Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Camp in the Swamp!

Summer camp in the old-growth, cypress-tupelo swamp is quickly filling to capacity!

The Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest offers a choice of three, week-long, summer day-camps during June and July with only 30 campers per session. Francis Beidler Forest contains the largest remaining stand of virgin, cypress-tupelo swamp in the world. This internationally-recognized wetland is the perfect setting for stimulating a child’s love for nature!

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv discussed what he called “nature deficit disorder.” For a variety of reasons, many children are spending little or no time outdoors exploring and no longer have a connection to the natural world. We have made it our mission at the Francis Beidler Forest summer camp to have campers spend the maximum amount of time outdoors exploring nature’s complexity. In the process, campers discover that time spent outdoors, in a swamp no less, is not fatal, but is actually fun! Of course, we hope that any knowledge obtained through fun at swamp camp will translate into an appreciation for and a willingness to protect the many habitats found beyond the campers’ homes.

With BIRDS! as this year’s theme, campers will become amateur naturalists by engaging in science, hands-on activities and crafts. Jeff Mollenhauer, Director of Bird Conservation, will demonstrate mist netting and bird banding in support of Project PROTHO. Activities will include bird banding demonstrations, basic identification by sight, basic identification by sound, migration, questing and a birdathon safari for conservation. Shelly Knight, Art Director, will continue her outstanding work by creatively weaving this year’s theme into a variety of artistic media. The programs for the summer camp are geared for grades 1 through 6. You can see the tentative schedule here.

The camp day will last from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm at a cost of $85 per camper or $75 for each additional camper in the family; scholarships are available. Please call Beidler Forest at 843-462-2150 to secure a place for your child in the week of your choice or send an e-mail to Mark Musselman at An enrollment form can be downloaded at

The dates for the 2009 summer camp will be:
Session I: June 22-26 (3 slots left)

Session II: July 13-17 (15 slots left)

Session III: July 20-24 (9 slots left)

Sign up now before all of the summer camp swamp slots are filled!

Images by Mark Musselman

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