Wet, but Fun, Open House
The Camp Bayou Holiday Open House and 10th Anniversary Celebration was held Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 9am-2pm, despite a steady drizzling rain all morning. The small but active group of attendees participated in most of the activities offered during the event, including a tour of the native people's camp, trail ride on 7-passenger cart, fossil dig, Letterboxing treasure hunt, storytelling, and of course, the Member Appreciation Lunch, which welcomed new and renewing members.
The membership drive has been restructured so that all yearly membership donations will be collected in December of each year for the following year's membership. All members receive a magnet with the year they have paid for as a reminder for when they last gave their support.
During the Member Lunch, the winners for the photo contest were also announced. All photos were required to have been taken at Camp Bayou sometime in the past 10 years. First place goes to Nanette O'Hara for her closeup photo of a dragonfly. Second and Third Places go to Dotty Guerrera. Bruce Fallender wins Honorable Mention. Thanks to all who submitted photos and look for more photo contests in the future.
Also announced is the new Speaker's Bureau, coordinated by Diane Alvarez, which offers over a dozen interesting topics from a variety of speakers for a nominal speaker's fee. Topics are diverse- from natural history to human history and culture.
Camp Bayou is nether 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, 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. General 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 http://www.campbayou.org .
1: Fred Jacobsen tells about the native people who lived in the area more than 500 years ago.
2: Member Lunch- pulled smoked pork, salad and other potluck items
3: First Place in photo contest- Dragonfly submitted by Nanette O'Hara
4: Photo judging by Bruce March- winning photos
5: Frank Garcia is ready to identify treasures of the kids who are digging in the fossil pit.