Who attends the Massachusetts Junior Conservation Camp?
The Massachusetts Junior Conservation Camp is a two week overnight summer camp for girls and boys ages 13 -17. The Camp offers 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.
When/where is the next Camp session?
We offer one camp session each summer. The 2019 camp dates will be announced this fall. Camp will be held at Moses Scout Reservation, 310 Birch Hill Avenue, Russell MA. Campers are expected to attend the entire session in order to receive any certificates earned during the program.
Are there any scholarships available?
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. Campers are allowed to attend a camp session only once. Click here to see a sample of our camp schedule.
What is 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 respective fields. Additional MJCC curriculum includes 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 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.
Two days during the session are “optional” days. That means campers may choose the programs they participate in on those days. Optional programs in the past have included Hiking, Survival, Bow Hunter Education, and Field to Table.
Who are the Counselors and Instructors?
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 do I know if this camp will be a good fit for me?
Campers should 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 and arrows, fishing tackle, 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 have shown an interest in the outdoors and in wildlife management programs before attending the Massachusetts Junior Conservation Camp. Youth who come 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 to camp simply because a relative is an avid outdoorsman may dislike the Camp curriculum unless they personally have an interest in the outdoors. These youth will often end up being sent home. If you are unsure of your interest in the camp, please browse through our website and pictures of our program.
What can you tell me about the food?
Our Cook Staff has years of experience with our camp. They are very familiar with the eating habits of teenagers! Meals are served cafeteria style. Salads are available at lunch and dinner almost every night. Healthy eating is encouraged; soda is only available through the canteen during off-hours. Food allergies and special dietary needs should be indicated on your application.
I take daily medication. How will that be administered?
Written permission from your parent and doctor is required for the administration of prescription medication; parents 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 Health Officer can properly give it out before or after meals. All medication will be kept in the Health 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.
Campers 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 should bring their own sleeping bag and pillow. A suggested Packing List will be sent to campers in early summer.
Why does the Camp not allow cell phones?
For many reasons, we do not allow campers to have cell phones at 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 friends.
Is there a day during Camp when my parents can visit?
Sorry, no. Our camp schedule is tightly structured. Also, without running CORI (background checks) on every parent, we must limit contact between parents and other people’s children.
What if I want to room with another child who is attending Camp?
When you submit your application, please include any special requests such as requested tent mates.
Will I be with kids my own age?
Yes! We divide campers into six curriculum groups; first by gender (girls and boys are in separate curriculum groups) then by age, based on the birth date shown on the application.
I’ve never been away from home for so long – what if I get homesick?
Our counselors and instructors understand how difficult it can be to concentrate if all you can think about is how much you miss home! It is really important for you to tell your group counselor, or an instructor, if you are uncomfortable being away from home. You may find that one of your instructors is your favorite and you can talk freely to him or her about your concerns.
What if I don’t know anyone going to Camp?
Be prepared to meet some new friends! More than 90% of our campers do not know any other campers before they arrive. In our after-camp survey, one of the most common “best things about camp” comments is about the great friendships that were made.
Do I need to have a sponsor in order to attend Camp?
No. Although a large percentage of our campers have their tuition paid by a sportsman’s club or other organization, there is no requirement. Parents are more than welcome to pay directly for their kids to attend.