DEC Announces Reopening of Camp Colby 2024 Summer Camp Season

Limited Openings Still Available for Female Campers Aged 14-17 at Camp Pack Forest and Rushford 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that online registration for the 2024 summer camp program at Camp Colby will open Wednesday, May 22, at 10 a.m. Applications will be submitted through the online registration program available via the summer camp website.

“DEC summer camps feature hands-on programs and activities, getting campers outside in nature and inspiring a lifelong love of the outdoors,” said DEC Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar. “New York has a long history of environmental stewardship and our summer camps program, now in its 77th season, is a key part of that history and continues to play an integral role in the protection and appreciation of our environment through safe, fun, and rewarding outdoor experiences.”

Camp Colby will welcome visitors this season after completion of significant renovations and improvements for the enjoyment and comfort of campers and staff. Upgrades include the complete remodeling the main dining hall and construction of a new modernized kitchen, among other enhancements to cabins, the pavilion, facility bathrooms, sheds, and accessible parking areas.

DEC Summer Camps offer week-long adventures in conservation education for children ages 11-17. DEC operates four residential camps for children, 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). Registration for Pack Forest and Camp Rushford is currently open with limited spots still available for female campers. Camp DeBruce will remain closed for the 2024 season. The complete schedule of camp weeks and participant age groups is available on the Summer Camps webpage.

Campers participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities including fishing, bird watching, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering, and hunter safety education. Campers also learn ecological principles about fields, forests, streams, and ponds through engaging activities and outdoor exploration. DEC counselors teach youth conservation techniques used by natural resource professionals, such as measuring trees and estimating wildlife populations, as well as mitigating human impacts on the environment.

DEC also offers Hunter education (Hunter Safety, Bow Hunter Education, or Trapper Education) for several weeks each summer. Weeks and available sessions can be viewed at the Hunter Education at Camp webpage. Camp Colby, Camp Rushford, and Pack Forest will operate for seven one-week sessions (Sunday to Friday) beginning June 30, 2024. One week of camp is $350 per child for the 2024 season and includes meals and trips. This significant value for a week-long overnight camp is supplemented by assistance from New York State to help make camps and the education benefits they provide affordable for New Yorkers.

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. Information about becoming a sponsor is available on DEC’s website. 

For more information, please visit the DEC’s website at, email, call 518-402-8014, visit “NYS DEC Summer Camps” on Facebook, or write to DEC Camps, 3rd Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-4501.

(Photo from New York State DEC Camps Facebook Page)

Submitted by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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