Scholarships for youth to attend summer camp across New York State
NYSOEA has a dedicated scholarship fund providing youth an opportunity to experience summer camp. The scholarship honors Brother Yusuf, past NYSOEA member and friend. Money for camperships is raised at the annual conference and regional events through raffles, as well as personal donations. The goal is to raise enough money each year to fund one camper from each NYSOEA region. The NYSOEA Equity Access & Inclusion Committee, along with the NYSOEA regional board of directors, award the scholarships for campers.
This fund will support an Affiliate organization by allowing them to offer a camp scholarship. To participate, an organization must be a current Affiliate in good standing. Applicants may receive full or partial funding. Applications must be filled out each year for consideration and those funded may not be considered for consecutive seasons if there are multiple applications for the region. Applications will be reviewed based on need and fund availability by NYSOEA regional directors and members of the EAI committee. NYSOEA board of directors and EAI committee members may not be listed as contact persons for an application. Applications from organizations that include NYSOEA board of directors or EAI committee members as staff may not be reviewed by that region’s director; they will be forwarded to the NYSOEA executive Board for approval instead. Awarded funding will be given after the camper has attended camp and a write-up has been submitted to the Board.
Brother Yusuf was a founding member of NYSOEA’s Diversity Committee (now the Equity, Access, and Inclusion Committee) and the coordinator of the DEC’s Capital District Campership Diversity Program. He believed that “Many of today’s children are growing up in busy cities without parks or ‘special places’ to experience the beautiful and awe inspiring. They stand to lose a very important part of what it is to be human.”
Adriyanna and Breauna both attended Reinstein Woods’ Kids in the Woods Summer Camp of 2021. They were a part of the Junior Naturalists group, which consisted of campers from 7th-10th grade. While the sisters enjoyed scooping in the ponds, catching insects, and building the survival shelter together, they even more so enjoyed competing against each other in games such as Capture the Flag. Adriyanna and Breauna brought enthusiasm and energy to the camp that grew with them throughout the week.
Testimonials from Previous Campership Recipients " I would like to go to camp because of the wonderful opportunities I can have and the people I will meet. Along with that I hope to gain more knowledge about the environment as I am going to be pursuing a degree of either natural resources management or environmental engineering in college." - Mary, 2019 Scholarship recipient, Western Region
Cody learned lots of cool stuff about the environment. "In camp they let us make decisions on what we wanted to do. The camp has broadened my horizons and it has put me out of my comfort zone. The camping experience was scary but fun.”
Kevin had this to say about camp: ”I learned new things like the three R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle). This means to take less, use less, take your garbage and turn it into something else useful, and let your garbage be turned into more things to buy. I also learned tips for hiking (like putting down the heel of your foot then your front, and always be prepared for anything) and tips for life. I learned to look after myself without my parents. I knew people there but also met new ones.”
Jason’s message is real and from the heart: “I live in Newburgh, New York. Summers are usually boring and the streets are loud and dangerous. This experience gave me a chance to get away and relax for a while.”
Alexis was happy to make new friends and enjoyed campfire stories.