Do you know a young angler interested in fly fishing and waterways conservation?
If so, the Cumberland Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited will soon be accepting early applications for its 26th annual Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp, to be held June 21-26, 2020 at Messiah College in Grantham, PA.
New this year, the camp will be accepting applications for early acceptance from November 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. Students selected for early acceptance will be notified in early January 2020. Applicants who apply during the regular application period of January 1, 2020 through February 29, 2020 will be notified in early March 2020. Applying via the camp website is preferred.
Press coordinator Michael Klimkos said that recruitment of students and getting the word out is one of the toughest obstacles the camp faces, so the early acceptance process should help secure participants earlier, before other summer commitments are made.
Admission is limited to 32 selected qualified students, ages 14 to 17. The applicants must have been born between June 26, 2002, and June 21, 2006. The 32 students will be selected through an application process where they must state why they want to attend camp, and applying via the camp website is preferred.
Each year the Doc Fritchey Chapter of Trout Unlimited budgets funds to sponsor two students from Dauphin or Lebanon County who qualify by submitting their brief essays and letters of recommendation from their school science teachers.
A student doesn’t have to be an accomplished fly fisher or a budding aquatic biologist to attend. The student only needs to be highly motivated and willing to learn.
The highly structured curriculum is based on college-level classes. Students are instructed in ecology, aquatic biology, geology, hydrogeology, erosion and sediment control, ichthyology, riparian corridor protection, watershed management, entomology, and much more. Students also participate in a hands-on stream habitat improvement project. But it’s not all work. There are 10 fishing sessions, casting and fishing instruction and fly-tying classes. Over 25 instructors, all experts in their field, teach the various classes, and it can be a life-changing experience for participants.
Camp tuition is $550 per student. There is no cost to apply, and no money is required until a student is accepted. Financial aid may be available to qualified students. All meals and accommodations are included for the residence camp.
Tyler Frantz is an educator, freelance outdoor writer and all-around outdoorsman. He teaches in Lebanon County, where he resides with his wife, children, and energetic bird dog. Tyler has many outdoor writing credits, including the Pennsylvania Angler & Boater Magazine, Pennsylvania Outdoor News, and Pennsylvania Trout. Tyler is also the founder and CEO of the Natural Pursuit Outdoors website and blog.