Youth conservation camp application deadline is March 31

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Applications are being accepted until March 31, 2013 for the 19th annual Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp being held June 16-21, 2013 at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, Cumberland County.

The highly structured curriculum is based on college level classes.  The students are instructed in ecology, aquatic biology, geology, hydrogeology, erosion and sedimentation control, ichthyology, riparian corridor protection, watershed management, entomology and much more.  Students also participate in a hands-on stream habitat improvement project.

But it’s not all work.  Fly fishing and fly tying are included.  Nationally known instructors teach the students fly casting, fly tying, stream etiquette, how to “read” the water, and of course there is fishing.  The camp begins on Sunday and ends the following Friday.

The camp will be limited to 32 selected qualified students, ages 14 to 17. Applicants must have been born between June 21, 1995 and June 16, 1999. The 32 students will be selected through an application process where they must state why they want to attend camp and they must provide a reference from a science teacher or guidance counselor.  The competition for admission is fierce.  The camp began accepting applications for the 2013 camp on Nov.  1, 2012 and all applications must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2013.

The camp costs each student $350 for the entire week.  All meals and accommodations are included for the residence camp.  A student need not be an accomplished fly fisher or a budding aquatic biologist to attend.  All the student needs to be is highly motivated and willing to learn.

The Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp was founded in 1995 through the efforts of the late Dr. John R. “Jack” Beck and the late Enoch S. “Inky” Moore, Jr., Pennsylvania Fish Commissioner.  Their goal was to select 32 teenagers each year who are the leaders in their class.  The thought is that today’s leaders in high school become the leader of tomorrow’s communities.  In a few short years they will be the bankers, lawyers, realtors, municipal officials and the leaders in their communities.  If the camp can implant a kernel of knowledge in today’s students about the importance of clean water, when those students become the decision makers in their communities it may have a positive impact on how water resources are used.

The highly successful camp has been emulated in Michigan, North Carolina, Maine, Montana, Washington, Arkansas, New Hampshire, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia/D.C./Maryland/West Virginia with other states looking to start their own programs.

For more information or an application brochure contact the camp at: Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp, PO Box 71, Boiling Springs, PA  17007 or visit the camp’s website at  Join the camp group Rivers Conservation & Fly Fishing Youth Camp on Facebook.