Friday, March 14, 2014

DEC Expands Summer Camp at Pack Forest

DEC LogoCampers will be able to enjoy an additional week of summer camp at Camp Pack Forest in Warrensburg, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced. Youth ages 11 through 13 years old can attend the new Outdoor Skills Adventure Week to be held August 17-23.

This special week of camp will offer opportunities for youth to hone their outdoor skills through a variety of activities. Areas of instruction and demonstration will include: a fishing seminar, turkey calling, a muzzleloading demonstration, field archery, wildlife identification, fly casting, casting competition, a hunting dog demonstration, electronic wildlife tracking, a field dressing demonstration, night-time animal tracking, fur handling and preparation, orienteering, Global Positioning System cache searching, demonstration and safe use of fire arms and environmental conservation officer and forest ranger career explorations.

Trained camp staff, DEC Environmental Conservation Officers, DEC Forest Rangers, fishing instructors, sportsman educators and biologists will conduct or assist with classes. Campers will have opportunities to learn outdoor skills through hands-on experiences in a safe and fun atmosphere. This week focuses on extensive field and outdoor recreation adventures, and campers will be provided information on how they can attend Sportsman Education classes in their local communities.

Parents may register campers through DEC’s convenient, online registration system and pay by credit card, e-check or with a sponsor code. Fees for the 2014 camp season remain $350 per one-week session per camper. Summer camp dates and a link to the online registration system are posted on DEC’s website:  Families without internet access should call the camp office at 518-402-8014 for information on how to register for camp alternatively.

For more information please visit DEC’s website at, call 518-402-8014, visit “NYS DEC Summer Camps” on Facebook or write to DEC Camps, 4th Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-4500.


Related Stories

Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at [email protected]

3 Responses

  1. Dean A. Harris says:

    I’d like to read about the history of Pack Demonstration Forest and how the former owner wanted to keep this land for the sportsman forever, but it’s now mostly closed to the public. My father knew him before his passing and was himself a game warden. That being so, interests me why the public now has limited access.

    • John Warren says:

      “Born in 1857, Charles Lathrop Pack made his fortune by investing in southern timber, banking, and real estate and by inheriting his father’s Michigan timber mills. But by the time he died in 1937, Pack was known internationally as one of the most powerful people in the American forest conservation movement. Spurred on by Theodore Roosevelt’s historic Conference of Governors in 1908 (which brought together for the first time state and federal officials and timber men to discuss forest conservation), Pack fervently took up the cause of conservation, which was becoming increasingly popular. Working closely with the Department of Agriculture’s chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, Pack learned to use the power of the press to publicize environmental issues. He eventually devised massive campaigns to promote public awareness. Through his efforts, conservation would become a household word as Americans began planting trees and working to save forests. By the time Pack died, he had headed a major conservation congress and helped fund several lobbying organizations instrumental in getting critical forest-management legislation passed. While working as a conservationist, Pack presented himself as a retired timber magnate who believed timber should be replanted when cut and managed as a renewable crop. Yet this book reveals that he never retired from the timber industry – and never applied forest management or conservation practices to his timber business. In fact, he may have become a forest conservationist at first merely as a way to surpass his well-beloved father in his many accomplishments. Nevertheless, regardless of his motives, Pack became a tremendous force in changing people’s attitudes toward the environment.”

  2. S. McNulty says:

    Pack Forest in Warrensburg is open to the public and has been operated by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry since 1927.


    Pack Forest is named for a wealthy lumberman who purchased a 2,200-acre tract for the college to use in demonstrating scientific and economic forestry.

    The Grandmother’s Tree Nature Trail is one of the few nature trails in the Adirondacks that is accessible to people using wheelchairs. It traverses a 50-acre natural area that introduces visitors to the ecology of an Adirondack old-growth hemlock-white pine forest and one of New York’s historic trees. It takes about an hour to walk the moderately level, one-mile trail.

    An interpretive brochure explains key points of interest at 14 spots along the way, including the towering eastern white pine known as Grandmother’s Tree. The tree, listed in the state’s historic tree register, the “Famous and Historic Trees in New York,” is about 175 feet tall and at least 315 years old.

    It is on land once owned by the Woodward family. John Woodward planned to cut the tree down and sell the wood so he could buy his wife a set of dishes for their anniversary. His wife, Margaret, was so upset by his plan that she said she would rather do without new dishes than lose the tree. Family tradition protected the tree until 1927, when the property became part of ESF’s Pack Demonstration Forest. The college created a 50-acre natural area to help protect the tree.

    SUNY ESF still conducts research and college field trips at Pack Forest (for example, see in addition to hosting the DEC summer camp. More details can be found at . Contact the college for specific information on how to enjoy the property year-round.

Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!