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DEC summer camp open house May 9

PAUL SMITHS - Teenagers and parents interested in learning about spending a week at one of four summer camps operated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are invited to the DEC Summer Environmental Education Camp Open House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 9 at the Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths.

There are two DEC summer camps in the Adirondack Park: Camp Colby, a 100-acre property on Lake Colby in Saranac Lake and Pack Forest, a 2,500-acre preserve about 5 miles north of Warrensburg. Camp DeBruce near the village of Livingston Manor, Sullivan County, is on 300 acres of land adjoining the Catskill Park. Camp Rushford, north of the village of Cuba in the Genesee River Valley, Allegany County, is located at the 4,500-acre Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area.

DEC samps staff will be at the Paul Smiths VIC May 9 to discuss enrollment, scholarships and summer camp employment at the four Summer Environmental Education Summer Camps, and past camp staff member Jim Bueche will be on hand to answer questions about camp activities.

DEC has provided a residential summer camp program in conservation education for young New Yorkers for more than 60 years. Three camps are open to children ages 12 to 14 for eight weeks this summer, from June 28 to Aug. 22: Camp Colby, Camp Rushford and Camp DeBruce. Starting June 28, Pack Forest is open for a total of eight weeks, three weeks for children ages 12-14 and five weeks for teens 15-17. Camp weeks begin Sunday afternoon and end the following Saturday morning.

At the camps, youth become immersed in conservation education, participating in fun activities and games that teach the wise use of natural resources. Campers are encouraged to return the following year for a Returnee Week, offered only to campers who have already enjoyed the camp program. Special trips and activities are planned for this week. Sportsmen education courses are offered at Camps Colby, DeBruce and Rushford, and shooting sports are offered for a few weeks at Pack Forest.

The cost of attending the one-week residential session is $325 and includes meals. Youth may only attend one week per year at the DEC Summer Environmental Education Camps. If the child is a first-time camper, he or she may not attend the week marked Returnee Week. In addition, returning campers may attend Returnee Week only once.

For more information about the DEC Summer Environmental Education Camps visit DEC's Web site at www.dec.ny.gov, call 402-8014 or attend the May 9 open house at the Paul Smiths VIC.

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