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Camp Rocky… Rocks!

2010 July 20

For the first time in my life I was surrounded by teenagers who were hungry, dirty, tired and loving every minute of it! At Camp Rocky there is no cell phone service, no texting, no television or electronic games; only nature, the instructors and kids getting their hands dirty working on environmental restoration projects. This camp is about teens engaged in real life application of environmental and natural resource management that benefits them, the communities, and the environment.

Campers at Camp RockyFor 48 years, the Camp Rocky Program has been providing hands-on work, leadership training, and instruction in related environmental career opportunities for teens ages 14-19. The Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD), founded in 1945, co-hosts Camp Rocky. CACD represents 76 Conservation Districts statewide which provide over 32,000 volunteer hours annually. Through cooperation of environmental agencies and organizations, Camp Rocky provides an average of 70 teens each year with hands-on outdoor experiences, education, and career mentoring opportunities. Educational advancement occurs through instruction in five principles; water and soil conservation, fish and wildlife management, forest management, rangeland science, and recreation management. Students implement their work plans such as riparian area restoration projects and trail construction.

As I toured the completed environmental projects, I was amazed at how many students approached me asking if I had any questions about the work they had done. I was also very impressed by the pride of ownership the students and volunteers expressed about the service projects that had been completed over the years. Many students return each year to Camp Rocky to experience different courses or to mentor new students in the program. Not many programs have this kind of staying power. No doubt it is due to the dedicated volunteers and hard working teens! My visit to Camp Rocky was an uplifting and down to Earth experience at the same time!

About the author: Wendy Dew has been with EPA for 13 years and is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for Region 8.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    July 20, 2010

    Very exciting…..! But we mustn’t do our life for the future similar it. Camp Rocky is mankind civilization legend and “Camp-David” is the ranch for looking for and continuing natural civilization. For this post, I enjoy to hear “The Queen” sings “Bohemian Rhapsody”, easy come – easy go…..! The future : “Difficulties, but fully technologies”.

  2. Patricia Young permalink
    July 20, 2010

    What a nice article. Brings to mind my experience at Girl Scout camp. Thanks, the story made my day.

  3. Larissa permalink
    July 20, 2010

    This is great thanks for sharing I am sure we all appreciate what you are doing – fiona from London

  4. pedro jesus pato permalink
    July 21, 2010

    gracias por dedicar tiempo algo de nuestro tiempo a los mas peques de la casa ,me trae buenos recuerdos desde SPAIN,un saludo a todos .

  5. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    July 26, 2010

    Camp Rocky is another very important project for engaging teenagers in the importance of environmental protection. The schools are not able to do this work. But it is important and I am glad that someone stepped up and is providing this education. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

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