camp is to teach young people about West Virginia’s natural resources and how to be responsible stewards of the environment.

“To think that we have had a camp like this for 75 years here in West Virginia shows that we were ahead of the curve and is something to be proud of,” said camp staffer Brad Blaine of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP). The WVDEP is among the several state agencies that sponsor the camp.

Participants spend the mornings learning about West Virginia’s natural resources in a block-schedule format. Subjects include forestry, soil conservation, water resources, fish management, game and non-game wildlife management, natural resource and environmental law enforcement, parks and recreation, and youth environmental initiatives. Afternoons provide a wide variety of opportunities to further experience the outdoors. Choices include: trap shooting, archery, boating, outdoor cooking, rifle marksmanship, rappelling, and fishing.

Various agencies, businesses, clubs and individuals have provided scholarships for young people to attend the camp over the years. This year, the camp registration fee is $185. However, nearly all first-time attendees receive a scholarship. Campers must be at least 14 years of age as of Jan. 1, 2016, but not yet 19 on the first day of camp.

For more information and to register for camp, visit the West Virginia State Conservation Camp website at

For West Virginia’s younger residents, State Junior Conservation Camp is scheduled June 20-24 at Cedar Lakes in Ripley. Sponsored by the DEP, Junior Conservation Camp is open to youth ages 11-14. Registration fee is $172 per camper, but several scholarships are available for the overnight camp. For more information, call Camp Director Diana Haid at 304-926-0499, ext. 1114 or email

For more DEP news and information, go to Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about our REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan), West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia Watershed Improvement Branch, Youth Environmental Program and Human Resources initiatives, connect on Facebook.


Jake Glance
(304) 926-0499 ext. 1335