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Sign up for Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp

News Release

Friday, April 23, 2010

Media contact: Greg Workman, 352-625-2804

Do your children long to spend their summer days in the great outdoors? Would they love the chance to learn about wildlife from experts, and hike or canoe with other children their age?

Then it's time to sign them up for the Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Ocala Conservation Center in the Ocala National Forest. Registration for the 2010 summer sessions has already begun.

The summer camp is for boys and girls, ages 9-15, and focuses on wildlife conservation, outdoor skills and firearm safety.  This year, the camp offers six one-week sessions beginning June 20.

The primary goal of the camp program is to help children become good, conservation-minded sportsmen and wildlife stewards.  They learn these skills and values through fun and educational programs and pastimes such as fishing, canoeing, swimming, hiking, archery and many other hands-on outdoor activities.

Tuition is $295 per camper per week and includes lodging, food, program materials and instruction for each session.  Each week-long session is divided into four groups, based on individual focus: wildlife and conservation, state-mandated hunter safety course, hunting skills, and advanced outdoor skills.

"Campers in the wildlife and conservation group go wild exploring nature," said Greg Workman, director of the Ocala Conservation Center.  "They learn about wildlife concepts and enjoy many traditional camp activities, as well as gun safety and other fun, hands-on outdoor activities."

For the camper who wants to take the state-mandated hunter safety course, the hunter safety group is the way to go.  This program teaches campers how to be safe and ethical outdoorsmen and women.  They'll learn about wildlife and their habitats and be able to apply what they learn when they go into the woods.  In addition, they will have a chance to get their certification, which the law requires before they can get their hunting license.

"They will receive firearm and archery safety instruction from certified range safety officers.  They'll also learn basic outdoor skills and field first-aid training, and do other traditional camp activities," Workman said.

After the campers complete their hunter safety certification, they're eligible for the advanced bowhunting and archery skills program.  This program carries the National Bowhunting Education Foundation (NBEF) certification, which some states require to hunt during archery season.

The African Safari Club of Florida sponsors the final program, which focuses on wilderness outdoor skills.

"This program is for campers who have an avid interest in the outdoors.  They'll get to experience several outdoor adventures, including an overnight primitive camping trip into the forest and hiking on the Florida Trail," Workman said.  "Before leaving base camp, campers prepare for the experience by learning the fundamentals of surviving in the wilderness, orienteering, backpacking and preparing a campsite."

The Ocala Conservation Center is on a 57-acre peninsula, rich in history and wildlife, in Marion County.  It is 20 miles east of Ocala, on Lake Eaton, in the heart of the Ocala National Forest.  The facilities are rustic, yet comfortable, with air-conditioned cabins and dining hall.  The classrooms have no walls, consisting of fishing piers, shooting ranges, nature trails, Lake Eaton and the vast Ocala National Forest.

For more information or for registration materials for the summer program, call 352-625-2804 or go to

FWC Facts:
The FWC currently maintains over 200 boat ramps and access sites, with new sites being added each year.

Learn More at AskFWC