Staff Report

Camp Bayou’s Ninth Annual Back to School – Back to Nature event will be held on Saturday, August 6 from 9 a.m.- 12 Noon. The event is free. Registered families can visit several nature stations where they will learn something about frogs, fossils, forests or other natural topics. Registration is requested but free online at

Enjoy the Florida outdoors while learning about the nature around us every day. Before leaving each station, children will be given a free school supply item. For a possible extra bonus, children will be given a free raffle ticket 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. 

There will be a Teacher Resource Exchange, an area for educators to leave materials they no longer need or pick up something new. A preview Teacher Workshop at 10 a.m. will introduce one activity from each of the various environmental education guides. Teachers can also learn about field trips to the Nature Center or Fossil Museum, upcoming teacher professional workshops, Florida Master Naturalist Program, League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF) regional information and annual conference. Teachers who sign will receive a goody bag of items for the classroom.

New this year, a guided canoe trip will begin at 12 Noon, weather permitting. Canoe rentals are $25 for a three-seat canoe. If you own a canoe or kayak, you can join in for a $5 donation per person. Call 641-8545 to reserve your space. 

Camp Bayou is accepting donations of school supplies or cash to purchase them. Donation allows the center to continue to provide these types of events for free. Expected attendance is approximately 200 children. Contact 641-8545 or to arrange a drop off or pick up.

Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center was an RV park before the County’s ELAP program purchased it. It is open to the general public Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for day use only. General admission is free. Camp Bayou is located three miles south of S.R. 674 at the end of 24th St. SE in Ruskin. Visit or call 641-8545 for more information.

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