The Annual Youth Conservation Camp (YCC) is back this July 14-20th, 2024. Each year Northern Neck SWCD sponsors two students to attend the Youth Conservation Camp. The camp takes place in Blacksburg, VA on the Virginia Tech campus.

Students must be in 9th-12th grade during the 2023-2024 school year and have not previously attended. Attendees are responsible for transportation to and from camp. For questions or concerns regarding the application or the camp, please contact our office at 804-313-9102 x105.

The cost is $550/camper. If selected, the camper will be responsible for a $50 fee and NNSWCD will sponsor the remaining cost. The application deadline is now closed.

In 2023, Caroline Lancaster, Soil Conservationist at NRCS-Warsaw, attended as a camp counselor. Check out her experience:
“For over 40 years the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts has held a
Youth Conservation Camp to get high school aged children interested in agriculture and natural
resource conservation. In 2012 I was lucky enough to attend YCC as a camper, and this past
summer I was allowed the opportunity to attend camp again, but as a counselor. During the
camp we had a wide variety of agricultural education-based activities for the campers to partake
in at Virginia Tech and in the surrounding areas. Some of the activities included visiting Claytor
Lake State Park to learn about tree identification, Ag BMP’s, and electrofishing with DWR;
visiting Virginia Tech’s Kentland Farm and learning about drones, dairy cow production, livestock
operation BMP’s, and freshwater invertebrates; visiting Lane Stadium/Worsham Field and learning
about turfgrass management; taking a tour of the College of Natural Resources and identifying
fish specimens, practicing mindful recycling, and learning how to use GIS/GPS; kayaking on the
New River; visiting Virginia Tech’s Vet School and learning how to do sutures, give IV’s, and pull
calves; and hiking the Cascades Falls Trail. For me, the best thing about being a counselor was
trying to spark the passion and interest for agriculture and conservation in the campers like I had
introduced to me when I attended. Attending camp as a counselor really opened my eyes to how
much thought and effort goes into this opportunity for children across Virginia. If you know of anyone
in grades 9th-12th who are remotely interested in agriculture, conservation, the environment,
I cannot recommend this camp enough. It’s a fantastic opportunity to spend a week during the
summer learning about VA agriculture and natural resources while participating in some once in
a lifetime opportunities!” -Caroline Lancaster