New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that one teen has been chosen for an environmental camp scholarship created in memory of Emily Timbrook.

Kylie Montague of Swain in Allegany County was selected from an essay she wrote about her experience at DEC’s Camp Rushford in Caneadea, Allegany County, last summer.

“All the campers’ essays showed great enthusiasm about their experience at Rushford, the friendships they made, and how the camp impacted their lives,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Kylie’s essay reflects Emily Timbrook’s love for camp, the environment, and the ability of Camp Rushford staff to help people blossom. I know that Kylie will enrich the camp experience for all the campers at Rushford this year.”

Timbrook, a former Camp Rushford attendee and volunteer who resided in Alfred Station, died tragically in a car accident in April 2009. Barbara and Tim Timbrook, Emily’s parents, worked with DEC and the National Heritage Trust (NHT) to create a summer camp scholarship fund in Emily’s name to encourage other young people to get outdoors and appreciate nature as Emily did. The funds collected are used for "camperships" (camp scholarships) to send one returning camper to Camp Rushford for free.

Campers who excelled at Camp Rushford in 2018 were given the Timbrook Award by camp staff and were invited to submit an essay about their camp experience and its impact on their lives. The award-winning campers were chosen for their demonstrated interest in building upon their outdoor recreation experiences and sharing their knowledge of the state's natural resources with other campers.

Emily’s parents, Barbara and Tim Timbrook, said, “We are delighted to honor Emily’s memory by supporting one returning camper each summer at Camp Rushford. Our daughter’s love of nature and commitment to environmental stewardship was nurtured at a DEC camp, and we are pleased that Kylie demonstrated a similar excitement about protecting the environment and enjoying the benefits of being outdoors. We are so happy to remember Emily in this way.”

Kylie attended Camp Rushford for the first time last summer. She continued her family tradition and completed her hunter safety class at camp so that she can join her father and grandfather in hunting. It was Kylie’s first time away from home and she learned that camp is a place to let your inner self shine.

DEC’s unique residential camp program offers week-long experiences in conservation education and environmental stewardship for ages 11 to 17. There are four residential camps for youth ages 11-13 or 14-17: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake, Franklin County; Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor, Sullivan County; Camp Rushford in Caneadea, Allegany County; and Pack Forest in Warrensburg, Warren County. Visit DEC’s website for more information about all four DEC summer camps and to find out what weeks remain open.

Donations to support future camp scholarships can be made by visiting DEC’s summer camps page and looking for the “Donate to DEC Summer Camps” button. Funds are managed by the National Heritage Trust, a public benefit corporation that receives and manages gifts, grants, and contributions to further public conservation programs. A description of NHT is available on the NYS Parks website. To donate to the Emily Timbrook fund, send a check made out to NHT-DEC Camps, with Emily in the memo section and mail to: Summer Camps Scholarship, c/o Director of Management and Budget Services, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-5010.