Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Holiday Open House, Sat., 12/5/09

Holiday Open House and 10th Anniversary Celebration!

**Rain or Shine!**

The Camp Bayou Holiday Open House and 10th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 9am to 2pm. This year's new activities include:

Folktales from the Bayou- Join Jeri down by the cabins recently moved from the old Giant's Camp in Gibsonton. Hear some fun stories inspired by the area's long-time fishing tradition.

Photograhy contest/award- Photo entries have been taken at Camp Bayou over the past 10 years. Photo judges include Bruce Marsh, local artist and scholar. Winner will be announced at noon. There is still time to enter. Contact Dolly at to find out how.

Geocache/Letterbox Treasure Hunt- Whether you are tech-savvy or love to solve written low-tech clues, this is a chance to be a treasure hunter and perhaps find a new hobby.

Most of the popular activities will be offered to give folks an idea of the kinds of fun things to do at Camp Bayou all year 'round. There are scheduled activities as well as ongoing activites from 9am-2pm. As always, admission to the Center is still free although some specific activities charge a small fee (noted in schedule).

Schedule of Family-friendly Activities:

9am: Guided walking Tour 1- Wetland Walk with Becki

9am– 1:30pm: Highlight Cart Tours 20 min tours on 7 passenger cart on the half hour

10am: Aquatic Explorations – with George

11 am: Guided walking Tour 2- Tortoise Trail with Becki

11am: Folktales from the Bayou– with Jeri

Noon: Holiday BBQ10th Yr Appreciation. This year our Holiday BBQ is a ‘Members Only’ event. The main dish will be provided by Camp Bayou with side dishes supplied by members.*

12:30pm: Introducing NEW Speaker’s Bureau with Diane

1pm: Guided walking Tour 3: River Ramble with Becki

* Members have made a recorded donation, or volunteered at least 5 hours, in the last 6 months. Not a member yet? New members may sign up on the morning of the event for a nominal fee. Please RSVP to Dolly at, and include if you will be bringing a side dish.

Ongoing throughout the day:

- Fossil Museum with Paleo Preserve volunteers

- Leisey-Casey Discovery Center and Frank Garcia Library open

- Fossil pit dig (for small fee)

- Nature Center with Sharon

- Photography contest display/award with Jeri

- Holiday nature crafts with Junior troop 358 from Cypress Creek

- Nature activity stations with Webelos pack 41 from Parrish

- Nature videos in the classroom

- Geo-cache/Letterbox Treasure Hunt with Jeri

- 3 trails through varied habitats

- Native plants for sale

- Native Peoples Camp tours with Herb

- Eagle Audubon Butterfly Habitat with Diane

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, nature photography and trail walks. Admission is still FREE.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center 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 .


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