Welcome to Camp Discovery

Happy New Year! Start your New Year's resolution off in nature by bringing the family outdoors for a “First Day Hike” on January 1st, 2015 at 10:00 am.

Enjoy a leisurely hike led by members of the Midlands Master Naturalists through the meadows and forests of Camp Discovery.  The hike is approximately 2 miles and should finish by noon

Kids will have the opportunity to make their own bag of trail mix to bring along on the hike, and afterwards, we'll all warm up with hot cocoa!

Dress warmly and bring water!!  First Day Hike participants should wear layered clothing and comfortable, closed-toed, weather-proof shoes. Children of all ages are welcomed, but must be accompanied by an adult.  Sorry, but NO dogs allowed.  In the event of rain, the hike may be cancelled, so please check Camp Discovery's Facebook page for updates that morning.

Advance registration is required.  A donation is suggested that morning (cash or checks payable to SCWF are greatly appreciated).  Please email Sara Green, SCWF Director of Education, or call (803) 609-4778 to register.

Camp Discovery is proud to partner with SCWF and the Midlands Master Naturalist to host this event.

Camp Discovery is excited to be hosting the SCWF Junior Naturalist Program to teach children about nature and the importance of conservation!  Through fun, hands-on learning, children begin to appreciate nature, understand basic ecological concepts, become aware of their impact on the environment, and take action in their community.  Kids can start with any event, and after attending four, they will become a "Certified Junior Naturalist."

Junior Naturalist events are taught by members of the Midlands Master Naturalist Association. Topics and activities vary depending on the season. Instruction is geared for ages 8-12.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Wear closed-toed, closed-heeled shoes, apply insect repellant, and bring water along.

Scheduled Events

Saturday, October 11, 2014 - Birding for Kids
10:00 am until noon
Come investigate birds up-close and learn to identify common birds by sight and by sound.  Kids will also get to make some suet to take home for their own backyard birds (project includes peanut butter).

Saturday, November 8, 2014 - Fall Tree Trek
10:00 am until noon
Learn to identify common trees and investigating how animals use them.  Bring a digital camera, and help us create a Tree ID guide for the Camp.  If you don't have one, we will share!

Saturday in January 2015 - Winter in the Woods
10:00 am until noon
***Stay tuned for more details!***

Saturday in March/April 2015 - Signs of Spring
10:00 am until noon
***Stay tuned for more details!***

Each event is $10.00 per child, $20.00 family maximum (more than 2 children from same family are free).  Fees will be due at the time of the hike (cash or check made out to SCWF).

SPACE IS LIMITED - PLEASE PRE-REGISTER by emailing to Sara Green at SCWF with:

  • Your name, mailing address, and cell number
  • Children's names and ages
  • Date(s) of event you wish to register  

QUESTIONS?  Please contact Sara Green at SCWF by email, or by phone at (803) 609-4778.

Camp Discovery is leading the way to ensure that children and youth of all ages and backgrounds have opportunities for positive and meaningful experiences in nature that connect young hearts and minds and foster an appreciation for the interconnectedness of all living things.  Join us!

Camp Discovery receives no state or Federal support.  Our entire budget comes from grants, income from programs and the generous support of people like you.  Camp Discovery was recognized by the Secretary of State with the Angel Award for being one of “the most efficient and effective charities soliciting in South Carolina”  so you can be confident in knowing that your gift is truly making a difference in young lives.



We welcome 3-6 year olds and parents to join us in Giving Nature a Try (GNAT) and embark on amazing new discoveries in the fields and forests of Camp Discovery!  Programs offer a mix of hands-on recreational activities, nature walks, songs, stories, animal experiences, and open play covering a wide variety of nature themes.  All activities are designed to be fun, build confidence and connection to self and others, and engage the senses!

The GNAT program is specifically designed for children and adults to learn together in a natural and supportive setting, while discovering nature close to home one Friday each month in fall, winter, and spring.  We embark on different seasonal topics and each theme brings incredible new discoveries, cultivating wonder and curiosity, and building a loving connection to nature and all it has to offer.  Your child will expand their awareness of the natural world and we hope some of that wonder will rub off on you!  Families may register for individual sessions. 

Pre-registration is required.  Space is limited.  Register by email or by phone at 803-754-2008 with the following information:

  • Your name, mailing address, and cell number
  • Child's name and age
  • Date(s) of program(s) you wish to register

General Information
• Cost is $8 per child.  $5 for each sibling.  Parent, grandparent or guardian is free.  
Fees will be due at the time of the program (cash or check accepted).
• Programs typically run 1.5 hours from 10:00 to 11:30. 
• Dress for the weather.  Inside program areas are used for only a portion of the program and in inclement weather.
• Limited financial assistance is available.  For more information, contact Joanna Weitzel at 803-754-2008 or email joannaw@campdiscoverysc.org.

Cancellation Policy
Please notify us of any cancellations at least 48 hours prior to the registered session.  Any cancellations or non-attendance after this point will result in the charge of the FULL class fee.  If Camp Discovery reschedules or cancels a class for any reason, you will be given the option of attending a different session or provided a refund.

Sibling Policy
GNAT programs are adult-child programs for 3-6 year olds. Older or younger siblings are welcome to attend with you and your child, but they must be registered as a participant.  Parents and caregivers must be prepared to remove a sibling from the program in order to preserve the experience for you and others.

Program Topics (Fall 2014)

Sept. 26th, 2014 - Under Our Feet
It’s amazing how many creatures live under the dirt and fallen leaves right beneath our feet! Through interactive activities, songs and field exploration, children uncover some of these creatures and learn about adaptations which allows them to live underground

Oct 24th, 2014 - Now You See Me, Now You Don’t
Camouflage is important to the survival of many animals. Children will learn the value of colors and patterns of birds, insects, and other animals that make them appear to openly “hide” within their environment.

