New Addition to Camp Bayou- Giant's Camp Cabins
It has been months in the making, with many more to completion, but two of the remaining Giant's Camp Cabins that were slowly deteriorating next to the Alafia River in Gibsonton, have now been moved to the Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center on the Little Manatee River in Ruskin.
Plans for their restoration include creating an exhibit of the historical uses of the river and bay in one cabin and restoring the other to its original appearance as an example of a real 'Old Florida'- style cabin. Mosaic Company had offered the cabins to any non-profit who would be willing to move them from the site rather than demolish these historic buildings that were built more than 50 years ago.
The Ruskin Community Development Foundation (RCDF), parent non-profit to Camp Bayou OLC, showed an interest and with money from a previous grant received from Gulf Stream Gas Corporation and with the expertise of Miller Transportation, the two cabins safely arrived at Camp Bayou at the end of August 2009.
If you are interested in helping refurbish these cabins, the first work day will coincide with the International Coastal Cleanup taking place on Saturday, September 19. At Camp Bayou, volunteers will arrive starting at 8am. The cabins are just one of the Fixup/Cleanup tasks to be done. If you are interested in helping specifically with the cabins, call Dolly at 813-363-5438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The move was documented by Fred Jacobsen, RCDF board member and past president, in these online videos:
Camp Bayou is nether a campground nor a summer camp. It was an RV park before the County's ELAPP program purchased the land but it is now open for day use only, open to the general public. Through volunteers, donations, membership and grants, the RCDF offers pre-scheduled programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families plus it's open from Thursday- Saturday from 9am-2pm for passive recreational pursuits such as wildlife watching.
Camp Bayou is a public- private partnership between the non-profit Ruskin Community Development Foundation, Inc. (RCDF) 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 .
Picture attached: Members of Camp Bayou Committee enjoy the view from the front porch of #4- (L-R): Jeri Hundertmark, Diane and Richard Alvarez, Mark Dunn and Fred Jacobsen