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Green Mountain Conservation Camps Lead Wins Northeast Regional Conservation Award

Hannah Phelps, staff lead for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s Green Mountain Conservation Camp (GMCC), has been named Information and Education Professional of the Year by the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (NEAFWA).

“Hannah has always been an extraordinary educator,” said Alison Thomas, Director of Outreach with the department.  “Her decisive problem solving and empathy when campers were stranded at our Buck Lake camp during the July 2023 flood showed that she is an extraordinary leader as well.”

NEAFWA is the professional association of government fish and wildlife agencies in the northeastern U.S. and Canada.  The association selects an Information and Education Professional of the Year from colleague nominations.  The recipient is honored at NEAFWA’s annual conference, held this past April in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

Phelps was nominated for the NEAFWA award one year after taking new, full-time responsibilities with GMCC and rising to the unforeseeable challenges of managing the camp’s safety and evacuation measures during the July 2023 flood.  In a more typical year Phelps expects to set the summer’s curriculum, hire seasonal staff and make sure the camp facilities remain top notch.

“I am beyond honored to have received this award,” said Phelps.  “I am very fortunate to work alongside many talented educators and camp staff who inspire me to learn and grow each day.  Running camp is a true team effort, and I’m grateful to be able to lead this charge.” 

GMCC offers a week-long sleep away experiences for youth ages 12-16 at the Kehoe campus in Castleton and the Buck Lake campus in Woodbury.  GMCC blends traditional camp activities like archery, canoeing and hiking with a curriculum of ecology, hunter education and wildlife science taught by counselors, department biologists and game wardens.

Although Phelps stepped into the full-time role of camp coordinator just last year, her history with GMCC goes back 15 years, beginning with summers spent as a camper during middle and high school, stints as a junior and senior counselor, and 3 years as part time camp coordinator before.