November 21st, 2014 – Long Winter’s Nap
How do animals respond to changes in seasons?  Through games, hands on activities, and an up-close look at animals, we discover the basic ways that animals prepare for winter.

December 12th, 2014 - A Christmas Celebration
We will be joined by the famous mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and celebrate Christmas with stories, sweet treats, holiday songs, games and more!

Program Topics (Winter 2015)

January 30th, 2015 - Animals of The Mitten
Winter is here and so are we, but the outdoors seems so lifeless. We settle in with a cup of hot cocoa and the story The Mitten to learn how wildlife abounds even during the colder months.  Children are inspired to notice the signs of life in their own backyard, and while we may not have snow in SC, they’ll leave with their own snowflakes in hand.

February 13th, 2015 - Awesome Opossums
Roses are red, violets are blue, opossums are misunderstood and they need love, too. Celebrate Valentine’s Day by making a Valentine opossum puppet! We’ll learn about the life of North America’s only marsupial and even meet a opossum willing to share the opossum love!

March 13th, 2015 – Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!
There is something about a tree so inviting that you just want to hug it!  In celebration of Dr. Suess’s birthday this month, we are inspired to learn about taking care of our forests.  After reading the story, The Lorax, we discover the beauty and importance of trees and set out to make out own Truffula forest!

Program Topics (Spring 2015)

April 16th, 2015 - Cooking for the Birds
Let’s make up some fun, crafty food projects and learn about the birds that each practical recipe is most likely to attract.  From hummingbird nectar to happy-bird day cake, preschoolers will get excited feeding and learning about the birds around us!

May 21st, 2015 - Build-A-Bird
How are we different from birds?  Children discover the different parts of a bird as they become one using a variety of objects.  They learn how birds build nests and craft one of their very own!

Coming Fall, 2014!  Come join us and let Camp Discovery add an environmental educational component to your home school curriculum!  Camp Discovery’s Home School programs take place the first Tuesday of every month from 10:00 to 11:45 am in the fall, spring and winter months.  Activities are designed to be student centered and age appropriate for children ages 5-12 years. 

Our homeschool programs encourage children to connect and interact with the environment and each other through investigation, science-based learning, group activities, games and live animal encounters when possible.  Most programs include indoor activities as well as outdoor exploration.  Each program focuses on a different theme, so you can visit again and again!

General Information
• Pre-registration and advance payment is required.  Register by mail, email or call 803-754-2008 to register by phone as there are a limited number of spots available.  Registration closes at noon the day before.
• Cost is $9 per child which includes materials.  $6 for each additional sibling of age.  Parent or legal guardian is FREE.
• Programs typically run from 10:00 to 11:45am with a maximun number of 20 students per session. 
• All programs are held rain or shine!  Children should be dressed to be outside regardless of the season.  Our buildings can be used for a portion of the program and in inclement weather.
• If you are registered and will not be attending, please call us to inform us of your child’s absence. For questions or to register by phone, please call 803-754-2008.

Cancellation Policy
Please notify us of any cancellations at least 7 days prior to the registered session.  If you inform us at least one week before, we will issue you a voucher good towards another class or register you for an alternate session.  Any non-attendance or cancellations after this point will result in the charge of the FULL class fee.  Camp Discovery does not give refunds, only vouchers good towards future programming.  If Camp Discovery cancels a class for any reason, you will be given the option of attending a different session or provided a full refund.

Sibling Policy
Younger siblings are welcome, but parents and caregivers must be prepared to remove a sibling from the program in order to preserve the experience for you and for others. If an older sibling is attending along with you that is old enough to participate, they must be registered as a participant.


Support Camp Discovery

Exploring in the woods, racing through meadows, flipping rocks in a stream, watching bugs and other critters; there’s so much for children to do, see and experience every day in the beautiful setting of Camp Discovery!

Earth Keepers is a summer program at Camp Discovery where children ages 6-11 can discover the simple joys of nature and grow closer to the natural world through outdoor play, new discoveries and hands-on learning.  Using engaging activities to illustrate and reinforce the concepts covered each day, Earth Keepers are free to explore and experience the wonders of nature through trail walks, scavenger hunts, games, crafts, stories, and even live animal encounters! 

 Four different weeks are available.  Cost is $175 per camp and hours run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday.  Each week focuses on an environmental theme designed to develop a respect for nature and all living things.  Children are engaged through outdoor fun in an exciting atmosphere and develop a better understanding of their place in this world. 

Stayed tuned for Earth Keepers 2015!  Registration begins February 1st.  Space is limited!  


2014 Earth Keepers Camp 

Week 1:  Life on the Forest Floor – June 9th-13th, 2014    REGISTRATION CLOSED

 This fun filled week Earth Keepers spend time prowling the forest as we roll over logs, sift soil, and creep through shrubs in search of creatures big and small  who call the forest home. Through hands-on exploration and up-close animal interactions, we dig deep to uncover creatures that tunnel, burrow, and slither and learn more about their hidden lives down under. 


Week 2:  A Treetop View – June 16th- 20th, 2014 REGISTRATION CLOSED

 There is so much happening in the diverse habitats at Camp Discovery, so this week we look to the skies!  Earth Keepers are challenged to use all of  their senses to learn about the things that fly and life up high.  We will investigate the amazing adaptations and complex connections of animals inhabiting our treetop world.  Get ready to flap your wings and soar! 


Week 3:  Art the Natural Way – June 23rd- 27th, 2014  REGISTRATION CLOSED

Nature provides limitless paths of creativity using the mind, the hands, and the heart.  Earth Keepers will spend time outside learning to see the beauty of nature and develop artworks based on their discoveries.  From sun and leaf printing to painting with pine needles to finding music through the sounds of nature, this week combines the best of art, nature, and wildlife to bring inspiration to the nature-loving artist in any child!


Week 4:  Wild Mysteries- July 7th-11th, 2014  SPACE STILL AVAILABLE!

