Wednesday, July 16, 2008

media release- Camp Bayou 8/2/08

Media contact: Dolly Cummings

phone: 813-363-5438

FREE Back to School- Back to Nature event at Camp Bayou

On Saturday, August 2, from 9am-noon, Camp Bayou will host a FREE 'Back to School- Back to Nature' event.

Stations will be set up so kids can rotate through various nature activities including:

- netting water insects to learn about biodiversity;

- butterfly identification in the screen tent to learn about pollinators;

- tadpoles to toads to learn about metamorphosis;

- fossil fun with the Paleo Preserve;

- native peoples' pinch pots and other crafts with the Ruskin History Project;

- plein aire sketching with the South Shore Regional Library's Crawford Art Studio;

- butterfly release at noon;

- and more!

A free school supply item will be given at each station after the child has participated in each activity. Two free raffle tickets will be given to each registered participant, with drawings on the half hour, to award larger items such as backpacks. It's not too late to help Camp Bayou, which is still seeking donations of school supplies and/or funds to purchase more items. For a list of needed items, please use Cypress Creek Elementary's school supply list as a guide- Contact Dolly at or call 813-363-5438.

A special section in the screened pavilion will be designated for the 'Teacher Exchange Area'. Here, teachers can donate items that they no longer use in their classrooms and/or pick up items that others have donated. Camp Bayou will provide some items for the 'Exchange' including extra fish tanks, educational posters and water testing kits.

You can download the bilingual event flyer at Families and/or teachers can register online, by email at, or at Camp Bayou through the morning of the event, in person or by calling 813-641-8545. Please leave your name, number of children attending, name of school that children attend and family's zip code. If you are a teacher, please indicate the grade level and school at which you teach. Registration is required but free. The goal is to reach at least 100 students, part of Ruskin's Centennial Celebration (

Back to School- Back to Nature is part of a Summer of Learning ( and is made possible in part by a donation from Walmart. This event is an example of Camp Bayou's continued support of 'No Child Left Inside" (

During this event, there will also be a raffle fund-raiser in support of Dolly Cummings for Honorary Mayor of Ruskin. Campaign platform is to increase awareness of eco-tourism opportunities in the area. Each dollar raised through this and future fundraisers, constitutes one vote. If 'elected' (raises the most money), half of proceeds will be donated to Camp Bayou with the other half going to the Honorary Mayor promotional organization, the Ruskin Chamber of Commerce. The winner of the raffle will receive books on various environmental subjects plus items such as binoculars, etc., to help appreciate eco-tourism opportunities in south Hillsborough County.

Camp Bayou is located 3 miles south of SR 674 at the end of 24th St SE in Ruskin. Camp Bayou is a partnership between the Ruskin Community Development Foundation, Inc. and Hillsborough County parks, Recreation and Conservation. For more information visit


Pictured: Students from Apollo Beach elementary school participated in May in an activity similar to our netting activity scheduled for the August 2, Back to School- Back to Nature event.

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