Alaska Department of Fish & Game's
Alaska Conservation Camp
Founded 2006 — Fairbanks, Alaska
The mission of the Alaska Conservation Camp is to promote an understanding of Alaska’s natural resources and conservation, and to give youth "hands-on" experience in hunting, fishing, and related outdoor skills.
News and Updates
- The ADF&G Alaska Conservation Camp will not be conducted in 2017.
- You can find outdoor skills clinics for youth and adults in the Fairbanks area at the Alaskans Afield page.
The Alaska Conservation Camp (ACC) is a camp program for youth made possible by a cooperative effort between the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) and the Outdoor Heritage Foundation of Alaska (OHFA). Other supporters include Friends of the NRA (National Rifle Association of America), the Alaska Interior Marksmanship Committee (AIM-COMM), and many community sponsors and volunteers.
The ACC program focuses on hands-on learning of hunting, shooting, fishing, wildlife conservation and related outdoor skills. Professionals from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, including biologists, education specialists, firearm instructors, hunter education instructors and fish and wildlife technicians help develop and conduct the program. They receive help from other agencies and organizations involved in the camp curriculum. ACC is modeled after similar programs operated successfully for decades by agencies in other states.
Since the first camp session offered in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2006, the program has received more than a 95 percent approval rating from the youth campers and the parents/guardians of campers who have attended.
The ACC program currently offers three types of camps:
- Basic Camp - Day Camp with an overnight included (ages 11–14)
- Advanced Camp - Day Camp with an overnight included (ages 12–16, completion of ACC - Basic Camp required)
- Advanced Module Camp - Day Camp with an overnight included (ages 12–16, basic hunter education required)
The core of the ACC - Basic Camp is the Alaska Basic Hunter Education course. Campers who attend Basic Camp have the opportunity to take the course and receive certification in Basic Hunter Education from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Basic Camp also includes fishing, wildlife identification and tracks, firearm safety, Alaska fish and wildlife species, habitat, outdoor survival and wilderness navigation, .22-caliber rifle shooting, archery, map and compass, boater safety, basic canoeing and more! Basic Camp is typically conducted Monday through Friday, with an overnight campout Thursday night and a camper/family BBQ on Friday afternoon before graduation.
For youth who have completed ACC-Basic Camp, an advanced camp session is offered that provides more in-depth and advanced skills and activities related to hunting, shooting, fishing and wildlife conservation. Included in Advanced Camp are activities like fly fishing, fly tying, introduction to shotgun shooting, GPS use and wilderness navigation, field dressing fish and small game, advanced firestarting, introduction to muzzleloader shooting, field cooking, and shelter building. Advanced Camp is typically conducted Monday through Friday with a one or two-night overnight trip/campout included and a camper/family BBQ on Friday afternoon before graduation.
Advanced Module Camp
The ACC program may offer special, advanced module camps in an effort to provide youth more opportunity once they have completed basic (and perhaps advanced camp). One example of an advanced module is a four-day winter camp session that covers winter outdoor survival, ice fishing, trapping/snaring, shelter building and many practical skills for Alaska's months of winter.
Alaska Conservation Camp History
In 2005, Alaska Department of Fish & Game employees from several divisions and programs gathered in Fairbanks to plan for and embark upon a journey that would involve hunting, shooting, fishing, wilderness survival, numerous challenges, and – oh yeah – a lot of fun. The group had a passion to help significantly with wildlife conservation efforts in the future and to promote safe and responsible hunting, shooting and fishing. The group came ready to design a program that would result in more responsible hunters, anglers and wildlife conservationists and would do so for generations to come.
The result, after a series of meetings and brainstorm sessions, was the Alaska Conservation Camp. The group formed the Alaska Conservation Camp Development Team and organized a pilot ACC - Basic Camp in 2006 and an Advanced Camp in 2007. Camp sessions, open to 30 youth each week, had waitlists for Basic Camp. In 2009, two basic camps and one advanced camp session were conducted. Campers from previous years have returned to help as junior counselors, and the program continues to receive praise from campers and parents of youth who have attended. The ACC Development team added an advanced camp module - winter camp - for 2010 and hopes to reach more youth throughout Alaska in future years and see the program expand statewide.
For more information about the Alaska Conservation Camp program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone John Wyman at 907-459-7292.