Who attends 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.
When is the next Camp session?
We offer one camp session each summer. The camp dates for 2019 will be determined this fall and 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.
How much is tuition?
Tuition for the 2019 session will be set this fall. Tuition covers lodging expenses, as well as food and activities. Some optional activities may have additional costs associated, but most will be included with the standard tuition. Campers may bring “canteen money” (most campers bring $40 to $60) to spend at the Camp store for items such as bug spray, clothing, batteries, candy and drinks.
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 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.
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 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 campers will all participate in instruction that includes firearms of several types, bows, arrows, fishing and camping equipment and wildlife interaction. Campers 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. 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 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 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?
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 the camper’s application.
My child takes daily medication. How will that be administered?
Written permission from a child’s 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 medication will be distributed at the appropriate time. 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 exception of inhalers, EPI-pens, and diabetic medication if so directed by the camper’s physician. Please review the Camper Medication Policy.
What are the accommodations?
Campers stay onsite in large tents housing two people. Bunk requests are allowed, but must be made at the time of application. Please make a note on the application if your child would like to bunk with another camper confirmed to attend.
Campers are provided beds, but should bring their own sleeping bag and pillow. Please view our recommended Packing List.
Why does the Camp not allow cell phones?
For many reasons, we do not allow campers to have cell phones during Camp. Our primary reason is that they make cases of homesickness worse. Cell phones are distracting and disruptive to instructors and other campers.
Is there a day during Camp when families can visit?
Sorry, no. Our camp schedule is tightly structured. Also, without running CORI (background checks) on every visitor, we must limit contact between parents and other people’s children.
What if I want to have my child room with another child who is attending Camp?
When you submit your child’s application, please include any special requests such as tent mates.
Will my child be with kids his/her 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.
Does my child need to be sponsored 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, it is not a requirement. Parents are welcome to pay directly for their kids to attend our program.