Welcome to Camp Discovery

Camp Discovery nurtures the spirit of curiosity and creates learning experiences in Nature that engage and inspire.

When you donate through Midlands Gives on May 3rd, your gift will provide hands-on learning experiences to children that may otherwise never see a forest, wade in a creek or run through a meadow. Experiences that are quickly disappearing from childhood today. Camp Discovery will use gifts through Midlands Gives to cultivate the power of discovery to grow the hearts and minds of youth for the health and well-being of people, the community, and the planet.

One $20 gift will provide a child a full day of hands-on learning, exploration and fun in a safe, nurturing environment at Camp Discovery. Thank you for giving generously so that every child can learn in Nature!

Join us at Camp Discovery on Saturday, February 13th, 2016 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm for the 19th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count! Bird watchers of all ages can learn and observe as they count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are in our area. Birding can also spark a child's curiosity, interest in the outdoors and engagement with science!

Why count birds? Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic, they are constantly in flux. A project of Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon, the Great Backyard Bird Count is a 'Citizen Science' project and the data collected will help scientists determine how winter weather influences bird populations. Following the count, observers will submit their observations to eBird for compilation and finish off the count with a cup of coffee or cocoa!

Participation is free! Pre-registration is required. Click below or email programs@campdiscoverysc.org.

Take part in the 117th Audubon Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 17th, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Camp Discovery will be a count site in the nationwide count and we invite you to particpate. With your help, the data collected will fuel important science and conservation work.

Particiaption is free to families and individuals. Pre-Registration is required.

REGISTRATION OPENS MID-AUGUST.

Explore Camp Discovery in the winter with our Winter Holiday Camp! Our days will be filled . Join us for one, two, or all four days! During each fun-filled day your child will learn all about the world around them through hands-on activities, animal presentations, winter-time games, seasonal crafts and adventures. Each day will focus on a specific nature-related topic. 

Ages: 6-11 years
Dates: December 19-22, 2016 
Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Cost: $40 per day

Extended care offered 8:00-9:00 am and 3:00-4:00 pm for $10 per day.

Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Please remember to dress for the outdoors and to pack a healthy lunch and water bottle. 

REGISTRATION OPENS IN MID AUGUST, 2016!

To pay by credit card after registering your child, please select the following options below:

GNAT Registration
GNAT Class Selected

 

 

Spring Break Camp

Camp Discovery’s Spring Break Camp is simply the BEST!  Children ages 6-11 can join us for one day or join us for all! Each day focuses on a different animal theme, but every day is packed full of exciting activities, awesome adventures, games, animals and MORE!

 

 

 

 

Earth Keepers Summer Camp

Earth Keepers Camp is all about fun, hands-on learning that gives children ages 6-11 an opportunity to simply "be a kid" while using science in exciting ways to further their knowledge and understanding of the marvels of nature.

 

 

Winter Holiday Camp

Explore Camp Discovery in the winter with our Winter Holiday Camp! Our days will be filled . Join us for one, two, or all four days! During each fun-filled day your child will learn all about the world around them through hands-on activities, animal presentations, winter-time games, seasonal crafts and adventures. Each day will focus on a specific nature-related topic.

 

 

Send a child to camp!

Looking for educational Spring Break fun for your child? Camp Discovery’s Spring Break Camp for children ages 6-11 is simply the BEST! Your child can join us for one day or join us for all! This year's theme "Wild 101" focuses on a different wildlife topic each day to learn the secrets of nature's incredible design. Every day is packed full of exciting activities, awesome adventures, games, animals and MORE! No two days are ever the same. Children are guaranteed to have a blast in the safe, positive environment of Camp Discovery!

 REGISTER HERE!

 

2016 Spring Break Camp "Wild 101"

  • MONDAY- Insects
  • TUESDAY- Reptiles
  • WEDNESDAY- Mammals
  • THURSDAY- Amphibians
  • FRIDAY- Birds

Date: March 28th - April 1st, 2016

Times: 9 am - 4 pm

Cost: $40/day or $185 for the week. Registration fees include all activities, daily snacks and a camp shirt. Campers must bring water bottle and lunch each day. Limited financial assistance is available.

Cancellations: Cancellations must be submitted in writing no later than two weeks prior to camp date to receive a refund minus a $50 nonrefundable deposit. No refunds will be given for cancellations within 2 weeks of the camp date.

