Camp Woods & Wildlife (formerly Holiday Lake Forestry Camp)

Sixty-five campers and 3 teachers attended the annual Holiday Lake Forestry Camp. Campers learned about diverse topics, including tree identification, forest management, environmental protection, and wildlife. Many came away with a new appreciation for forestry and a desire to further their education in the natural resource field.

The Virginia Department of Forestry, in cooperation with natural resource conservation agencies and organizations, has proudly administered Holiday Lake Forestry Camp - now called Camp Woods & Wildlife - formore than 70 years. This unique camping experience has introduced young Virginians to the challenges, special skills and knowledge needed for managing the forest resources we use and enjoy every day.

Have questions? Get answers here.

Camp Woods & Wildlife is ideal for students:

  • to explore and experience activities in forestry and wildlife related careers
  • who participate in forestry and wildlife judging teams, Envirothon competitions, or ecology clubs
  • to experience hands on learning about natural resources conservation.

Dates and Location

To ensure the safety of our campers and staff, Camp Woods & Wildlife will return in 2022.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Dept. of Forestry and the Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts are partnering to offer teens a new experience: the Virginia Academy of Natural Resources. This hybrid learning opportunity will take place July 12 – 16, 2021. Activities will include virtual presentations from 9:00 AM to 12:15 PM daily, self-guided field explorations in the afternoons, small group work on a project, and a mock Envirothon.

Current 9th-12th graders may apply at Once notified of acceptance, campers will receive a schedule and materials for completing their daily field studies. The only cost for this week of fun and learning is $25 to cover materials.

Applications will be accepted through April 30. Questions? Please contact Ellen Powell at

Program Activities

Classes are taught in the woods by natural resource professionals. View a presentation on the camp and its activities (English; PowerPoint format).

Courses include:

  • Sustainable Forest Management
  • Forest Ecology
  • Reforestation and Tree Improvement
  • Tree Measurements
  • Environmental Protection
  • Wildlife Management
  • Tree Identification

Other learning experiences include a field trip to a local paper mill; urban forestry demonstrations; exploratory classes in topics such as forest fire equipment and tactics, wilderness survival, canoeing, archery, skeet marksmanship, and wood turning; and presentations by Conservation Police Officers, arson investigators, and wildlife researchers.

Campers participate in a Lumberjack Field Day with group competition in crosscut sawing, log rolling, and other traditional outdoor skills contests.

Recreation and athletics include swimming and volleyball.

Scholarships Provided

All students selected to attend Camp are awarded a $200 scholarship towards the cost of attending Camp such as food, facilities, and activity materials. Campers pay a $85 registration fee to confirm their attendance and acceptance of the scholarship.

The Camp is financed through contributions from forest industries, conservation agencies and associations, and individual sponsors committed to educating tomorrow's young leaders.

Criteria for Nomination

Campers are selected from nominations made by teachers, forestry and wildlife professionals, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, 4-H and Scout Leaders, and partner sponsoring organizations.

Camp Woods & Wildlife is an academic, structured, residential camp that focuses on field experiences in forestry and other natural resources. Nominees

  • are boys and girls ages 13 to 16;
  • are Virginia residents;
  • show an interest in natural resources;
  • good academic standing, and
  • have not attended before. Previous attendees should consider Youth Conservation Camp instead.

Nominate a Student

Nominations for our 2021 Camp Woods & Wildlife will open in January 2021.

After January 1, 2021: complete and submit (by email or FAX) a nomination form. If you have any questions, please contact Ellen Powell – or 434.220.9083.

  • Nomination Form - check back in January 2021 for our 2021 Camp registration

    Department of Forestry
    ATTN: Ellen Powell
    900 Natural Resources Drive, Suite 800
    Charlottesville, VA 22903

    FAX: 434.296.2369.

    Annual Reports for Camp Woods & Wildlife (formerly Holiday Lake Forestry Camp)

    Camp wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our sponsors and partners! [PDF Format]

    Need more information?

    Contact Ellen Powell, Camp Woods & Wildlife Coordinator.
    Phone: 434.220.9083

    Forestry Camp - Camper Slide Show

    2019 Forestry Camp - View Camper Slide Show [PowerPoint 99MB] OR view PowerPoint slides on Flickr ; view award winners on Flickr ; view all photos on Flickr

    Camp Woods & Wildlife programs are open to all people regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability. EEO/AA

    Last modified: Tuesday, 02-Mar-2021 16:56:45 EST