 Earth Keepers embark on an adventure to unravel the mysteries of life in a wild, wild world.  Armed with binoculars, clipboards and cameras, we hit the fields and forest trails to discover the hidden secrets to animal survival.  From masters of disguise to true time travelers, we uncover some pretty wild behaviors that animals reveal in their daily quest for survival. 

What does the forest provide us aside from shade and a quiet place to walk?  From food to medicine to much, much more!   Students discover and identify the plants and animals that call Camp Discovery home, and see what a truly exciting and productive place the forest can be.

Get an up-close, hands-on look at these amazing ectothermic animals.  Learn about the scales of a snake, shells of turtles and moist skin of frogs.  Students gain an up close look at some of our most misunderstood wild neighbors and a better understanding for their vital roles in our world.

Big, small, furred, feathered and scaled: they come in all shapes and sizes!  Students increase their awareness of the natural environment as they observe animal homes and identify wildlife through hands-on learning inside and outside.  Focus is placed on understanding habitat, human impacts, and relationships between wildlife and their environment.

Explore the aquatic communities at Camp Discovery!  Learn about different types of wetlands, the important role of wetlands in the environment, as well as the plants and animals that call these vital areas home.  Students create their own wetland and discover how humans can impact these sensitive areas.

Students explore aquatic communities and the plant, animals and organisms living there.  Through in-depth study, students gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the diversity of life forms, the interconnectedness of all species, and the need for responsible use and protection of water resources.

Students learn about the adaptations that plants and animals have developed in order to stay alive.  An exploration into topics such as camouflage, hibernation, and migration allows students the chance to understand what happens in the natural world throughout different seasons.

Through field exploration, students examine the following distinct forest communities:  field, forest, edge and aquatic.  They identify plants, trees and animals living there, learn how they reproduce, and discover the underlying physical and biological adaptations that shape and change our forests and impact survival.

Students dig deep in this lesson to get all the dirty details about dirt and soil!  They learn about soil and its importance to the woods and to whole ecosystems.  By studying soil composition, students gain an understanding of how soil is formed, soil properties, and what lives within the soil.

When we go to sleep, a whole other world comes alive.  Meet some of our mysterious, nocturnal animals, and discover how animals like them use their senses to live in a world of darkness.

What makes a bird a bird?  Students are introduced to bird adaptations and bird identification as they investigate a variety of bird habitats.  Students will learn about feathers and flight and identify native birds using proper field observation techniques and guides.

Students become prey and predator as the forest reveals the complex and unexpected ways members of a community rely on each other.  Students gain an understanding of food chains, food webs, and other factors relating to adaptations for life in a wild, wild world.

Delve into the world of natural habitats and the creatures calling them home.  Students investigate wildlife and analyze how living things adapt to changing conditions in establishing a niche in their habitat.

To arrange a visit, complete the Program Reservation Form and email to programs@campdiscoverysc.org.   

  • $15 per student, with a minimum fee of $150 per group.
  • Discovery Days group size is limited to 45 students to maximize the learning experience,
  • Visits last between 2.5 hours to 4 hours depending upon the interests of the group.  
  • Programs can be customized to coincide with classroom learning.  

Additional Program Related Fees:  Programs scheduled during weekends or after hours (5:00 pm) will incur an additional $25 charge.  Groups that reschedule or cancel any program less than 2 weeks prior to the scheduled program date will be charged an additional $25.00 fee.  Groups that do not show for their scheduled date will be charged the full cost of the program.  

Prior to Arrival                                                                                               

After a request is received, the leader will be contacted to confirm program details.  Permission slips must be received at Camp Discovery for every visitor 2 weeks prior to scheduled date.  Nametags are prepared ahead of time based upon this roll.  Full payment is expected by program date, unless a purchase order is received.  Camp Discovery accepts checks, credit cards and purchase orders.  

Plan to arrive 10 minutes before scheduled time.  An exact count of the number of children and adults in your group must be provided upon arrival. Camp Discovery staff works closely with all individuals and groups to insure a shared and successful program.  Our programs are a collaborative effort, and while Camp Discovery will lead your program, teachers are expected to participate during their group’s visit.  If unforeseen circumstances arise, please call 803-754-8500.  

Note: With the exception of service dogs for guests with disabilities, pets are not allowed on Camp Discovery grounds.


Camp Discovery does not have vending machines or water fountains.  Participants should bring drinks, including waters, snacks and/or bag lunches. Children will be outside for much of their program.  If children bring water bottes, Camp Discovery can make coolers of water available.  Grassy areas and benches are available for picnics.  Inside space is also available in case of inclement weather. 

Financial and Special Assistance

Program grants are available to Title I Schools, Urban Schools or schools or groups from under-served areas to offset field trip costs.  Funds can underwrite a percentage of the program fees associated with a Camp Discovery visit.  Scholarships are available throughout the entire school year, but educators are encouraged to book programs early as funds are limited.  

For further details on scholarships, or if you need special services or accommodations to participate in our programs, email programs@campdiscoverysc.org or call us at 803-754-2008.



Camp Discovery offers a unique outdoor classroom to meet the individual interests, needs and goals of students, teachers, and other groups.  The Discovery Days curriculum is designed to instill an appreciation of nature and support the kindergarten through 8th grade South Carolina Science Standards.  Lessons are largely outdoors, incorporating nature, artifacts, activities and live animals. We provide students a positive environment in which they are motivated and learn content in creative ways.

The following programs are available year-round, unless otherwise marked as seasonal.  Click on the topic for an overview of each lesson.