Financial Aid: Camp Discovery is committed to being accessible to all.  Scholarships are available to help families with limited financial resources who are unable to afford the full cost of a week of camp. If you are applying for a assistance please limit your registration to one week of camp per child. Scholarships are usually partial and based on financial need. Online Applications are due by March 15, but submission at the time registration is highly recommended. You will be contacted directly by a staff member upon receipt of registration.

 

Already looking forward to summer? Learn more about Earth Keepers Summer Camp here!

 

Camp Discovery hosts a wide vareity of programs and events throughout the year to teach and inspire people of all ages for the health and welll-being of our communties and our planet!

Click on each event below to learn more.

January 1           New Year's Day Hike

January 4          Spring Break Camp Registration Opens 

January 9           GNAT Class

February 13       GNAT Class

February 13        Great Backyard Bird Count

February 15        Earth Keepers Camp Registration Opens

March 12              GNAT Class

March 28-2         Spring Break Camp

April 9                GNAT Class

April 30             Spring Open House

May 14                 GNAT Class

June 8-9              SC Midlands Summit     

June 13- 17         Earth Keepers Camp

June 20- 24         Earth Keepers Camp

June  27- 1          Earth Keepers Camp

Sept 1                 Winter Holiday Camp Registration Opens

Sept 3                 GNAT Class

October 7            Discovery after Dark 

October 8            GNAT Class

October 21          Discovery after Dark

November 5        GNAT Class

December 1        GNAT Class

December 17      Christmas Bird Count

December 19-22  Winter Holiday Camp

Professional Development

Through professional training, Camp Discovery partners with the school community to improve environmental literacy and inspire critical thinking, problem solving and decision making in the classroom using techniques that best support the needs of educators and students.

 

 

Leadership and Character Development

With the use of fun, group problem solving activities, participants build interdependence while developing leadership skills they can take with them
back to school, family, and the workplace. Skills of focus often include communication, goal setting, trust, problem solving, creativity, and mindfullness.

 

 

 

GNAT for Families

Giving Nature A Try (GNAT) programs introduce pre-school children and families to the wonders of learning in nature through safe, hands-on exploration that engages all of the senses!

 

 

 

 

Check out our 2016 Calendar of Events!

 

 

Groups looking for professional development as well as some quality time in nature will find our Tools for Life development programs a perfect match!

Today’s demanding work environment requires employees to demonstrate teamwork, effective communications, critical thinking, and the ability to solve complicated problems. Students and professionals must have the skills to effectively manage conflict, interact with others and listen effectively for success in the 21st Century workplace.

Tools for Life is a leadership and character development program that nurtures important skills through goal-oriented, recreational activities and experiences that include problem solving challenges, confidence builders, mindfulness activities, and other powerful play initiatives with varying energy levels. Unlike some programs which tend to favor the most physically fit members of the group, Tools for Life is inclusive, intended for participants in all walks of life and abilities.

Emphasis is placed on group success rather than individual success. Activities are designed to engage a group and its individual members to recognize their own strengths while learning to value the combined strengths of the team. Tools for Life programs are customized for the goals and needs of each group and most programs can be completed in a 3-4 hour session.

Common Areas of Focus for a Corporate Tools for Life Program

  • Team Leadership
  • Mindfulness
  • Communication
  • Goal Setting
  • Trust and Support
  • Consensus Building
  • Resolving Conflict

What Does a Tools for Life Program Look Like for Your Group?

Programs are often customized to best meet the needs and goals of the group. Upon arrival, particpants are introduced to the day ahead and debriefed on the day's activites. Activities are mainly outdoors incorporating both recreational and experiential learning opportunities. Particpants will be grouped into teams for some activities and at the completion of each activity, they process and reflect on their experience and discuss "real world" applications for what they learned.

How Can Mindfulness Benefit the Workplace?

According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, mindfulness in the workplace is “a “must-have”; a way to keep our brains healthy, to support self-regulation and effective decision-making capabilities, and to protect ourselves from toxic stress.”

In today’s world, we manage numerous personal and professional demands and pressures as well as stay ever-connected through cell phones, tablets and social media. We are always thinking about what is next on the “to do” list or replaying a past event or conversation in our minds. Mindfulness is a chance to snap out of it, push the reset button and have a fresh start. When practicing mindfulness, we stop talking—not only the talking outside, but the talking inside that can often be counterproductive.

Camp Discovery’s mindfulness programs introduce participants to techniques that center attention and bring awareness to the present moment. Practicing mindfulness activities helps participants learn to better relate to themselves and to others. Mindfulness can lower stress levels and improve focus, clarity of thinking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, and more.

