Youth Conservation Camp
Outside of South Fork, CO within the Rio Grande National Forest
A three day, two night experience in June that your child will look forward to year after year. Our small topic groups are facilitated by professionals from natural resource management agencies & organizations from across the San Luis Valley.
We have expanded camp into two sessions! While each week has similar topics and activities, each is tailored to specific ages. Our amazing partners, the SLV 4-H extension, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, US Forest Service, SLV Boys & Girls Club, and others will be joining us again to lead activities and create one-of-a-kind opportunities for kids to learn and grow year after year.
Ages 8 - 10
Sessions introduce natural resources topics through fun activities, games, and hands-on exploration. 2023 Topics include Wildlife, Soil & Water (mud buds), Outdoor Skills, and Range.
June 11, 12, 13
*or entering grades 3-5
Ages 11 - 13
This week will go beyond basic topic concepts with more opportunities to see and participate in land stewardship and conservation work. 2023 topic groups include Forestry, Soil & Water, Outdoor skills and Rangeland management.
*or entering grades 6-8
* Some campers may be on the edge of either age group. If your camper's age and the grade they are entering during the fall of 2024 don't align within in the same camp group, you may choose whichever camp you are comfortable with. For example a camper who is 10 but entering 6th grade, could choose the Sprouts or Stewards week
Cost: $145 per camper
*price AFTER May 21st is $175*
Registration is capped at 45 youth per week. We encourage you to register before the last two weeks of May to avoid being waitlisted.
Become a Camp Sponsor
We strive to make camp affordable for all campers by subsidizing the registration cost and providing additional scholarships with grants and corporate sponsorships. If you would like to support us in this effort, consider being a sponsor!
Conservation Camp has been a joint effort between local public agencies who've made this unique opportunity possible for over four decades. Campers choose and learn about one of 4 topic areas taught by agencies' personnel and their partners who share their expertise and passion for conservation through child-oriented activities.
We, the Rio Grande Watershed Conservation Education Initiative, have been the primary host since 2009, when we were founded as the educational arm of the 5 SLV Conservation Districts.
CSU Extension, SLV area
Colorado Parks & Wildlife
US Forest Service
SLV Boys & Girls Club
Other presenters from Natural Resource Conservation Service, Trout Unlimited, SLV Water Conservancy District, Division of Water Resources, Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, and more
Rio Grande Watershed Association of Conservation Districts
Trinchera Blanca Foundation
Generation Wild- Great Outdoors Colorado
Colorado Water Conservation Board
SLV Water Conservancy District
RG Water Conservation District
Rio Grande Basin Roundtable
Southern Colorado Farm Credit
Monte Vista CO-OP
SLV Federal Bank
Choose from one of the following Small Groups:
All small groups focus on activity-based learning and build on each other. First time campers are encouraged to start with Mud Buds as their basic introduction to natural resources. Each group is amazing fun!
Whenever you go outside, whether it's a short walk or a camping trip, you're interacting with natural resources! Learn real-life skills for recreating responsibly and safely while having fun.
Did you know most of Colorado is rangeland? These open spaces are far from empty if you look closely. Plants, insects, animals, and even humans are a part of a dynamic ecosystem known as rangeland. Lesson examples include plant identification, grazing livestock, and insect sampling.
Led by Colorado Parks & Wildlife, explore the habitats, behaviors, and diversity of Colorado wildlife. Activities include capturing and viewing wildlife camera footage, identifying tracks, and archery.
(Soil & Water)
Soil and water are the foundation for everything-our ecosystems, food, and activities. If you want to learn a little bit about everything, to get your feet wet metaphorically and literally, this is your topic!
Identify trees, take hikes, and get up close and personal with our diverse, beautiful forest. Led by the US Forest Service! Principles taught include forest management, tree growth, fire, responsible use of public lands, along with fun
activities for outdoor learning.
We are currently not offering Hunters' Safety through camp. Please see the CPW website for a list of available classes in your area!