Youth Conservation Camp
75th Annual Camp Woods and Wildlife will be held July 19–23 2023
The Virginia Department of Forestry, in cooperation with other natural resource conservation agencies and organizations, has proudly administered Camp Woods and Wildlife (formerly called Holiday Lake Forestry Camp) for more than 70 years. Camp Woods and Wildlife is an academic, structured, residential camp that focuses on field experiences in forestry and other natural resources.
This unique camping experience introduces 13–16-year-olds to the challenges, special skills, and knowledge needed for managing the forest resources we use and enjoy every day.
Camp Woods and Wildlife is ideal for students who:
wish to explore forestry and wildlife related careers
participate in forestry and wildlife judging teams, Envirothon competitions, or ecology clubs
want to experience hands-on learning and gain real-world skills in natural resources conservation
Applications are now OPEN through April 15!
The program features hands-on, field-based learning on the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest.
All students selected to attend Camp are awarded a $300 scholarship and pay a nominal $95 registration fee to confirm their attendance and acceptance of the scholarship; thanks to generous donations.
Dates and Location
June 19-23, 2023 at Holiday Lake 4-H Center near Appomattox, Virginia.
Form. 13.5 Camp Woods & Wildlife Application and Nomination Form is available below in the additional resources.
Camp is typically held the third week of June each year, at the Holiday Lake 4-H Education Center, located within the 20,000-acre Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest. This working forest provides a vast outdoor classroom for interactive learning.
All students selected to attend Camp are awarded a $300 scholarship and pay a nominal $95 registration fee to confirm their attendance and acceptance of the scholarship.
Camp scholarships are funded through contributions from forest business and industry, conservation agencies and associations, and individual sponsors committed to educating tomorrow’s young leaders.
Classes are taught mainly outdoors, by natural resource professionals.
Sustainable Forest Management
Other learning experiences include urban forestry and forest products demonstrations; exploratory classes in topics such as forest fire equipment and tactics, wilderness survival, canoeing, and archery; and presentations by conservation police officers, wildlife researchers, and other natural resource professionals.
Campers participate in a Lumberjack Field Day with group competition in crosscut sawing, log rolling, and other traditional outdoor skills contests.
Recreation and athletics include swimming and volleyball.
Application, Nomination, and Acceptance
Who Is Eligible
Camp Woods and Wildlife is open to boys and girls who
are aged 13 to 16 as of the first day of camp
are Virginia residents
show an interest in natural resources
have good academic standing
have not attended before
Campers are selected from nominations made by any non-related adult. Examples include teachers, forestry and wildlife professionals, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, 4-H and Scout Leaders, and partner sponsoring organizations.
Applications for Camp Woods and Wildlife open in mid-January and close April 25. Form. 13.5 Camp Woods & Wildlife Application and Nomination Form is available below in the additional resources.
Prospective campers complete the first three sections of the application.
An adult nominator (not related to the camper) must complete the 4th section and submit the application.
Examples of nominators include teachers, forestry and wildlife professionals, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, youth group leaders, guidance counselors, and partner sponsoring organizations.
Applications without the nominator section completed, or submitted by someone other than the nominator, will not be accepted.
Nominators may submit forms by mail, email, or fax:
Virginia Department of Forestry
ATTN: Camp Woods & Wildlife
900 Natural Resources Drive, Suite 800
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Completed applications will be reviewed and campers notified of acceptance beginning in March.
Contact Sheila Jaruseski or call our office at (757) 645-4895) for additional information.
Eligibility: Open to all Virginia residents aged 13-16 who
have not attended the camp before and are
interested in exploring natural resource
Deadline: April 15
Location: Holiday Lake 4-H Education Center near
Cost: $95 registration fee
Contact: Sheila Jaruseski