Who attends the Camp?
The Massachusetts Junior Conservation Camp is a two week overnight one time attendance 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. Our next session will be August 8-20, 2023. Camp will be held at Moses Scout Reservation, 310 Birch Hill Avenue, Russell MA. Campers must attend the entire session in order to receive any certificates earned during the program.
How much is tuition?
Tuition for the 2023 session will be $1100. 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” (the average amount is $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?
A limited amount of scholarships are available. A Camper and parent/guardian may complete and submit a Camper Request for Scholarship.
How is the MJCC 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, and Wildlife Management. Outdoor skills taught include Archery, Fly & Spin Casting, Orienteering, Riflery, and Shotgun. These courses are taught by certified instructors in their field. We also include the Massachusetts Hunter Education Program, which may require online learning and homework prior to camp attendance. All sections of the course must be completed, and attendance for the entire camp session is required in order to earn this certificate.
Campers must participate in all courses presented, however opportunity is provided for relaxation and recreation through many traditional summer camp activities such as swimming, fishing, and volleyball. In addition, opportunities exist for extra time on the shotgun, rifle and archery ranges. Optional programs on the weekend may include Hiking, Scholastic Pistol, Bowhunter Education, GPS, Survival, Home Firearms Safety, CPR/First Aid, Trout Fishing, becoming certified in Hunting with Tree Blinds, and Field to Table, a course focused on teaching students safe ways to clean and serve fish and game.
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 program.
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. Youth 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 with no refund. 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 youth camps. 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 in the application process.
My child takes daily medication. How will that be administered?
Parents must give the Camp Medical Staff a schedule, to ensure medication will be distributed at the appropriate time. Campers must arrive with ample doses for the full camp session. 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.
What are the accommodations?
Campers stay onsite in large tents housing two people. Bunk requests are allowed, but must be emailed at the time of application. Please inform the administrator in advance if your child would like to bunk with another camper confirmed to attend. We accept bunkmate requests until May 30th.
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. First and foremost is that they make cases of homesickness worse. Cell phones are distracting and disruptive to instructors and other campers. We ask parents support in ensuring campers adhere to this rule. Campers found in possession of cell phones will be sent home without refund.
Phone calls to check in with campers are strictly prohibited. The staff are very busy and phone call to and from home for non-emergent reasons interfere and take time away from daily tasks that need to be done.
Is there a day during Camp when families can visit?
Sorry, but 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. Campers also cannot leave the campus for any reason with the exception of a camp field trip.
What if I want to have my child room with another child who is attending Camp?
You can make a bunk mate request until May 30th at the latest. After May 30th, the groups and tent assignments are established for camp and cannot be changed.
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.