Amazing Adaptations

Animal and Plant Life Cycles

Birds of a Feather

Things That Go Bump In the Night

The Dirty Details

Field, Forest and Stream (Plant Growth)

Instincts for Survival

Wild Waters

Recycling:  The Natural Thing To Do

Trails to Trees

Wetlands to Watch

Wild Wonders

Scales, Scutes and Skins

Discovery Days immerses students into the natural world through hands-on exploration and provides a unique opportunity for outdoor learning in a healthy,fresh air environment.  With every Discovery Days visit, students enjoy 2-3 hours of stimulating, hands-on environmental programming.  Programs consist of age-appropriate, SC Science Standards-based activities and further help to address the needs and challenges facing today's youth using activities promoting teamwork, communication and respect. 

About Discovery Days

Leaders choose from a menu of Discovery Day Topics to best complement classroom learning and provide a well-rounded balance of learning experiences.  Each experience begins with an introduction to our staff and the core values that guide Camp Discovery.  Students are introduced to the day's topics, given a preview of the adventures ahead, and then we get moving!  At the end program, students reflect on their visit to internalize their experience and instill broader insight into nature.  Camp Discovery can also work with your class to develop pre- and post-trip materials to provide students with a personalized learning experience. 

Being outdoors is what we're all about!  For each Discovery Day visit, 

  • Allow 2½ hours for a half-day program and 4 hours for a full day program (including lunch).
  • Field trips can be scheduled for Tuesday through Friday.
  • Group size is limited to 25 students per program. Students may be divided into groups in order to ensure a successful program.
  • One chaperon per every ten children is required.
  • We ask that you and your students to be prepared for seasonal and mild inclement weather.  

Scheduling a Discovery Days Experience

Let us help you arrange a visit that best meet the needs of you and your group!  Click here for more information about how to schedule your visit, program fees, lunch options and policies. 


 “The only source of knowledge is experience.” ~ Albert Einstein

About Discovery Days

Take your students out from behind their desks and bring them into a new world of discovery!  Camp Discovery provides 104 acres of diverse forests, open pastures, winding trails, scenic creeks and wetlands -- the ideal outdoor classroom to awaken a child's senses and engage with the world around them!  

The Discovery Days program offers a traditional way of experiencing nature, something that is vanishing from the lives of children today. Incorporating a variety of safe, interesting, multi-faceted activities, Discovery Days connects children to the wonders of the natural world through active, cooperative learning.  From field exploration to outdoor recreation to hands-on investigation, Discovery Days has something for every group and every learning style.  

Using an array of dynamic, environmental topics that incorporate nature, artifacts and even live animals, Discovery Days can help teachers create an individualized learning experience that addresses South Carolina’s educational standards.  Activities further promote teamwork, communication and instill a greater respect for Earth and its inhabitants.

Reserving a Discovery Days Experience

Leaders choose from topics to best complement classroom learning and provide a well-rounded balance of learning experiences that are designed to be age and developmentally appropriate. Let us help you arrange a visit that best meet the needs of you and your group!  Our programs cover a wide range of topics designed to enhance classroom learning. 

Each program:

  • Coordinates with the South Carolina Science Academic Standards
  • Incorporates interactive and hands-on activities
  • Features live animal presentations when applicable
  • Offers indoor and outdoor components
  • Can be modified to fit individual curriculum, time or specific content needs

Group size is limited to 45.  Students will work in smaller teams of 6-8 to assure a successful program.  Grade levels can be broken into multiple days.  

Click here to learn more about Discovery Days program topics, fees and reservations.


This page is under construction.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Camp Discovery has an immediate and on-going need for support, and Program Partners are a remarkable group of our most devoted supporters.  Individuals, businesses, churches, or other groups donate monthly to send a child, or even a group of children, to Camp Discovery!  Program Partner gifts are placed into a scholarship fund that offers individual or group assistance to those impacted by financial circumstances beyond their control.  For as little as $15/month you can provide one deserving child an experience they won’t soon forget!

When you, your business, Sunday school class, or other group becomes a Program Partner, you provide dependable support that is vital to assisting the children in most need.  Your faithful giving expands the capacity to which we can serve children within our communities, children that otherwise may not have the financial resources to participate at Camp Discovery.   

Becoming a Program Partner

  1. You determine the amount of your monthly donation.  A monthly gift as little as $15.00 makes a difference in the life of a child!  
  2. Your credit card is charged around the same time each month and you receive an email confirmation at that time.  
  3. Or, if you choose to send in a monthly check, we will forward you an email reminder at the beginning of every month.  Just email us your monthly gift amount from the email address you will use to get started!
  4. In January, you are sent an annual giving statement for tax purposes.  You can change or stop your gifts at any time.

Make A Difference as A Program Partner Now!

Partnership Levels

Interested in helping Camp Discovery reach more children with innovative and hands-on recreational and educational programs?   Donate today and your investment will make a difference for hundreds of children, families and teachers each year!

Nature education and environmental stewardship are vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities and our world.  Through outdoor activities and experiential learning, Camp Discovery offers Scouting troops a variety of habitats to explore.  Camp Discovery’s programs can fulfill many of the necessary requirements to earn merit badges in a variety of areas.  Programs can be scheduled for individual scout troops on weekday, occasional weekends, or be combined with an overnight camping trip for an extended learning experience.

Depending upon the goals of the group, programs can have an environmental focus with hands-on activities designed to develop a deeper appreciation for nature, or a recreational focus, placing more emphasis on enhancing life skills such as leadership or sensitivity to the needs of others.  Click here for an overview of programs available.

Eagle Scout Service Projects
Are you an Eagle Scout seeking a meaningful and fulfilling project in which to complete your service requirements?  Eagle Scout Service Projects make a big difference at Camp Discovery!  Camp Discovery maintains a menu of a variety of projects that Scouts can organize to help the Camp and fulfill their Eagle project requirements.

Eagle Scout Project Examples:
• Building and installing nesting boxes (owl, blue bird, etc)
• Creating a bridge, walkway, or arbor
• Constructing picnic tables or benches
• Collecting items for the Camp through a supply drive

Eagle Scout Service Projects must be approved in advance by Camp Discovery.  Once approved, the Scout can print and complete the Eagle Scout Service Packet and get started at a mutually agreed upon time.

