Natural Resources

Career Camp

In 2016, the NRCC camp celebrated its 40th year of operation. Recently, over the last 3 years, 9 students from Frederick County attended Camp Hickory along with 3 members of the Frederick County Forestry Board. The following comments detail some of their experiences at camp:

2016 NRCC participants
Participants of NRCC 2016(photo by Claude Eans)

2020 Camp was canceled due to COVID-19.

2019 Campers

Emily Cook

Over this Summer, I went to the Natural Resources and Careers Camp in Garrett County, Maryland. I was curious about the lines of work available in natural resources and what I would need to do to attain a job in one. This camp was extremely helpful in helping me learn about the variety of jobs out there. There were more jobs than I had imagined, and I learned more about each and what interests me. We tried things I was on the fence about, like forestry and fishery, which I learned I did not like. On the other hand, I learned more about wildlife protection agencies and found a new interest in that. We also did super fun things like scavenger hunts and tree climbing! Over the course of the week, we had many different lectures; some were boring due to my lack of interest, but many were very eye opening and held my attention the whole time. I learned about bats and bears, how to identify trees, water pollution, and much more. At the end of the week we had to make a presentation with our group on how to best manage the forest on the camp’s property for a pretend owner. This was a little hard because our group did not work well together, but we finished and pulled off a well done slide show to present to our parents. Over the course of the week, I made many friends that I still keep in touch with. It is great to make these connections with people my age that share the same interests! College night was also helpful in showing me all the colleges that offer degrees that would help me find a job I desire. This camp opened my eyes to all the different jobs available in this field, and I am grateful for that. While I personally am still keeping my options open to other lines of work, the camp has enhanced my knowledge and awareness of options in natural resources if this is my final decision.

Alex Demiray

Thank you for sending me to the Natural Resource Career Camp. I had a great time. The electric fishing was my favorite. It found it thrilling to wade through the deep water. It was fun to catch fish. I learned that bears have many defenses. This was a great experience for me. Thanks for giving me the experience.

2018 Campers

Carson DeLauter

I wanted to go to NRCC to find direction for my future and hopefully determine if my love for the outdoors was more of a hobby or something I could see myself doing as a career. The camp experience exceeded my expectations! It was one of the best experiences I've had in a long time. I can't stop talking about it. The staff had each person's best interests at heart. The food was awesome and had me excited for every meal. Each day that went by would draw me closer towards natural resources. All of the activities were fun and grabbed my attention. I was actually having so much fun I completely forgot to take pictures the whole week! (Sorry about that) I made relationships with like-minded people who were there for the same reasons as me. Thanks to this camp I was able to realize that being outdoors and natural resources are not just a hobby for me, but what I plan to make a career. I can't thank you all enough for giving me this opportunity! It's funny how one week can seem to shape your life.

Thank you again,

Carson De Lauter

Abby Feltham

I had an amazing time during my week long stay. One of my favorite presentations was when a professor from Garrett College came and produced a ‘show’ for us on nocturnal creatures and the sounds they made. I thought it was amazing and a bit funny. My favorite activity was on Thursday when we got to climb trees. We also were able to use a two-person saw and made a challenge of it for who got the fastest time. We also wet ot the Sawmill and got to watch all the machines and what they do.

I met many new people and learned how to identify trees long with many other helpful tips. I am forever thankful for this experience and thank you for the information and help.


Abigail Feltham

Eridani Pickins

There were many things I enjoyed about NRCC. The speeches that were given to the students were informative and entertaining, as well as giving insight into multiple careers that many of us didn't think of or know about. Some of these include a wildlife biologist, urban forester, and wetland ecologist. We also went into the field and experienced activities all for ourselves, which included climbing trees with professional equipment, shocking fish, studying soil samples, and visiting a sawmill.

My favorite experiences of the trip had to be the interactive hands-on parts of NRCC including fish shocking, soil sampling, climbing trees, and using a two-man saw. The instructors got us in the field and we were taught how to use the equipment and what to do in specific situations, safely. I really enjoyed that because that gave all the students an idea of what they will be doing and how they will be doing these things if that is the career they choose.

With the help of multiple speakers and the amazing experiences that came with the trip to NRCC, I was able to find different options when it comes to the many career choices out there. Especially with College Night where we got to explore the different options that each college had to offer and find future career paths in our preferred area of work. This experience helped to give me a broad idea of natural resource careers that would provide a good life for me while still allowing me to do something I love.

This experience has helped me get one step closer to finding out my future career, and I am very thankful to have had this opportunity. Overall, I am so grateful to the Frederick County Forestry Board for sponsoring me and accepting me into the NRCC, which gave me an incredible educational experience.

I have attached some pictures that I took, which includes the sawmill and some trees.


