Junior Conservation Camp
Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
WHO GOES TO THE CAMP?
The Massachusetts Junior Conservation Camp is a two week overnight summer camp for girls and boys 13 -17 years of age offering a program of conservation education and instruction in outdoor recreation skills. It introduces youth to the ethical concepts and knowledge essential to a lifetime of properly enjoying our natural resources and the leisure activities that depend on their careful stewardship.
WHAT ARE THE 2017 DATES?
August 6, 2017 - August 18, 2017. Campers are expected to attend the entire session.
HOW MUCH IS TUITION?
Tuition for the 2017 session will be $850. Parents may choose to bring to check-in a small amount of money (about $40 to $60) for the child to spend at the canteen during leisure times.
HOW WOULD A PARENT REQUEST A SCHOLARSHIP?
A parent would submit an application for the camper, and attach to it a note requesting a scholarship. The note should include a statement of the circumstances (e.g. single parent with no child support) that would make it difficult for the parent or guardian to pay the tuition.
HOW IS THIS CAMP PROGRAM DIFFERENT FROM OTHER CAMP PROGRAMS?
Our camp program is unique in that it is focused on conservation education. While we do have some activities similar to other summer camps, such as archery and riflery, the MJCC combines these activities with wildlife programs and the state Hunter Education program. In other words, we strive to give youth a complete picture of wildlife management.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE CURRICULUM.
The program brings campers in contact with experts on many aspects of natural resource management and outdoor recreation. Conservation subjects taught include Fish & Pond Life, Forestry, Soil Conservation, and Wildlife Management. Outdoor skills taught include Archery, Basic Camping, Fly & Spin Casting, Orienteering, Riflery, and Shotgun. These courses are taught by certified instructors in their field. Additional MJCC curriculum involves the Massachusetts Hunter Education Program and Small Boat Safety.
Campers participate in all courses presented, however ample opportunity is provided for relaxation and recreation through many traditional summer camp activities such as swimming, fishing, boating, softball and volleyball. In addition, opportunities exist for extra time on the shotgun, rifle and archery ranges. Optional programs in the past have included Hiking, Bow Hunter Education, and Field to Table, a course focused on teaching students safe ways to clean and serve fish or game. Here's a schedule as an example of the activities we have.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE CAMP COUNSELORS AND TEACHERS.
Much of our staff have been with the Camp for many years, and a growing number are former campers themselves. Staff are selected for their ability to work with youth and or their expertise in one or more areas of conservation. Our shooting instructors are NRA certified coaches. State personnel administer the Hunter Education and Boat Safety programs.
HOW CAN I TELL IF THE CAMP WILL BE A GOOD FIT FOR MY CHILD?
Campers need to be prepared to function in an environment which, like school, requires good behavior, teamwork and attentiveness. Much of the Camp is spent in an educational environment and students are expected to be attentive, courteous and non-disruptive. Your child should be comfortable in a well-structured environment; this is not a Camp where children sit idle for long periods of time A large portion of the instruction is "hands-on," and students will all participate in instruction that includes firearms of several types, bows, arrows, fishing and camping equipment and wildlife interaction. Students are expected to understand the seriousness of handling such equipment and interacting with wildlife.
The happiest campers are those who are interested in the outdoors and in wildlife management programs before attending the Massachusetts Junior Conservation Camp. Youths who are sent to us without these considerations in mind may not adapt well to being away from home and may cause discipline problems. Teenagers who are sent because a relative is an avid outdoorsman may dislike the Camp curriculum unless they personally have an interest in the outdoors. These youths will often end up being sent home. If you are unsure of your child’s interest in the camp, we suggest you let him or her browse the pictures of our camp program.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE FOOD?
During the school year, our Camp Cook is a full time chef at a local university. As such, he is familiar with the eating habits of teenagers! Meals are served cafeteria style; with a choice of main dishes. Salads are available at lunch and dinner almost every night. Healthy eating is encouraged; soda is only available through the canteen during off-hours.
MY CHILD TAKES DAILY MEDICATION – HOW WILL THAT BE ADMINISTERED?
Written permission from the child’s parents and doctor is required for the administration of prescription medication; the parent must also give permission to administer over-the-counter medicine such as Tylenol or aspirin.
Parents must give the Camp Medical Staff a schedule, so that the Camp can properly give it out before or after meals. All medication will be kept in the nurse’s office and administered only as indicated. No self administration of medication will be permitted, with the sole exception of inhalers, EPI-pens, and diabetic medication if so directed by the camper’s physician. See the Camp Medical Policy.
TELL ME ABOUT THE ACCOMMODATIONS
Students stay onsite in large tents housing two people. Bunk requests are allowed, but we will need to know at the time of application. Please make a note on the application if you would like to bunk with another camper confirmed to attend.
Campers are provided beds, but we suggest they also bring a sleeping bag for added comfort. Students will receive a list of suggested items to bring in early summer.
WHY DOES THE CAMP NOT ALLOW CELL PHONES?
For many reasons, we do not encourage children to bring cell phones to Camp. Our primary concern is that they make cases of homesickness worse. Cell phones are disruptive to classes and other campers. Finally, campers need to be paying attention to curriculum and not texting to friends.
IS THERE A PARENT’S DAY FOR US TO VISIT THE CAMP?
Sorry, no. Our camp schedule is tightly structured. Also, without running CORI (background checks) on every parent, we must limit contacts between parents and other people’s children.
WHAT IF I WANT TO HAVE MY CHILD ROOM WITH ANOTHER CHILD WHO HAS APPLIED TO THE CAMP?
When you fill out the application include a note to that effect, or write it in the margin of the application.
WILL MY CHILD BE WITH KIDS HIS OWN AGE?
Yes, as long as you correctly report the child’s birth date! We divide campers into six curriculum groups, by age, based on the birth date shown on the application. Girls and boys are in separate curriculum groups.