If you are interested in learning more about the Camp’s needs and projects available, please email your contact information (including cell phone) and when you wish to complete your project.  A staff member will contact you about planning, organizing and approving your project.  For other questions, please call (803) 754-2008.


Support Camp Discovery


Camp Discovery provides rich educational resources in a safe, nurturing environment for children to learn, grow and play.  All of our programs at Camp Discovery include recreation and experiential learning, awareness activities, outdoor adventure, and animal encounters when appropriate.  Our programs are based on the concept that experiences in nature are not only essential for a person’s cognitive, physical and emotional well-being, but they also help strengthen connections to self, to others and to the Earth.  Click on the heading below to learn more about each program.

Earth Keepers Summer Camp
Earth Keepers camp is an engaging 5-day learning experience that exposes youth ages 6-11 to a wide range of nature-based topics.  Children can discover the simple joys of nature and grow closer to the natural world through outdoor play, new discoveries and hands-on learning.   Our summer camp is as much about fostering communication skills and interconnectedness for the highly-digitized kids of the next generation as it is a place to learn, play and experience new things.  Earth Keepers enjoy plenty of time in the sunshine and a take part in facilitated reflection sessions to cap off the day.  

Spring Break Adventure
Do your children have the week off for Spring Break?  Get them away from the computer and out to Camp Discovery for outdoor fun and exploration!  Children learn all about the world around them and their connection to it through hands-on activities, animal presentations, hikes, and crafts. Each day focuses on a different theme in nature.

Sessions run every day from 9 am to 2 pm during the week schools are off from March 30th - April 3rd.  Programs are available for 1st through 5th grades.   Register for the full week or by the day.  Costs are $35 per day, or $150 per week.

Financial Aid
Camp Discovery never wishes to turn a child away due to an inability to pay.  Thanks to the generosity of private funders, Camp Discovery offers scholarship assistance to participants through a limited amount of need-based financial assistance.  Please include a short note in the comments section of the program registration form describing your needs and indicating the amount you are able to pay for the program, or call Joanna at (803) 238-9470.

If you would like to send a child in need to Camp Discovery, please consider a gift to our Scholarship Fund for Youth and help provide a child a meaningful experience that they won’t soon forget!  Contributions to the fund allow children, despite their financial circumstances, to experience the benefits that nature provides.  Gifts of any amount are greatly appreciated!

Support Camp Discovery

Donate Now

"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes." ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

In keeping with the Camp’s goal to enrich the lives of people of all ages, Camp Discovery offers intergenerational programs for groups seeking mutual enrichment.

Through carefully designed recreational activities for both seniors and youth, participants can learn from each other. Programs allow for seniors to share life experiences with the young, while the youth further enrich the lives of the elderly.

If your group has an interest in scheduling a multigenerational program, please email or contact us by phone at 803-754-2008.




Support Camp Discovery


Family programs at Camp Discovery are special opportunities for families to learn more about the natural world and stewardship together! Pre-registration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted and closes at noon the day prior. Register by email or contact us by phone at (803) 754-2008.


Upcoming 2014 Programs

Sept. 26th, 2014 - GNAT Program (ages 3-6)  Under Our Feet

Oct. 11th, 2014 - SCWF Junior Naturalist (ages 8-12) Birding for Kids

Oct. 24th, 2014 - GNAT Program (ages 3-6)  Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

Nov. 8th, 2014 - SCWF Junior Naturalist (ages 8-12) Fall Tree Trek

Nov. 21st, 2014 - GNAT Program (ages 3-6)  Long Winter's Nap

Dec. 12th, 2014 - GNAT Program (ages 3-6)  A Christmas Celebration


Support Camp Discovery

What could be more thrilling than a place where each child’s innate connection to nature is celebrated? Through hands-on activities, exploration, movement, and animal encounters, Camp Discovery's programs support each child’s natural curiosity and wonder.  Our outdoor classroom is 104 acres of fields, forests, and wetlands, a perfect place to experience nature in action!  We are thrilled to offer among the best nature-based programs available that are specifically designed to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of students using recreational activities and experiential learning.

The outdoors is the perfect place to enhance the classroom curriculum, stimulate students' sense of discovery, and make lasting impressions that are often the highlight of the school year.  Students are challenged to further their communication, problem solving, creativity, and collaborative skills among other abilities vital to success in the classroom and in adulthood.  

Students and teachers love learning here at Camp Discovery!  There is something here for every group and every learning style, and our staff works closely with teachers and administrators to create incredible educational experiences for students.  We are happy to customize every experience to best fit the individual needs of the group.  Please call us at 803-754-2008 or email us to discuss program activities or special requests for your visit.  

Click here to learn more about the Camp Discovery programs available for your group,


Support Camp Discovery

Donate Now

Camp Discovery’s goal-oriented therapeutic recreation programs offer a blend of activities based upon individual and group needs.  The activities used are often as varied as the participants themselves.  Whether it is a hula hoop exercise to assist a preschooler in grasping the concept of personal space or a game of archery to guide a teen in setting and attaining personal goals, activities are clinically designed around identified concept areas and to provide valuable life skills.

All activity therapy programming includes a full assessment, a customized field trip based upon the overall needs of the group, and awards for participants to serve as reminders of learned concepts.  Programs are typically provided within the safe, natural setting of Camp Discovery, however some activity programs can be taken to schools, children’s homes, and other community sites in certain situations.  

Step 1:  Group Needs Assessment Form
The leader completes and sends a
Group Needs Assessment request form to Camp Discovery to secure a field trip date.

Step 2:  Schedule Assessment Date
When the request is received, a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist contacts the leader to schedule an assessment date for participants and discuss desired goals.  

Step 3:  Therapist Assessment
The therapist visits the group at their site to evaluate the challenges facing participants.  Based upon the needs identified, the goals of the leader, and the participants’ preferences, a customized field trip is developed.

