Thursday, April 20, 2017

Camp Bayou First Saturday Nature Topics and more!

Monthly one hour programs cover a special topic on the first Saturday of each month. 

May 6: Join Jeri in a wonderful exploration of one of the most overlooked critters in our natural world- the Ant Lion. Discover what those circles in the sand really hold.
June 3: Becki will take visitors on a photography themed walk to help celebrate National Trails Day.
All programs begin at 9:30am and are free but donations are always appreciated!

Third Saturday canoe day tours continue this spring. Paddlers should arrive at Camp Bayou by 8:45am. Our special evening paddles will be held on May 12 at 7pm and June 2 at 8pm. Canoes are available for rental for just $25 each or bring your own canoe or kayak for a small donation of $5 each. Register for all paddle trips by calling the office at 813-641-8545.

We have opened our Archaeology Dig program to the public, not just for special pre-registered groups. For a $5 donation, kids can be an archaeologist for an hour or so, learning a bit about the process of discovery and finding their own 'artifiacts' in our simulated shell midden. Piece the fragments together and take home your find! Ask the volunteer in the visitor's center for more information and to get your 'dig' kit.

Throughout the year, Camp Bayou will have special activities related to various nature-themed, nationally recognized days. See what's in store for April 29 (Citizen Science Day), May 13 (International Migratory Bird Day), May 20 (Endangered Species Day), May 27 (Sunscreen Day). Check the Camp Bayou calendar for special days throughout the year.

For those who are interested in helping with registered groups, Camp Bayou is looking for enthusiastic volunteers who love the outdoors and want to pass along that passion to others through hands-on activities, walks and canoe tours. Contact Jeri at 813-641-8545 or email We are mainly looking for folks to help teach school groups K-6 but there are other opportunities as well.

Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center 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, supporters and grants, the managing non-profit- B.O.L.D. - offers pre-registered programs to schools, youth groups, adult groups and families. Monthly canoe tours are now available by reservation only. Check the online calendar for trip dates. The Center is 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. (B.O.L.D.), 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. Check out the Camp Bayou Facebook page and for more information visit the webpage at or call 813-641-8545.

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