Youth Programs

– Program runs from 10am-11:30am for less than 30 children; 10am-noon for 30-80 children (these must be ‘Rotation Stations’- group rotate through 3-4 nature topics). Groups larger than 80 should schedule a second day to accommodate all children.
– Field trips are only scheduled on Thursdays through Saturdays, only one group per day. You can see if a day you are interested in is available by looking on the calendar page.
– Cost is $5 per child; adults free. Payment by cash or check only. Credit cards may be used by special arrangement.
– Shoes must be worn at ALL times. If this is a water-related activity, please be sure the students wear old sneakers or water shoes. A dry pair for the ride back to school is advised. Open sandals not prohibited but visitors may encounter fire ants, poison ivy and sandburs.
– We have a screened pavilion with picnic tables if you wish to bring your lunch. No meal service available on site or within 5 miles of preserve.
– Trail walks and activities are not strenuous or unusually long but it is advisable that each child bring water during the hotter months.
– The sun is intense- winter or summer. Wear sunscreen!
– Biting insects are natural inhabitants of most Florida habitats. Consider using a bug repellent.
– Please note that if you are Google-ing directions, use the physical address 4140 24th St SE, Ruskin, 33570

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dolly at The inquiry will be confirmed within a week via email.

See Program list below for options but be aware that we can customize topics if requested.

Nature Stations (for groups up to 80 children)

– pollinators
– wildlife walk
– ant lions
– aquatic invertebrates
– ant walk
– butterfly count
– gopher tortoise
– trees please
– watershed model
– water cycle
– frogs and toads
– reptiles
– weathering and erosion
– custom topic- ask us!

Native Stations (for groups up to 80 children)

– tour native camp
– stone/bone/shell demo
– rope making
– weaving
– pinch pots
– native youth games
– storytelling
– gatherer walk

Focused Programs (up to 15 participants)

The following are single activities, each 60-90 minutes in length. They are not meant to be combined in a single day’s trip.

– archaeology dig- Be an archeologist for an hour! Dig in our ‘project’ area.
– hut construction- Learn some fibre arts skills, then try to build your own shelter.
– river study- Net critters in the river to determine its health.
– saw palmetto study- Learn how to measure the age of these long-lived plants.
– citizen science- Participate in data collection at Camp Bayou through 1 or more programs focusing on plants or animals.
– Junior Birder- earn a certificate by learning to identify 15 of our native birds.
– canoeing ($25 per 3 person canoe- includes guided tour). Two route, one for experienced and one for novice paddlers.

Sharing Nature with You!