State Conservation Camp ready for 72nd season


The award-winning West Virginia State Conservation Camp is accepting registrations for the 2013 camp, scheduled June 10-15 at Camp Caesar near Cowen in Webster County. Young people, ages 14-18, are eligible to register.

The camp, sponsored by a number of state agencies, including the Department of Environmental Protection, focuses on West Virginia’s natural resources and how to be responsible stewards of the environment.

Named one of “55 Good Things About West Virginia” by The State Journal, the State Conservation Camp has had more than 16,000 young people attend since it first began in 1941. According to camp Director Mike Hall, the Conservation Camp is believed to be the oldest camp of its kind in the United States. This year will mark 72 years of conservation education.

Participants spend the mornings learning about West Virginia’s natural resources in a block-schedule format that provides a total of 12 hours of instruction by the week’s end. Subject areas 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. Beginning with an afternoon assembly, participants observe the staff in action as they conduct a mock forest fire suppression and investigation; a trout stocking event; a turkey trapping exhibition; and a firearms safety demonstration. Afterward, campers have their choice of a wide variety of afternoon activities. Choices include: trap shooting, archery, boating, outdoor cooking, rifle marksmanship, rappelling, and fishing. Special awards to campers will be presented during the closing ceremony on Friday night.

This year, the camp registration fee is $185. However, nearly all first-time attendees receive a scholarship. Previous campers are also welcome to attend if age requirements are met.

For more information and to register for the camp, contact Ben Spong, camp chairman, West Virginia University Extension Service, P.O. Box 6125 Morgantown, WV 26506 (304) 293-9425,; or Alan Miller, secretary/treasurer, 4290 Greenawalt Gap Road Upper Tract, WV 26866 (304) 358-3298 or click here.


Tom Aluise