Thursday, October 16, 2014

Today is Blog Action Day!

Each year, the folks at Blog Action Day pick a theme for everyone to blog about on October 16. This year we are discussing #inequality for #BAD2014 .

How does this relate to Camp Bayou? Or environmental education? Or natural resources?

One of the things that is clear from volunteering at Camp Bayou is that the notion that Caucasians are the overwhelming majority of visitors to natural spaces is probably true. But is the smaller percentage of minorities a result of #inequality due to economics?  Access issues? Culture?

We have had school groups from nearly the full spectrum of possibilities. Inner city, homeschool, private, religious, and public schools. There are few truly rural schools that visit since there is not much 'rural' left in west-central Florida.

The main barrier is usually transportation and its associated costs. Some schools get grants to pay for trips, some carpool, some charter luxury buses. We currently have a scholarship program to help school groups who otherwise could not afford the $5 per student for our programs. The scholarship is in memory of Joanie, a teacher who loved to take her students out into the natural world.

The benefits of being outdoors are being well documented. It is important that everyone, everywhere, has the opportunity to experience the natural world in all its glory.

This Saturday is our Fall Open House. Admission is free. There will be a lot of fun and educational activities to enjoy from 9am to 1pm in the great outdoors. We hope you'll join us!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall Open House with a Native Peoples theme

This year, the Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center Open House will be all about the Native People that lived in Florida.

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 9am-1pm.

Ongoing demonstrations and hands-on activities will give visitors a peek into the way of life for folks before there was a supermarket and hardware store down the street. How did they live? What did they eat? What did they make? Here's a chance to discover some possible answers.
Some of the morning activities include:
  • Shell/bone/stone tools demo
  • Weaving and rope making
  • Pinch pots
  • Skill games
  • Storytelling
  • Native Camp tours on the hour
  • Hunter-gatherer native plant walk starts at 9:30am with Becki.
  • Canoes can be rented for a reduced rate of $10 each for short trips around the oxbow island. 
  • A Native-themed lunch will be available starting at 11:30am for just $5 per person
  • The Nature Tiles fundraiser will have tiles on display, created by local artists. These unique tiles will be available for a $30 donation, proceeds to go to our Classroom Kitchen Renovation.
Other organizations joining in the morning activities include:
C.A.R.E, Firehouse Cultural Center, Ruskin Pack 662, Ruskin Boy Scout Troop 2140, Paleo Preserve Fossil Museum, Florida Aquarium, US Coast Guard Aux- Ruskin, National Weather Service- Ruskin, League of Environmental Educators in Florida and Florida Master Naturalists.
The winners of our 2014 Photo Contest will be announced and on display during the Open House.
Door prizes will be awarded every half hour including books, tickets to area attractions and t-shirt/hat, among other possibilities. Door prize tickets are free and available at the Camp Bayou display table to all who sign up for our e-newsletter. A free Seminole pumpkin plant will also be given to the first 50 people who sign up.

Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is neither a campground nor a summer camp. It was an RV park before the County's ELAP program purchased the land but it is now open for day use only, open to the general public. Through volunteers, donations, supporters and grants, the managing non-profit- B.O.L.D. - offers pre-scheduled programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families. Monthly canoe tours are now available by reservation only. Check the online calendar for trip dates. The Center is open from Thursday- Saturday from 9am-2pm for passive recreational pursuits such as wildlife watching, nature photography and trail walks.  General admission is still FREE.
The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public- private partnership between Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (B.O.L.D.), and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin. More information is on the web at http://www.campbayou.org/ or call 813-641-8545.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Volunteers needed at Camp Bayou

With a new school year, a newly designed website and an education brochure to help promote programs, Camp Bayou is seeking volunteers to help during school field trips, staff the visitor's center, and other tasks in this completely volunteer operated Center. 

Potential volunteers should contact the office at 813-641-8545 or email campbayou@gmail.com to arrange an orientation tour with Jeri, the volunteer coordinator. Time commitment may be as few as 3 hours per week, increasing with interest and enthusiasm. We are currently in need of retired teachers who are still thrilled with the look on a child's face when they 'get it'. A special volunteer training day will be held on Saturday, September 27.

Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is neither a campground nor a summer camp. It was an RV park before the County's ELAP program purchased the land but it is now open for day use only, open to the general public. Through volunteers, donations, supporters and grants, the managing non-profit- B.O.L.D. - offers pre-scheduled programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families. Monthly canoe tours are now available by reservation only. Check the online calendar for trip dates. The Center is open from Thursday- Saturday from 9am-2pm for passive recreational pursuits such as wildlife watching, nature photography and trail walks.  General admission is still FREE.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public- private partnership between Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (B.O.L.D.)., and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin. More information is on the web at http://www.campbayou.org/ or call 813-641-8545. 

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Pictured: Children learn about gopher tortoises- just one of many program topics at Camp Bayou.
 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Camp Bayou Summer Paddle Trips

The summer schedule for Saturday guided paddle trips at Camp Bayou continues...
Aug 23, Sept 20 are morning trips that start at 9am. On Sept 6, there will be a moonlight paddle for International Observe the Moon Night, starting at 7:30 pm.
Canoe rental is $25 (seats 3). If you have your own canoe, join us- $5 donation requested. Call to reserve your space- 813-641-8545.
 
Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is neither a campground nor a summer camp. It was an RV park before the County's ELAP program purchased the land but it is now open for day use only, open to the general public. Through volunteers, donations, supporters and grants, the managing non-profit- B.O.L.D. - offers pre-scheduled programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families. Monthly canoe tours are available by reservation only. Check the online calendar for trip dates. The Center is open from Thursday- Saturday from 9am-2pm for passive recreational pursuits such as wildlife watching, nature photography and trail walks.  General admission is still FREE.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public- private partnership between Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (BOLD) and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin. More information is on the web at http://www.campbayou.org/ , Facebook  or call 813-641-8545
 


Saturday, July 19, 2014

7th Annual Back to School- Back to Nature- Sat., Aug 2

Learn something at a Nature Station and earn a free school supply item!
Camp Bayou's 7th Annual Back to School- Back to Nature event will be held on Saturday, August 2 from 9am- noon. The event is Free. Registered families will visit several nature stations where they will learn something about frogs, fossils, forests or other natural topics. Registration is requested but FREE online at www.campbayou.org .
 
Enjoy the Florida outdoors while learning about the wonderful types of nature around us everyday! Before leaving each station, children will be given a free school supply item! For a possible extra bonus, children will be given a free raffle ticket after their family signs in at the registration table. Tickets will be drawn every 30 minutes for other items, including backpacks, journals, lunch bags, and more. 
 
There will be a LEEF Teacher Resource Exchange- an area for educators to leave materials they no longer need or pick up something new. Teachers can also learn about field trips to the Nature Center or Fossil Museum, upcoming teacher professional workshops, Florida Master Naturalist Program, League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF) regional information and annual conference. Teachers who sign up for the e-newsletter will receive a goody bag of items to help in the classroom.
 
Organizations that will be participating in this year's event include:
 
A drink cooler will be on hand to help keep participants hydrated with free cups of water, compliments of Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (BOLD) plus information about Center programs, activities and events.

Camp Bayou is still accepting donations of school supplies or cash to purchase them. Your donation allows the Center to continue to provide these types of events for free. Expected attendance is approximately 200 children. Please contact 813-641-8545 or email campbayou@gmail.com to arrange a drop off or pick up.

Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is neither a campground nor a summer camp. It was an RV park before the County's ELAP program purchased the land but it is now open for day use only, open to the general public. Through volunteers, donations, supporters and grants, the managing non-profit- B.O.L.D. - offers pre-scheduled programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families. Monthly canoe tours are now available by reservation only. Check the online calendar for trip dates. The Center is open from Thursday- Saturday from 9am-2pm for passive recreational pursuits such as wildlife watching, nature photography and trail walks.  General admission is still FREE.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public- private partnership between Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (B.O.L.D.)., and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin. More information is on the web at http://www.campbayou.org/ or call 813-641-8545.