Thursday, December 29, 2011

Camp Bayou programs announced

Starting the New Year ... Naturally!

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is starting the year off with some outdoorsy fun. A few of the many activities scheduled this year include:

- Family Naturalist Hour- Join our naturalists on the first Saturday of each month to explore the outdoors and maybe learn something new in the process. On Saturday, January 7, starting at 9:30am the hour will begin by learning a bit about gopher tortoises then taking a walk to find burrows of tortoises- from babies to adults- maybe see one enjoying a morning meal. Free to participate but limited to 20 people.

- MLK Day of Service- Monday, January 16, 9am-noon. Have the day off from work and school? How about spending a few hours being a good steward of your environment while enjoying a day outdoors. Land-based crews will pick up trash on the road and trim trails while water-based crews will pick up trash along the Little Manatee River. Paddlers need to bring their own watercraft- either canoes or kayaks preferred but small jonboats may work also. Please RSVP.

- The next Homeschool Series at Camp Bayou begins on February 3 at 10am. Students will explore the lifestyle of "Florida's Native People" through activities conducted in four consecutive Friday sessions, 10am-noon. Registration required- $20 for the 4-week series is due on the first day of the program.

- Save the Date for the Camp Bayou Open House on Saturday, March 17 from 9am-2pm. Lots of 'green' activities plus a St. Patty's Day lunch of corned beef and cabbage for just $10/person.

Registration for all the programs above can be made by contacting Dolly at For more news from the Bayou, check out the newsletter at .

These activities are part of a Be Out There!-NWF, Get Outdoors Florida!, "Let's GO"- C&N, No Child Left Inside, and Let's Move Outside inspired initiative.

Camp Bayou 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, membership and grants, the Center 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.

The Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center is a public- private partnership between the newly created, non-profit Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (BOLD), 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 or call 813-641-8545.


Pictured: Winners of the 2011 Photo Contest at Camp Bayou. First and Third prize went to Shayna Coonin of Apollo Beach; Second Prize went to Dotty Guerrera of Sun City Center. Judging by Bruce Marsh. It's never too early to think about entering the 2012 Photo Contest at Camp Bayou!

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