Are you ready to request your group's program? Click the link below to get started!

Tools for Life is a leadership and character development that nurtures important life skills in both youth and adults. School programs incorporate a mix of goal-oriented, recreational and experiential activities that include problem solving challenges, confidence builders, mindfulness activities, and other powerful play initiatives with varying energy levels. Unlike some programs which tend to favor the most physically fit members of the group, Tools for Life is inclusive, intended for participants in all walks of life and abilities.

Emphasis is placed on group success rather than individual success. Activities are designed to engage a group and its individual members to recognize their own strengths while learning to value the combined strengths of the team. Tools for Life programs are customized for the goals and needs of each group and most programs can be completed in a 3-4 hour session. 

What Does a Tools for Life Program Look Like for Your Students?

Programs are often customized to the needs and goals of the group. Upon arrival, students are introduced to the day ahead and debriefed on the challenges they will face. Students are broken into smaller teams and work with their team throughout the day. Activities are mainly outdoors incorporating both recreational and experiential learning opportunities. At the completion of each activity, students are allowed to process and reflect on their experiences and discuss "real world" applications for what they learn.

For example, a school group focusing on leadership skills might begin with an introduction to a survival scenario. Students are grouped into teams before they embark on survival exercises that require them to reach a consensus on how to best navigate the exercise in order to successfully complete each challenge.to survive. The survival scenario provides a fun  and engaging way for students to practice decision making, reaching consensus, and resolving conflicts. They discuss how they might apply what they learned at school and home.

Common Areas of Focus for a Tools for Life Program

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Self-Awareness
  • Goal Setting
  • Mindfulness and Awareness of Emotions
  • Problem Solving
  • Resolving Conflict

School Program Fees and Group Sizes

  • Tools for Life fee is $15 per student for a half day program (3 hours) and $25 per student for full day program (4.5 hours). A minimum fee of $250 per group is required.
  • Smaller groups of 25 or less maximize the learning experience for all participants. Maximum group size of no more than 80 students per visit.
  • Programs that arecancelled or rescheduled less than 1 week prior to program date, or programs scheduled during weekends or after 5:00 pm, will incur an additional $25 charge.
  • Groups that do not show for their scheduled date will be charged the full cost of the program.

Ready to request your Tools for Life program? Click on the button below.


 

Programs marked with an S, T, E or M reflect the most relevant S.T.E.M. focus and are available year-round, unless otherwise noted as seasonal.

Organisms (S & E) - Students will learn what organisms are and what they need to survive. Students will discover the life cycles of native plants and animals and use our shared knowledge of organisms to design an organism of their own.

Plants and Their Environments (S & E) - This program makes learning about plants fun! Students learn about the very specific needs of plants to grow and reproduce and discover more about the different parts of plants and the adaptations that help them survive in the environment.

Animals and Their Habitats (S & E) - Do you know what animals live in South Carolina and why? This field study is an immersive hands on experience that involves classifying animals, identifying physical adaptations, life cycles, habitat investigations and much more.

Earth Materials and Processes (S & E) - Are you ready to get your hands dirty? In this field study, students will explore and classify soil components and different types of soil. Students will learn about the slower, natural processes that change our environment and compare them to the faster and sometimes damaging effects of human interactions with our world.

The Living System (S & T) - This program looks at abiotic and biotic factors and how they all works together to create a living system. Students will discover how elevation, rainfall, temperature, seasonal changes and even climate change effect the biological diversity on Earth.

Ecology (S & T) - Students will be introduced to the structures, processes, and responses of plants and animals at Camp Discovery. Together, we will discover how animals and plants respond to environmental stimuli.

Ornithology (S & T) - Birding is one of the most rewarding and popular hobbies in the United States. Students will learn the basics of birding from general classification, adaptations for survival and identification.

Camp Discovery is pleased to offer the following water ecology programs, thanks to funding provided through the Richland County Conservation Commission!

Habitats for a Healthy Planet (S, T & E) - Wetlands are often viewed as mosquito-filled wastelands, when in fact, these areas are among the most productive and vital ecosystems on our planet. Students learn hands-on how the health of this beneficial, but declining, habitat is tied to the health of birds, frogs, reptiles, insects, and other species of plants and animals that call wetlands home.

Interdependent Relationships in a Wetland (S, T & E) - Students explore the ways that native species interact in a healthy, freshwater ecosystem and discover how exotic and invasive species can threaten the delicate balance. We create a food web to  illustrates the complex feeding relationships and transfer of energy within our stream ecosystem.

