DCNR Program Encourages City Teens to Explore World of State Parks

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Harrisburg – The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is again partnering with select Pennsylvania cities on an initiative to help urban teens discover and explore state parks.

DCNR’s Youth Adventure Camps – now in their fourth year – will soon begin in the Philadelphia, Scranton and York areas.

“Through active partnerships with city-based groups, we are opening new opportunities to connect our state parks with urban youth,” said DCNR Deputy Secretary for Administration John Giordano. “It is rewarding to see an effort so well-received and know it is achieving its major goal: the introduction of inner-city young people to parks and activities often far removed from their neighborhoods.”

Giordano commended the commitment of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department and other agencies across the state that have worked with DCNR to select campers and ensure the Adventure Camp programs achieve their goals.

“We’re hoping these exciting outdoor adventures will not only help these young folks become repeat visitors to our state parks, but will teach them about their natural world,” Giordano said. “Hopefully, these camps will help mold future, lifelong stewards of our wild resources who will be making wise decisions about protecting them for future generations.”

Beginning Monday, July 25, the Philadelphia Adventure Camp again will partner with the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department. Based at Tyler State Park, Bucks County through Friday, July 29, 20 to 25 young campers will travel daily to nearby Ralph Stover State Park, Bucks County, and Ridley State Park in Delaware County, as well as Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.

Participants, ranging in age from 12 to 15, are already involved in recreational programs in their hometown neighborhoods. Camp activities will include teambuilding, compass use/orienteering, photography, fishing, kayaking, horseback riding, geocaching, climbing and rappelling, camping basics and other outdoor adventures.

The upcoming Youth Adventure Camps schedule is as follows:

  • Philadelphia, July 25-29, partnering with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department;
  • Scranton, Aug. 1-5, United Neighborhood Centers; and
  • York, Aug. 8-11, York City Recreation and Parks Bureau.

Camps already were held in Erie, with cooperation of Bethesda Children’s Home; the Harrisburg area, Chambersburg Boys/Girls Clubs; Lehigh Valley area, Bethlehem Boys/Girls Club; Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Parks and Recreation Department; and Williamsport, Williamsport YMCA.

For more Adventure Camp details, contact Chris Kemmerer, chief of the Bureau of State Parks’ Outdoor Recreation Programming Section, at 717-425-5330.

For information on any of Pennsylvania’s 117 state parks, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101