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Vermont fish and wildlife camps see record enrollment

From the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
-- A record number of students from throughout Vermont are enrolled this summer at the state’s two Green Mountain Conservation Camps, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.  Fish & Wildlife provides a one-week outdoor educational program at Lake Bomoseen in Castleton and Buck Lake in Woodbury.
A total of 1,040 students and Junior Counselors are enrolled in the Conservation Camps this summer.  The camps focus on conservation education, immersing campers in outdoor activities such as fishing, archery, hunter education, canoeing, camping, hiking and lessons that teach the wise use and conservation of natural resources.
“For the first time in the 44-year history of the program, all of the weeks for boys and girls are full from the second session on,” said Mark Scott, who has directed the state program since 1984.  “We were actually close to full enrollment the first week, which is almost impossible given some schools are still in session in mid-June.”
Scott attributes the record enrollment this summer to the outstanding curriculum of the camps, having 472 scholarships from civic and fish and game organizations, and the low tuition cost compared to other camps.  
“The tuition remains at $200 because the Fish and Wildlife Department underwrites almost half of the cost of the program,” added Scott.  “We tap into federal grants, specifically, Sportfish Restoration and Wildlife Restoration federal grants to help offset the costs.”
A week at Green Mountain Conservation Camp begins Sunday afternoon and goes through the following Friday.  While at camp, the campers learn directly from highly trained instructors and counselors, as well as state game wardens, wildlife and fisheries biologists, hunter education specialists, and state foresters.  
The two Conservation Camps host 12 to 14 year old boy’s and girl’s in separate weeks, and older students for advanced weeks.  The one-week sessions began June 21 and end Aug. 21 this year.  
“A student never forgets summer camp—meeting new friends, seeing new places and exploring new surroundings,” added Scott.  “For many, it begins their lifelong interest in the outdoors and their dedication to the state’s natural resources.”
“Despite economic constraints for many Vermonters this year, parents and more than 130 organizations are reaching into their pockets to send students to these wildlife camps this summer,” said Scott.  “And that’s a good thing for our State’s rural traditions, the environment and the well being of our kids.”

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