Eridani Pickens Walkersville, MD

2017 Campers

Spencer Becker

My week at the NRCC camp was busy, fun, and somewhat boring. I learned a lot and also made some new friends. The main topic that was focused on during the camp was forestry. I don't have anything against forestry but most of the topics were boring. There was too much classroom work and not enough hands-on work. I wasn't as interested in forestry as I was for something like careers in wildlife management, fisheries, or stream ecology. This was disappointing because coming to the camp I thought we would be introduced to a different career path each day.

The best part about my week was when the instructors gave us some extra time to do anything we wanted and we all played soccer. That had to be the best soccer game I've ever played. It was so much fun! An improvement to the camp would be to give the kids relax and play time at the end of the day, rather than having class until 10 at night. The night we played soccer was the best night for me and most of the other kids. And I don’t even like soccer.

Thank you for the opportunity

Madison Feltner

My week at the NRCC Camp was so much fun. I learned so much about natural resources. I couldn’t be more thankful that I got this experience. I met amazing people from all over the state and learned a lot about the trees and wildlife in Maryland. I had little interest in natural resources but this week I have a lot more interest and hope to pursue a career in natural resources. I enrolled myself in the college class intro to forestry this week and took the challenge on studying the material and completing an exam. I am glad that I took the opportunity. During the week we collected our own data and created management plans for a landowner and scenario and we created PowerPoints to have parents come watch us present at the end of the week. I couldn’t be more excited to pursue an education and career in natural resource. The Natural Resources careers camp is such an amazing opportunity and so much fun!

Grace Muller

My experience at the Natural Resources Careers Camp was one of great fun, enthusiasm, and education. It was definitely an eye-opener to the different careers that are available to me in the field of Natural Resources. I had the privilege of being in a group with wonderful teenagers who all worked well together as well as an outstanding counselor who was very knowledgeable about the topics that were being discussed during the lectures.

It was unfortunate that we were unable to climb trees on Friday due to the rain, but we still were able to plant some trees and I thoroughly enjoyed that. I never learned the proper way to plant a tree, but now I know how and am confident that I can do it on my own the right way.

Touring the saw mill was also a highlight for me because it was something I have never experienced before and it was engaging to see how just one huge log goes through the process in which the end result is a few perfect boards ready to be shipped.

I also have to say that although putting together the management plan and presenting it through a power point wasn’t my favorite activity, it was a great project to work on. Many of the lectures that I sat through made more sense, because I had to apply that information in putting together the management plan with my group.

Apart from the education, recreation time was a plus. It was exciting to play a basketball game on the court or soccer out on the field. This allowed time to get to know the other teenagers in the camp and find out what type of career they are planning to go in.

My one slight disappointment was not learning anything about plants. I certainly became a little better at identifying some trees, but I would have liked to have learned more about plant species – how to identify them, what medicinal purposes they might be used for, or as a food source.

No specific career stuck out at me that I might want to pursue that was different from my original one, which is to work with wildlife and learn about plant species. However, this camp was still a help in identifying what career I may not want to pursue.

Overall, my week was exciting and I enjoyed making new friends and being educated about the world of outdoors. I would highly recommend a teenager who is interested in a natural resources career to come to this camp.

Jack Stohlman

The Natural Resources Careers Camp in Accident, MD helped me to understand the vastness of the Department of Natural Resources, and the wide array of jobs they offer. We learned something new every day, and the camp definitely provided me a much stronger sense of the specific career path I want to take in the future. Activities such as fish-shocking and tree identification helped me grasp the topics even more, although I definitely wish we had done more hands on activities throughout the week. We were busy with classroom activities, field exercises, field trips, and some well - deserved free time beginning our day at 7:00 am until lights out at 10:00 pm. We enjoyed some recreational activities during our free time.. Despite the lectures this learning experience still gave me the info I needed. Looking back, I would still choose to go back to camp simply because you gain an incredible amount of knowledge about outdoor career paths.

Natural Resources Careers Camp in the past

Natural Resources Career Camp —NRCC Sunday, July 20 – Saturday, July 26, 2014 At the Hickory Environmental Education Center in Garrett County, Maryland

Join high schools students from across the Mid-Atlantic at this fun week-long camp to explore careers and college studies in natural resources. NRCC is a perfect experience for students interested in a career in the fields of forestry, arboriculture, wildlife, ecology and natural resources management. The Program Director is an Allegany College Professor in Forestry.

Field activities include GIS boundary data collection, climbing trees with arborist equipment, conducting a stream survey exercise and touring a sawmill.

Throughout the week students work in teams. Each team creates and presents a forest management plan.

At Career Night, natural resource professionals— forestry, wildlife, urban forestry, fire control, fisheries, bear management, and more— share their job experiences. Meet representatives from the University of Maryland, Penn State, West Virginia University, Allegany College of Maryland, Frostburg University and Garrett Community College.

Students have the option (fee required) to earn 2 college credits for successful completion of the week of studies and projects.

To learn more and apply visit the Natural Resources Careers Conference Web page.

2012 Natural Resources Careers Conference

Group photo of the 2012 NRCC participants

Credit: John Dingedahl

Aaron with his Allegany College of Maryland counselor and team members identifying trees