Water: An Introduction to the Atmosphere (S, T & E) - Water, in its different forms, cycles continuously through the atmosphere. Students discover firsthand how plants and animals release water vapor into the air and learn the processes that it goes through on its journey to back Earth.

Survival Adaptations in an Aquatic Ecosystem (S, T & E) - Students are immersed in the biodiversity of the creeks and streams of Camp Discovery for collection, classification and discovery of aquatic insects and amphibians. Students will compare and contrast living organisms and discuss the behaviors, processes and adaptations that allow them to survive.

The Living Stream (S, T & E) - As citizen scientists, students discover the “living stream” and collect samples of water and macro invertebrate life. We will test various water samples from different creeks and discover how abiotic and biotic factors play an important role in the health of our creeks and the surrounding watershed.

Don’t see a topic that fits exactly for your grade level or unit of study? Call us at 803-754-2008 and we will work with you to create a lesson for your students. Programs can be adapted to meet the needs of every group and learning style. To reserve your program, click on the Program Request button below.

Program Fees and Group Sizes

  • Discovery Days is $15 per student for half day program (3.5 hours) and $25 per student for full day program (5 hours). A minimum fee of $250 per group is required.
  • Smaller groups of 50 or less per visit provide the best opportunities for hands-on learning. A maximum group size of no more than 80 students is allowed per visit.
  • Programs that are rescheduled or cancelled less than 1 week prior to program date, or programs scheduled during weekends or after 5:00 pm, will incur an additional $25 charge.
  • Groups that do not show for their scheduled date will be charged the full cost of the program.

Teachers and preschoolers are invited to Give Nature a Try (GNAT) and embark on amazing discoveries in the fields and forests of Camp Discovery! GNAT programs bring children and adults outdoors to learn together in a safe and supportive setting.

GNAT programs bring a mix of hands-on activities for children ages 3-5 that include nature walks, songs, stories, animal experiences, and crafts for a variety of themes. Lessons are designed to encourage discovery, cultivate wonder, and build a loving connection to the natural world. 

GNAT programs are $10 per child for a 1.5 hour program and a 30 minute picnic lunch. A minimum of 25 students and a maximum of 40 students is requested for GNAT school programs..  

Don’t see a topic below that fits? Just email us at programs@campdiscoverysc.org with your thoughts or call 803-754-2008. We will work with you to create a lesson that fits your preschoolers’ learning needs.

Or, if you're ready to reserve your program now, click on the button below to send your request!

 

Popular GNAT Themes

Happening Habitats

What’s happening in the fields and forests of Camp Discovery? Students visit the different habitats to learn what makes each one different, discover up close some of the plants and animals that call them home, and make a habitat craft to take back to school.

The Giving Tree 

Celebrate trees and what they provide through Shel Silverstein’s classic book, The Giving Tree. Children will explore the forest to learn about trees, how they grow and their different parts. Children will also make a tree-inspired craft as a reminder of the many things that trees give to us all!

Hide and Seek in Nature

A green insect on a green leaf or a brown bird perching on a brown tree. Why are some animals better at playing “hide and seek” than others?  We'll look for the answers to this fascinating question as childrenl learn the value of colors and patterns while meeting various animals that openly “hide” within their environment.

Under Our Feet

Is it dirt or soil and what's the difference? t’s amazing how many creatures live in the soil and fallen leaves right beneath our feet! Children will dig deep to explore and discover life underground and learn about the adaptations needed for a life down under. 

Move It, Move It

Our theme is locomotion, in other words, how animals move! Visit different animals to discover their hidden secrets to getting around in differen environments. Then, journey down to the creeks’ edge to look for signs of animals on the move and  animal tracks!

Fall Colors (available seasonally)

With cooler temperatures and the arrival of fall colors, autumn is starting to reveal itself. Children celebrate fall with a forest scavenger hunt to learn about leaves, their shapes and colors, and make leaf crafts of their own!

Winter in the Woods (available seasonally)

Where do animals go when the cold or snow arrives? By examining fur and other artifacts, children learn the different winter strategies that animals use to stay warm and survive the winter months. Games, a nature hike and a hunt for animal tracks are also included.  Great winter program!

Spring Awakening (available seasonally)

Spring is a time bursting with new life! Children will learn how plants and animals are waking back up and meet some spring animals to learn about their lifecycles, and where they have been hiding all winter.

