Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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(COOPERSTOWN) – The Otsego County Conservation Association has announced that it will send eight Otsego County school students to Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Education Camp this coming summer through a countywide competitive essay contest.

Otsego County students ages 11-13 are invited to compete for camperships via the essay contest (campers must be 11 by December 16, 2020). This year’s contest question is “How can I reduce my carbon footprint and why is it important to do so?  Contest winners will receive a week-long stay at a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camp, where they will spend their week immersed in the natural environment and enjoy a balance of environmental education, sportsman education, and outdoor fun.

“We are pleased to once again be able to offer these ‘camperships,'” said OCCA Program Director, Jeff O’Handley. “DEC summer camps provide a wonderful opportunity for children to immerse themselves in the natural world and experience a wide variety of outdoor activities.”

Winning essays will be chosen from participating Otsego County schools and Otsego County applicants at large. The deadline for essay submissions is December 20, 2019. Winners will be selected by January 7, 2020, and will be given a special code by OCCA which will be used to register for DEC camp. Registration for summer camps opens January 26 and fills up fast; winners are encouraged to select their camp and register as soon as possible.

“While we’re hoping teachers will be able to incorporate the essay into their classroom lessons, it’s important to note that eligible children can participate independently,” O’Handley said.

Complete contest rules and requirements are available by e-mailing programdirector@occainfo.org or by calling (607) 547-4488. Teachers who plan to assign the essay to their students are asked to contact OCCA in order to be recognized as a participating school.

OCCA is a private, non-profit environmental membership organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to support programming, call (607) 547-4488 or visit www.occainfo.org.

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