Step 4:  Tools for Life Field Trip
The group visits Camp Discovery and enjoys a wonderful day of recreational activities designed just for them! 

Ready to plan your visit?  Click here for more information about how to schedule your visit, program fees, lunch options and policies.

It's OK to be Yourself


"By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before…" ~ Edwin Elliot




Camp Discovery's Tools for Life recreation programs provide unique opportunities for children and youth to improve life skills, develop social connections, and boost independence. Camp Discovery offers a safe and accepting emotional environment where barriers and labels are removed, opening the door to discovery.  Using goal-oriented recreational activities, participants unearth their own personal strengths and come to value them, while also learning to recognize the strengths of others. 

Any person can reap the many benefits derived through indoor and outdoor recreation programs. Tools for Life programs offer a variety of engaging activities to help improve the lives of those facing difficult challenges that are often beyond their control, including

  •      attention, energy and impulse management
  •      emotional and self perception issues
  •      family circumstances, neighborhood/peer influences
  •      risky behaviors
  •      mental or physical challenges
  •      learning differences
  •      other life-altering events

Scheduling a Tools for Life Program








Copy paper


Magnifying Glasses (plastic)


Sharpees (Assorted Colors)

Dry Erase Markers

Toilet Paper

Paper Towels

Facial Tissues

Pens (Blue and Black)

Name Tags (NO Blue or Red)

Lysol Spray

Hand Sanitizer

Bird Seed 

Hummingbird Feeders

Bluebird Houses

Purple Martin House/Gourds & Pole

Box of Clear Name Badge Holders (with string)

Clear Protective Sleeves (letter size)

New Large Mailbox 



Crayola Markers

Crayola Crayons

Michael's or Wal-Mart Gift Cards

Empty paper towel or toilet paper tubes

Brown and Green Colored Paper

“Tacky” Glue

Paper Cutter


Miscellaneous Equipment

Dyson Animal Care Vacuum

Microscope (new or used)

Heavy Duty Leaf Blower (gas powered)

Lumber - 2" x 4" (8' to 12' lengths)

Lowes or Home Depot Gift Cards


Cash donations are always welcome!

Collecting and Using Personal Information

Welcome to Camp Discovery’s website. We appreciate your interest in us. At this time Camp Discovery does not collect any personal or web stats on our web site users. Under this Privacy Policy we describe the type(s) of information we may collect in the future and how we may use it to provide better services to our visitors. When you visit and navigate our site and when you communicate with us via our sites, we will not collect personal information about you unless you provide us that information voluntarily. Any non-public personal information that you may provide via our site will be used solely for the purpose stated on the page where it is collected.

(In some cases, and in all cases where required by law or regulation, you will be able to update the information that you provide to us either by sending us an e-mail or, where you have established personal profiles with us, by updating your profile online. Please refer to the specific pages where data is collected for more information.) Camp Discovery will not sell, license, transmit or disclose this information outside of Camp Discovery and its affiliated organizations unless (a) expressly authorized by you, (b) necessary to enable Camp Discovery contractors or agents to perform certain functions for us, or (c) required or permitted by law. In all cases, we will disclose the information consistent with applicable laws and regulations and we will require the recipient to protect the information and use it only for the purpose it was provided.

By “personal information,” we mean data that is unique to an individual, such as a name, address, e-mail address, or telephone number. Camp Discovery will not collect Social Security Numbers, or credit card information. From time to time, we may request personal information from you at our sites in order to deliver requested materials to you, respond to your questions, or deliver a product or service.

Your E-Mail

The Camp Discovery web site is a non-secure web site. We welcome your comments or questions about our websites and have provided contact boxes for that purpose. We will share your comments and questions with our staff, service representatives, board of directors, and those employees most capable of addressing your questions and concerns.

Please note that your e-mail, like most, if not all, non-encrypted Internet e-mail communications, may be accessed and viewed by other Internet users, without your knowledge and permission, while in transit to us. For that reason, to protect your privacy, please do not use e-mail to communicate information to us that you consider confidential. If you wish, you may contact us instead via non-cellular telephone at the numbers provided at various locations on our site.

Other Information; “Cookies”

You should also be aware that when you visit our websites, we may collect certain information that does not identify you personally, but provides us with “usage data,” such as the number of visitors we receive or what pages are visited most often. This data helps us to analyze and improve the usefulness of the information we provide at these websites. This data is commonly referred to as “web stats.”

Like most commercial website owners, we may also use what is known as “cookie” technology. A “cookie” is an element of data that a website can send to your browser when you link to that website. It is not a computer program and has no ability to read data residing on your computer or instruct it to perform any step or function. By assigning a unique data element to each visitor, the website is able to recognize repeat users, track usage patterns and better serve you when you return to that site. The cookie does not extract other personal information about you, such as your name or address.

Linking to Other Sites

From time to time, Camp Discovery web site may provide links to other web sites, not owned or controlled by Camp Discovery, that we think might be useful or of interest to you. We cannot, however, be responsible for the privacy practices used by other website owners or the content or accuracy of those other websites. Links to various non-Camp Discovery web sites do not constitute or imply endorsement by Camp Discovery of these web sites, any products or services described on these sites, or of any other material contained in them.

Changes to This Statement

Camp Discovery at His Acres, Inc. may change this Statement from time to time; when updates are made, the Privacy Policy version date (located at the top of this Policy) will also be updated to reflect that a revision occurred. We encourage you to periodically reread this Policy to see if there have been any changes that may affect you. This Statement is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights in or on behalf of any party.

Location Map (PDF)

Camp Discovery
208 Claude Bundrick Road
Blythewood, SC 29016

(803) 754-2008

Email: info@campdiscoverysc.org

Donations or Supply Drives
Camp Discovery relies on the generous support of individuals and community groups to contribute items for children and youth programs at the Camp.  If you or your community group is interested in collecting items to donate, please see the Camp Discovery Wish List.  
Camp Discovery must respect the children we serve.  We ask that you please call ahead at 803-754-2008 and make arrangements before bringing donations.  Thank you!

