ICOO Memorial Youth Camp

Registration for the Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp is now Closed!

June 18th – 24th, 2023, Ross Camp, West Lafayette, Indiana


The Karl E. Kelley Memorial Youth Camp is held at Ross Camp in West Lafayette, IN (9225 W. 75 S. West Lafayette, IN 47906).

  • I-65 to SR 43 Exit to West Lafayette
  • Go west on SR 43 through West Lafayette (go past McDonalds)
  • Second Traffic light after McDonalds stay go straight onto South River Road/Division Road.
  • If you go over the Wabash River you went too far.
  • Stay on South River Road/Division Road (its curvy and hilly) till CR 875 West
  • Turn left on CR 875 West to Ross Camp (not Ross Park)
  • You should take a hard right and a hard left and the camp will be right in front of you.


To provide a summer camp program that will educate youth about conservation of natural resources by:

  • Offering certification in the Outdoor Education programs of the DNR Law Enforcement Division.
  • Introducing campers to outdoor life sports which will teach appreciation for natural resources and cultivate respect for the Indiana Conservation Officers that protect those resources.


This camp experience is open to any boy or girl that has completed the fifth or sixth grade in the preceding school year. Camp fee is $350 per camper and includes all meals, lodging and needed equipment for camp. This fee is subject to change based on expenses. The first 120 campers will be accepted in the order of receipt.

Scholarships may be give to children by interested groups or individuals by simply selecting the child and sending in the completed application with the camp fee. The ICOO will not select a child to receive a scholarship by any outside group.

Applications are released each year after January first through this site and through ICO District Offices.


It is our belief that it is vital to educate young people about the importance of natural resources. We believe also that as the only state law enforcement agency directly responsible for protecting these resources and being also mandated to offer and administer the Outdoor Education courses in Indiana, teaching the concept of enjoying these resources in a safe and responsible manner is a natural extension of our law enforcement duties.

Officers Tony Stoll and Keith Dinn, the vice president and president of the Indiana Conservation Officers Organization took it upon themselves and the organization to found the Indiana Conservation Officers Youth Camp in 1997 with the support of the DNR law Enforcement Division.

These two officers deserve a great amount of credit for what they were able to accomplish in less then six months of preparation.

The first ICO Youth Camp was held at Camp Atterbury August 3-9, 1997. Seventy-seven campers attended this first camp. This was the results of word of mouth advertising only.

The camp was moved to the Bear Creek Scout Reservation in Fayette County in 1998 and the enrollment increased to 120 campers due to increased demand.

We believe that this camp program will grow in importance as a result of the mandatory hunter education law. We strive to use the camp as an opportunity to work together with the Indiana Hunter Education Program and the other DNR divisions in developing this program and sharpen our skills in order to provide the best outdoor education programs possible for the people we work for, the citizens of Indiana.

It is also our purpose to educate the people of Indiana about the duties of the Indiana Conservation Officer and to cultivate respect for these officers and the important job they do.

We believe that the investment we make in the young people that attend our camps and the impact that it makes on them and their families will pay dividends long into the future.


In April 1998 F/Sgt. Karl E. Kelley lost his life in the line of duty while attempting to rescue fellow officers that had become trapped in a low head dam during a training exercise.

Karl Kelley was an officer’s officer. He was a model to all of us and this loss will be felt for years to come.

The family of F/Sgt. Kelley expressed the desire that Karl be remembered by teaching the people of Indiana about the importance of the Indiana Conservation Officer. In response to this request the ICOO named our newly founded youth camp program in honor and memory of our fallen brother.

The Karl E. Kelley Conservation Officers Youth Camp Program will strive to meet this request.


We intend to continue developing the youth camp program to meet the demands and expectations of the people of Indiana. In 2001 our camp relocated to the Ross Camp property owned by the Tippecanoe County Parks near Lafayette, IN. The ICOO has joined with the IHEA and the IDNR LED to improve this beautiful property for the good of all. We believe this partnership will help us meet our future goals for the Karl E. Kelley ICO Youth Camp.

We will only be able to achieve these goals with the assistance of the many conservation groups throughout the state.

Any individual, group or business that would like to be a part of this exciting project is invited to contact the ICOO through Conservation Officer Matt Tholen, mtholen@dnr.in.gov

Other Information

Each camper will take part in or have access to the following:

  • Certification in Boater education
  • Range Day (firearms, bows, tomahawks, etc.)
  • Water day at Raccoon Lake with the DNR SCUBA team, canoe safety class, air boat and jet ski rides
  • Canoe Trip down the Sugar Creek
  • 7 day/6 night overnight Camp
  • Cost is $350, the first 120 campers will be accepted