Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall Activities at Camp Bayou

Daniel keeps the fire going for s'mores after a Camp Bayou Night Hike.

The next couple of months will be busy at Camp Bayou.

Saturdays in September and October are filled with the Coastal Module of the Florida Master Naturalist Program. Field trips include Emerson Point, Wolf Branch Creek and Cockroach Bay Preserves. Registration required- room is still available for just a few more adult students. Register at

On Saturday, September 22 there will be a Night Hike, starting at 7:30pm. The hike is about 1 mile in length with no flashlights! The hike ends at the campfire, with s'mores and stories about the moon from around the world. This event is part of International Observe the Moon Night, 'Under the Same Moon'. Register at, maximum 20 participants. A $5 donation is requested to help cover the cost of supplies.

The Camp Bayou Photo contest will be accepting entries until October 20. Photos will be judged by artist Bruce Marsh. Contest rules are available at the Nature Notes blog- or at the Visitor's Center. The winning photos will be on display at the Fall Open House on Saturday, October 27 from 9am-1pm.

Details for the Fall Open House are still being finalized. The theme is 'Out of the Dark', with activities to highlight some of Florida's less cuddly creatures. Hands-on activities include 'Going Buggy' with Dr. George, 'Snake Spotlight' with Bettina and Xerxes, and a favorite 'down-under', Cockroach Races! Critter mask making will be ongoing throughout the morning and children are encouraged to wear their creations, or give their Halloween costume an early debut, during the Species Walk. More family friendly activities are in the works including some healthy treat alternatives at the Snack Station. Watch for updates on the blog or on the Camp Bayou's Facebook page.

This event is a Be Out There!, Get Outdoors Florida, "Let's GO"- Children and Nature, No Child Left Inside, and Let's Move Outside inspired initiative. Plus, this year we also celebrate Food Day 2012

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.

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