Volunteer or Community Service Opportunities
Our volunteers play a vital role in the Camp’s success, contributing their time, skills and energy every day.  Opportunities to work with children, animals, plants, while connecting with nature abound!  Join in, meet new people, learn new things and help Camp Discovery keep growing.  At Camp Discovery, our programs are a true reflection of the many people that pitch in to make this life-changing work possible.  No prior experience is necessary, and anyone 16 years or older with a love for children, nature or just wishing to make a difference in our community is encouraged to submit an application in one of the following areas:

Program Activities – If you like working with children, have an outgoing positive attitude, and enjoy learning and being outdoors, this is for you!  Program volunteers assist with school and summer programs or in preparing program activities.  Volunteers may guide a hike, oversee an activity, assist with activity set up, or be an extra set of eyes, ears and hands to ensure that programs run smoothly.  * Volunteers working with children will require an $8 background check.

Land Steward:  104 acres is a lot to maintain!  Our land stewards assist with work days or projects and work individually or as part of a group (schools, scouts, companies).  We have to keep trails and streams clean and safe, our green spaces mowed, and so much more!  This is the perfect area for those that want to use their hands and see the results of their efforts firsthand!  Children ages 12 and older can volunteer as part of a larger group.

Camp Steward:  Camp Discovery has a very small staff and most of our time is spent on programming.  Keeping our inside spaces clean and welcoming is important to what we do here each and every day!  You will help us in keeping Camp Discovery beautiful for all who visit by assisting with light cleaning in the main areas, including sweeping, mopping, wiping tables or washing.

Painting:  Do you have patience or a steady hand?  Painting projects may include inside and outside tasks from touching up trim to staining picnic tables or benches.  Artistic talent?  We have special projects that include painting murals, pots for plants or outdoor displays.

Gardening:  Are you a green thumb gardener?  Gardening volunteers perform many tasks that beautify the grounds of Camp Discovery.  In the spring, tasks include planting trees, shrubs and bedding plants, or preparing garden containers.  Volunteers water flowerbeds and planters in the summer, and rake leaves and spread mulch in the winter

Animal Care:  Camp Discovery is home to a small collection of feathered, furred and scaled animals that play a vital role in our programs.  Volunteers will clean tanks, cages and fed and care for these most special ambassadors.

Special Skills:  Are you a social media guru, a fan of fundraising, or perhaps you're an eagle eyed birder?  We have a need for you!  From time to time, Camp Discovery has helping hands assist with specialized tasks from events to lectures, or on an "as needed" basis.  If you have a special talent or interest and wish to give back to help children in our community, let us know!

Internship Opportunities

Camp Discovery offers opportunities for meaningful internships for a semester or during the summer.

Summer Education InternshipCurrently accepting applicants for Spring 2015!  Each summer Camp Discovery seeks 1-2 Summer Education Interns to work on a variety of projects, observe and eventually teach hands-on outdoor programs, and assist with program coordination duties. Summer internships are unpaid.

School Year Education Internships - Currently accepting applicants for Summer 2015!  Each semester Camp Discovery also seeks 1-2 Education Interns to work on a variety of projects, observe and eventually teach hands-on outdoor programs, and assist with program coordination duties.  School year internships are unpaid.

To learn more about any of these opportunities or group service projects available at Camp Discovery, please contact us at 803-754-2008, or email info@campdiscoverysc.org.

Camp Discovery is leading the way to ensure that children and youth of all ages and backgrounds have opportunities for positive and meaningful experiences in nature that connect young hearts and minds and foster an appreciation for the interconnectedness of all living things.  Join us!

Camp Discovery receives no state or Federal support.  Our entire budget comes from grants, income from programs and the generous support of people like you.  Camp Discovery was recognized by the Secretary of State with the Angel Award for being one of “the most efficient and effective charities soliciting in South Carolina”  so you can be confident in knowing that your gift is truly making a difference in young lives.



Other Ways to Give

Matching Gifts – Do you know that you can double the impact of your donation to Camp Discovery?  Many corporations offer to match gifts ranging from $25 to $5,000.  Check with your employer or human resources department to see if your company will match your donations to Camp Discovery.  This simple step could double your gift's impact and make an even greater difference in young lives at Camp Discovery!

Endowment Fund - Donations to Camp Discovery’s Sowing the Seeds Endowment Fund help ensure that Camp Discovery can sow the seeds today to cultivate future generations tomorrow. Your endowment gift will be invested by the Camp Discovery board annually, and your donation will remain a living legacy to benefit the future of children and youth in our community.

Non-Cash Gifts - By giving a gift of appreciated securities, you may avoid capital gains tax while enjoying an income tax deduction for the current fair market value of your gift.  A gift of real estate yields a tax deduction for the full fair market value of the property, and can help you avoid capital gains tax.

Become an Event or Program Sponsor - Interested in linking your company to one of our events, programs, or provide an annual scholarship in your company’s name?   Camp Discovery offers excellent marketing and corporate benefits to our corporate partners.

Reach!  Giving Above and Beyond – Donors who make a special gift of $1,000 or more in support of our work and mission, enable Camp Discovery to reach above and beyond to deliver services accomplishing so much more!  As a Reach donor, your support will enable Camp Discovery to engage, educate and empower today’s children to become responsible stewards of the land and healthy, confident leaders in a sustainable future.  Members receive unique benefits, including an invitation for a private guided nature walk at Camp Discovery for up to (6) guests along with a catered picnic. 

