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Ocala Youth Camp

Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp

Notice

After much consideration, we have decided to cancel all summer camps occurring at the Ocala Conservation Center and Youth Camp. The unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 have made summer camp goals unachievable. If you have questions regarding FWC summer camps, please reach out to me at William.Burnett@MyFWC.com. Your health and safety are a top priority for us. If you have questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please visit FloridaHealthCovid19.gov or contact the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 866-779-6121 or emailing COVID-19@flhealth.gov. Thank you for your understanding and support. We look forward to hosting campers next year at the Ocala Youth Camp.

The camp occupies a 57-acre peninsula, rich in history and wildlife, on Lake Eaton in the Ocala National Forest. Facilities are rustic, yet comfortable, with air-conditioned cabins and dining hall. Our "Classrooms" consist of outdoor shooting ranges, a fishing pier, Lake Eaton and the vast Ocala National Forest.

The Mission of the Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp is to provide campers with the necessary skills and knowledge to become better sportsmen and women, while instilling an awareness of firearm safety and wildlife stewardship. In addition to hunter safety, all campers will enjoy fishing, canoeing, swimming, hiking and many other outdoor activities.

 

Programs

Discover and appreciate Northeast Florida’s unique ecosystems! Campers spend action-packed and fun-filled days exploring upland ecosystems. As a scientist, they will discover the hidden mysteries of our natural areas, journeying into these habitats using a variety of scientific tools to identify the different plants and animals. They will discover how adaptations and interrelationships allow organisms to survive in their environment.

Become certified in hunter safety! Campers participate in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Hunter Safety Certification program. The program includes learning outdoor ethics, wildlife conservation, habitats, wild game, and hunting skills. Classes are led by a certified hunter safety instructor in a controlled environment. Pathfinders are instructed and supervised in the use of shotgun, muzzleloaders, .22 rifles, and archery. Successful course completion awards campers the FWC Hunter Safety Certification Card.

Come cast a line with us! Campers participate in our fishing and boating program. This program provides valuable instruction regarding fish and their habitat, various fishing techniques, and ethics cultivating a new crop of responsible anglers. A variety of fishing skills are covered, including fish identification and biology, basic boat navigation, and angler techniques. Jon boats with electric motors will be used to explore areas of our ponds not accessible for shoreline fishing. Campers gain an appreciation for the sport of fishing, as well as the knowledge required for ethical angling. The week will conclude with a fishing tournament and boat races.

Experience Florida’s wild side! The Trail Blazer program provides campers with an opportunity to explore and participate in an overnight wilderness camping experience. Campers learn and practice a variety of skills such as wildlife viewing, basic knot tying, shelter building, orienteering, equipment preparation, and canoeing. Campers will explore the surrounding forest as well as travel to a local campsite for an overnight adventure. They will set up tents, practice fire safety, and prepare their own meals. As nighttime falls, campers will wrap up the day with wildlife viewing, storytelling, songs, and laughter around the campfire.

Perfect your shooting skills! Campers who have already completed the Hunter Safety Certification can participate in this advanced shooting sports program. Campers will spend their day enhancing their skills with shotguns, .22 rifles, and archery. In addition, they will traverse our 3D archery target course giving them the opportunity to shoot from various positions, heights, and other obstacles using bows. (Prerequisite for this program is the completion of the Hunter Safety Program – Pathfinders if received during summer camp.)

This program expands on archery and bowhunting where Pathfinders leaves off. After completing the Hunter Safety certification, campers can participate in this exciting archery and bowhunting skills adventure. Campers will enjoy several nationally recognized and innovative programs. The "Explore Bowhunting" curriculum introduces participants to the many challenges and rewards of archery and bowhunting. These skills are taught through various games and exercises designed to teach problem solving and decision making. Additionally, campers have the opportunity to acquire certification in the National Bowhunters Education Foundation's bowhunting course. This certification is required by some states in order to bow hunt. Campers also participate in fishing, canoeing, swimming and other traditional camp activities.

Two nights of wilderness camping and a week of exploration! Campers will develop an intimate bond with nature while being trained in outdoor living skills. They will learn to make responsible decisions with minimal environmental impact, discover critical orienteering skills, as well as perfect outdoor food preparation and cooking, knot tying, camp crafts, and weather monitoring. The campers will gain an understanding of the impact their activities have on the environment and gain conservation ethics while exploring a unique outdoor environment. Explorers will experience a two-night camping adventure in tents off site.

The OAC provides a volunteer opportunity for high school students to assist with various tasks around the camp during the summer season. The Leadership Camp utilizes high school students to support staff with camper activities. All Leadership Campers will receive training in the programs we offer, how to interact with children, and the various roles of staff required for a residential camp. 40 Community Service hours are awarded for each week of volunteer service to the camp. There is a fee of $150 for the program. High school students must apply to participate in the OAC Leadership Camp program. Download: Leadership Camper application.

After much consideration, we have decided to cancel all summer camps occurring at the Ocala Conservation Center and Youth Camp. The unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 have made summer camp goals unachievable.

If you have questions regarding FWC summer camps, please reach out to me at William.Burnett@MyFWC.com. Your health and safety are a top priority for us. If you have questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please visit FloridaHealthCovid19.gov or contact the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 866-779-6121 or emailing COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Thank you for your understanding and support. We look forward to hosting campers next year at the Ocala Youth Camp.

To apply by mail, print and send your registration form, copy of child's birth certificate and payment to:

Ocala Conservation Center
Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp
P.O. Box 2516
Silver Springs, FL 34489

If the camper wants to attend the Rangers Program, please enclose proof of his/her hunter safety certification. Each registration form must include full payment of $325 per camper. Tuition is payable by check or money order to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Registration applications are acknowledged by return mail. Additional forms will be mailed to you and must be completed before the camper's first day of camp. Physical examinations are included and some forms will need to be notarized.

After much consideration, we have decided to cancel all summer camps occurring at the Ocala Conservation Center and Youth Camp. The unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 have made summer camp goals unachievable.

If you have questions regarding FWC summer camps, please reach out to me at William.Burnett@MyFWC.com. Your health and safety are a top priority for us. If you have questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please visit FloridaHealthCovid19.gov or contact the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 866-779-6121 or emailing COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Thank you for your understanding and support. We look forward to hosting campers next year at the Ocala Youth Camp.

Tuition for Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp is $325 per camper. Fees include lodging, all meals and snacks, most equipment and program materials and minor accident insurance. Camp is available to both boys and girls, ages 8-17. Campers must be at least 8 and no older than 17 by the first day of their camp session.

Refunds are not made unless the refund form, available by request, is received by the Ocala Conservation Center at least 14 days before the start of the camper's session.

If you are interested in a summer position with the Ocala Conservation Center's Outdoor Adventure Camp, please complete the camp Staff Application (additional paperwork will follow). Please return your completed staff application to the address below.

All potential staff must undergo a criminal background check. For additional information on summer camp employment contact:

Ocala Conservation Center
Ocala Camp Director
7325 NE 170 Avenue
Silver Springs, FL 34488
Phone number: (352)-625-2804
Fax number: (352) 625-0333
e-mail: William.Burnett@myfwc.com