Conservation Youth Camp

Each summer Montana Trout Unlimited introduces a new generation of anglers to the joy of fly fishing and the importance of conserving our coldwater fisheries. Since our first season nearly two decades ago, Youth Camp has evolved from an introductory fishing seminar to a robust conservation-based program that teaches love of the resource through the lens of fly fishing. Students hit the ground running with hands-on education in fly casting, fly tying, and fishing technique, while also learning the importance of healthy trout habitat and good stewardship. Through interactive visits to on-the-water restoration projects and field education in aquatic ecology and hydrology, Youth Camp attendees not only receive an introduction to the sport of fly fishing but also a solid foundation in freshwater ecology, angling ethics, and exposure to careers in conservation.

Program Overview

Location: Camp Watanopa on Georgetown Lake, Montana
When: Sunday, July 7 – Thursday, July 11, 2024
Who Should Apply: We accept 20 students aged 11-14. All fly fishing equipment provided. Youth with no previous fishing experience are encouraged to apply.
How To Apply: CAMP IS FULL FOR 2024! Applications are managed by the MTU Outreach Coordinator and the Youth Education leaders of our 13 local chapters. Generally each chapter receives 1-2 camper allocations, depending on interest levels. If you are interested, please contact Bill Pfeiffer at [email protected] and he may be able to pair you with a local chapter. Applications will reopen on Feb. 1, 2025.
Tuition: $600/camper (Scholarship opportunities available through our local Montana chapters. Contact your local TU chapter for more info.)

Twenty kids from around the state of Montana and beyond will spend 5 days learning about cold water conservation, fly fishing, fly tying, watershed management and coldwater fisheries at Camp Watanopa on the shores of Georgetown Lake. We take field trips to local streams, visit a fish hatchery, and explore active and completed habitat restoration projects Montana TU provides all fishing equipment and classroom supplies during the 5-day, 4-night camp. Campers must be age 11-14 by July 1 to be eligible for camp.

Tuition includes all meals, lodging, and equipment use. Scholarships are offered by local TU chapters. Please inquire with your local chapter for an application if you are interested in receiving a scholarship. Georgetown Lake is located near Upper Rock Creek, Flint Creek, and between the towns of Philipsburg and Anaconda, Montana.

Make a difference: Volunteer!

We rely on volunteers to operate our camp and provide all instruction and supervision. We’re indebted to a loyal group of regular volunteers, but we’re always looking for new and enthusiastic helpers of all backgrounds and skill sets. Our camp is about more than fly fishing instruction so we have opportunities in a variety of areas. MTU is also happy to offer recommendations for exemplary volunteers and encourage young adults interested in conservation careers to expand their horizons and experience the rewards our camp brings campers and volunteers alike. All volunteers must pass a background check before working at camp in consistency with Trout Unlimited camp regulations and to ensure camper safety. To apply to volunteer for this year’s camp, click the application link below.

If you have questions about Montana TU’s camp, contact Montana TU at 406-543-0054 or email Outreach Coordinator Bill Pfeiffer at [email protected].