DJ’s Legacy Circle – Through thoughtful planning and stewardship, our founder Donna Johnson (DJ) had a dream for Camp Discovery and we want you to share in that dream.  By making a planned gift to Camp Discovery you will join others who have made a future commitment to ensure ongoing support for our work and mission.  Planned gifts include a bequest through a will or trust, or gifts from retirement accounts or life insurance policies, as well as life-income gifts such as Charitable Gift Annuities and Charitable Remainder Trusts which allow you to make a charitable gift while living and receive a predictable source of annual income.  Remembering the children at Camp Discovery in your final wishes is a wonderful way to leave a lasting legacy! 

For more information on Planned Giving or on any of the opportunities above, please contact Joanna Weitzel, Executive Director at joannaw@campdiscoverysc.org or 803-754-2008.

At Camp Discovery, we believe that everyone can benefit from time in nature and understand that learning can be “at the moment” or “lifelong”.  Guided by our mission, Camp Discovery programs are designed to improve the wellbeing of individuals at any age by providing significant tools for life through recreation and experiential learning.


Schools          Children & Youth         

           Schools                     Children & Youth                     Familes



            Scouts                              Seniors                            Homeschools

“Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as important to the child as it is to the caterpillar.”                                                                         - Bradley Miller

Camp Discovery offers a more traditional way of experiencing nature, something that is quickly vanishing from the lives of children today.  This time in nature is vital to a child's overall development — intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically — but there is a growing disconnect between children and nature.  Camp Discovery programs bridge that gap at a critical time in a child’s development. 

Camp Discovery provides an essential break for children to step out of the chaotic environment in which they know and into a natural, peaceful surrounding that presents a highly effective setting for learning. Our customized recreation and experiential learning programs introduce children to the power of the natural world, while empowering them with the skills to becoming strong, healthy, interconnected adults.  Unlike the familiar "field trip", these carefully planned expeditions have a clear set of learning goals around a particular theme or concept.  Children are challenged to try new roles, explore new things, and test their abilities in a safe and accepting emotional environment.

Through nature, we connect a child’s mind, heart and spirit while providing meaningful life skills that are beneficial at school, at home and into adulthood.  Camp Discovery targets the development of the whole child; tapping into their imagination and natural curiosity, fostering a sense of belonging and community, and providing knowledge and tools to reduce unhealthy behaviors and lead healthier lives in an ever-changing world.

Click on the links below to learn more about each of the programs offered.

Discovery Days:  Experiential learning through customized hands-on activities and outdoor exploration to reinforce classroom concepts and standards.

Tools for Life:  Goal-oriented recreational activities that focus on developing life skills benefitting the overall needs of the group.

Earth Keepers:  A summer camp for children ages 6-11 to discover the simple joys of nature and grow closer to the natural world through outdoor play, discovery and hands-on learning.

Giving Nature A Try (GNAT):  Nature-based programs for children ages 3-6 and adults to learn together in a natural and supportive setting.

Camp Discovery is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing goal-oriented recreational activities and experiences in nature to bring a source of hope, health and happiness to young lives.  Camp Discovery provides a positive, supportive enviornment where it is okay to make a mistake and everyone, regardless of abilities or background, is valued for being just who they are!

Located in Blythewood, SC on 104 acres, the grounds support a wide range of plant communities and provide a veritable birding paradise in spring and early summer.  Deer, wild turkey, eastern cottontails are among the many species of wildlife making Camp Discovery their home.

Camp Discovery's day programs offer discovery and fun, while strengthening individual and group awareness and building a deeper connection to self, community and the world around us.  Our children are the next parents, teachers, doctors, legislators, and citizens of our world.  By investing in their physical, emotional, social and mental growth and resiliency, Camp Discovery partners with the community to sow the seeds of hope today for a smarter, healthier world tomorrow.

Our History

“Beauty in humble things has a healthful effect on the soul.”  ~ Donna Johnson, Founder

What started as a dream about bringing together people young and old of diverse backgrounds in a special place of “discovery” became a reality in 1985 when therapist Donna Johnson founded what is now known today as Camp Discovery.  Camp Discovery started as a recreation therapy camp providing clinical therapeutic interventions for children and youth in most need.  Since then, the numbers of those the Camp serves has continued to grow along with the expansion of the Camp's programs to include experiential-based and service learning. 

Close to thirty years later, Camp Discovery has touched the lives of over 15,000 children and youth from the Midlands of South Carolina.  As we look ahead, Camp Discovery remains dedicated to meeting the needs and interests of participants of all ages and backgrounds through innovative programming and engaging activities delivered in a safe, nurturing atmosphere.


Camp Discovery Board of Trustees and Staff

Board Chair- Cindy Nord, PhD

Vice Chairman- Kyle Evans
CF Evans Construction

Trustee- Lynn Blaylock
TD Bank
Assistant Vice President

Trustee- Stuart Andrews
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

Trustee- Ephraim Ulmer
Godsey & Gibb
  Executive Director
Joanna Weitzel                              

Development Coordinator
Henry Chastain                 

Support Camp Discovery

"Living and Learning Through Discovery"

Camp Discovery's recreation and experiential learning programs bridge the gap between children and nature to bring hope, health and happiness to young lives.

Situated among 104 acres of beautiful trails, woodlands, pastures, and creeks in Blythewood, SC, our day programs take full advantage of the beautiful landscape and offer the excitement of a natural setting in an emotionally safe, accepting environment. At Camp Discovery, children gain more insight into themselves through enriching, goal-oriented activities and learn essential lifeskills as they discover the great outdoors!


First Day Hike 2015 at Camp Discovery

Start the year off on the right foot this New Year's Day with a morning hike in the great outdoors! 


GNAT Programs for Ages 3-6

Camp Discovery invites 3-6 year olds and parents to join us in Giving Nature a Try (GNAT) and embark on amazing learning adventures each month in the fields and forests of Camp Discovery!      



Junior Naturalist Programs for Ages 8-12

Camp Discovery is teaming up with the South Carolina Wildlife Federation and Midlands Master Naturalists to host the Junior Naturalist Program to teach children about nature and the importance of conservation! 




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