Trout Unlimited

Conservation and FIsh Camp

What is the Trout Unlimited Tri-State Conservation & Fishing Camp?

The Camp is an exciting week of hands-on activities for high school students who want to combine their enthusiasm for fishing with an interest in learning more about conservation.  It is a joint project of Trout Unlimited in Maryland/DC, Virginia, and West Virginia.

When and Where Is It Held?

The 2020 Camp will be June 21 to June 26 at Graves’ Mountain Lodge on the Rose River in Syria, Virginia, next to Shenandoah National Park.  The Lodge, a full-service mountain resort that’s been in the same family since the 1750’s, and provides our accommodations and all meals.  Each camper and their roommate share a private bedroom and bath, and eat the same delicious home-cooked meals that the Lodge serves all its guests.  

For additional information on the Lodge, go to

How long is the Camp, and how much does it cost?

The Camp is a residential 6-day, 5-night experience.   The Camp fee of $850 covers all costs for the week.  Campers arrive on the afternoon of Sunday, June 24, and Camp closes on the afternoon of Friday, June 29.

Can I get help to pay for the camp?

Yes, partial or full financial sponsorship is available.  Generous donors have created a pool of funds to be used to sponsor campers who are motivated to attend the Camp, but need help with the camp fee.  For campers who do not have their own fishing tackle, we provide all needed fishing equipment for use at the Camp.

Do you accept applicants who live outside the VA, MD, WV, DC area?

Yes, we do.  We have had campers from as far away as Maine, New York, Texas, Alaska, and North Carolina.

What is included in the Camp curriculum?

Campers will study stream conservation and restoration, hydrology, water and air quality and pollution, fish habitat and watershed protection, and vertebrate and insect populations.  They’ll also learn how to use fly and spinning tackle to effectively and responsibly catch fish, and how to tie the flies that imitate the insects that fish eat in many streams including Shenandoah National Park’s trout streams.

Who can attend the camp, and how many campers will there be?

The Camp can accommodate 24 campers, and is open to boys and girls who are currently in the 8th – 11th grades, or who will be 13 years-old by by the day that camp opens.  Applicants should enjoy the outdoors, want to learn to fish or improve their fishing skills, and have a keen interest in helping to protect our environment.

How do I apply for admission to the Camp?

To apply to attend the summer 2018 Camp, fill out and submit both the Application Information Form and the Medical History Form, both available on this website.  The application forms can be filled out and submitted online, or you can download them and either email or postal mail to our camper selection committee.  If you don’t have access to the internet, please contact George Gaines at 202-904-3547 to request a paper copy of the two application forms.  To apply you will need to provide your basic information, write brief essays to respond to three questions, and have your parent/guardian complete a Health History Form that is part of the application.  Once our Camp Admission Committee receives your complete application (Applicant Information Form, essays, and Health History Form) you will hear back in about 14 days whether you have been selected to attend the 2018 camp.

Is there an application deadline?

There is no application deadline, but you’re encouraged to apply early in order to ensure your spot for the Camp – there frequently is a waiting list to attend.

Who are the Camp staff and faculty?

Staff and faculty members are drawn from federal and state environmental agencies, professional fishing guides, conservation teachers, and experienced members of Trout Unlimited and other organizations actively involved in conservation and fishing.  At all times throughout the week, campers are supervised by experienced adult staff, and a Registered Nurse and trained first-aid staff are present.

What should I bring to Camp?

Once you’re accepted to attend Camp, you’ll be sent a suggested list of what to bring for the week, including clothing, toiletries, and other personal items.  Each camper will be provided with bedding, towels, soap, pens and writing paper, a water bottle, any needed fishing equipment they don’t already own, a fishing hat, fly tying equipment and materials, and plenty of delicious food, drinks and snacks.

I’m interested and have some questions – how do I get more information?

For answers to specific questions, please contact:
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