Wild Side of Ruskin

Nowadays, kids would rather stay inside than spend much time outdoors, but Camp Bayou is an outdoors learning center that wishes to change that.

The camp is a project by a Florida nonprofit, Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc. Camp Bayou has been open to the public since the year 2000. It is ran entirely by volunteers who dedicate time to the outdoor learning center.

“I find volunteering here at Camp Bayou very important,” volunteer James Lingles said. “I decided to find a place to volunteer because I had free time and I would like to work in outdoors.”

One of the duties as a volunteer is serving as a guide through the different trails the camp offers. Visitors can take a walk through the Tortoise Trail, Perimeter Path or Wetland Walk.

Ohio State University Professor Emeritus George F. Shambaugh mentioned a wide selection of activities visitors can choose from. Whether they want to do dip netting in the river or they want to see the native people’s village, there’s something to do for everybody. Visits from school groups are encouraged at Camp Bayou because of the amount of activities for students.

Camp Bayou is operated in partnership with Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation and funded by the local community.