Saturday, July 21, 2012

Back to School- Back to Nature event, Ruskin

Before homework, tests and the smell of markers or chalk dust fill the air, enjoy a beautiful morning filled with learning that is fun and check off some school supplies in the process.

Camp Bayou's 5th Annual Back to School- Back to Nature event will be held on Saturday, August 4 from 9am- noon. Registered families will visit several nature stations where they will learn something about frogs, fossils, forests or one of several nature topics. This year there will also be a station with information about NASA's Curiosity rover and its expected landing on Mars on August 5.

Before leaving each station, the children will be given a free school supply item! For a possible extra bonus, children will be given a free raffle ticket when they arrive after their family signs in at the registration table. Tickets will be drawn every 30 minutes for other items, including backpacks, journals, lunch bags, and more. As in past years, registration is requested but FREE, online at .
There will be a LEEF Teacher Resource Exchange- an area for educators to leave materials they no longer need or pick up something new. Current items available for the Teacher Exchange include a fish tank with some accessories, posters, colorful nature magazines, water quality test kits and more! Teachers can also learn about field trips to the Nature Center or Fossil Museum, upcoming teacher professional workshops, League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF) regional information and Florida Master Naturalist Program updates.
Organizations that will be participating in this year's event include:
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful
Florida Division of Forestry
League of Environmental Educators in Florida
A cooler will be on hand to help keep participants hydrated with free cups of water. There will also be hot dogs, chips and soda for sale starting at 11am to keep those tummies from grumbling.
This event is a Summer Learning DayBe Out There!, Get Outdoors Florida"Let's GO"- Children and NatureNo Child Left Inside, and Let's Move Outside inspired initiative. Plus, this year, it is also a Mars Curiosity Landing event!

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 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 Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. (BOLD)., 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: Visitors have fun learning about nature then receiving a free school supply item at last year's Back to School- Back to Nature event.

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