Join us as you and your child plant the seeds for a life-long connection with nature. Our Giving Nature a Try (GNAT) experiences nurture your child’s growth in a supportive, natural setting. Monthly classes focus on a specific theme for children ages 3-5 and include hands-on activities, nature crafts, exploration and story time. Lessons are designed to encourage discovery, cultivate wonder and curiosity, and build a loving connection to the natural world. 

Program Information

  • GNAT classes are held the second Saturday of the month.
  • Programs run from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.
  • Cost is $10 per child. $5 for siblings ages 3 and older. Siblings under 3, parent, grandparent or guardian are no charge with registered particpant. Cash or checks may be accepted at the time of the program. 
  • Dress for the weather. Inside program areas are used for only a portion of the program and in the event of inclement weather.

REGISTER NOW FOR GNATS!

Cash and checks are welcomed. 

Program Dates (Winter/Spring 2016)

Winter Wonderland - January 9th, 2016
Winter is here, but that does not mean that all is quiet in the forest. Meet us at Camp to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa while we read the story, A Busy Year by Leo Lionni. Children learn a valuable lesson about trees and explore the forest to learn their importance to us all. GNAT's will make a wintery tree craft inspired by the story.

Oh Deer! - February 13th, 2016
Winter is hanging on, but the deer are still here. Together, let's learn about the White Tailed Deer, its habitats and its special adaptations for surviving the chilly winter. Join us as we walk through the forest using the senses of a deer.

Move it, Move it! - March 12th, 2016
Our theme is locomotion, in other words, how animals move! Visit different animals to discover their hidden secrets to getting around in differen environments. Then, journey down to the creeks’ edge to look for signs of animals on the move and make casts of animal tracks!

What’s the Buzz? - April 9th, 2016
Camp Discovery is buzzing with the sound of honeybees! Join us for an April wildflower walk and let's see what the bees are collecting. We will read the book The Bee Man, by Laurie Krebs. Children will explore the life cycle of a bee and maybe even visit the beehives!

Happening Habitats - May 14th, 2016
What’s happening in the different habitats of Camp Discovery? From forests to fields, let's learn what makes them different and who calls them home. We will visit some of the Camp’s happening habitats, have an up close animal encounter, and make a habitat craft to take home!

Sibling Policy

GNAT programs are adult-child programs for 3-5 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.

Cancellation Policy

Please notify us of any cancellations at least 24 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.

For more information on GNAT programs, contact us at 803-754-2008 or email info@campdiscoverysc.org.

Learners to Leaders

The Learners to Leaders program aims to inspire young people to take action and make a difference to ensure a brighter future for the world we all share. Using "project-based learning", Learners to Leaders targets students at a critical time in their development and provides direct experiences that nurture a sense of community, support academic achievement and promote environmental stewardship.

After identifying an environmental need or challenge, students are empowered to devise and implement a plan of action to tackle the issue and better their communities whether it is at the Camp, at their school or another location in the students' own "backyard". Programs combine nature-based field study and school visits to incorporate school curriculum into an authentic community service projec. Students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and standards at the heart of a project, practice civic engagement, and cultivate the skills necessary to become future leaders in our community and stewards of our enviornment.

Programs are customized, so sessions can be held weekly or monthly during a 9-week period, a semster or across the school year to combine classroom instruction and real-world learning. Programs can be designed for grades K-12 and fees are based upon the frequency and combination of field studies and school visits. 

For more information on bringing the Learners to Leaders program to your students, contact Jay Robinson at 803-754-2008 or email jrobinson@campdiscoverysc.org.

      

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.

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

Summer Education Internship - Currently accepting applicants for Summer 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.

Fall/Spring Education Internships - Currently accepting applicants for Fall 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 be considered for one of the internships available, please send an email expressing your interests to Joanna Weitzel, Executive Director or call 803-754-2008.

Camp Discovery thrives on volunteer and community involvement! 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 online 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!

To learn more about volunteering at Camp Discovery, email us at info@campdiscovery.org or call us at 803-754-2008.

Adopting an animal from Camp Discovery is a very special and unique gift for the animal lover in your family.  We offer adoption plans for most of our animals, and each adoption includes a certificate wih photo, Information on the animal, a one on one with one of our naturalists and a sign posted on or near the animal’s home.

Eastern Box Turtle: Hazel

I get my name from my ability to completely shut myself inside my shell, just like closing a box!  I am used to teach about reptiles, hibernation and camouflage.   I am an important turtle and sadly my numbers are dwindling!  I was hit by a car and can no longer surbive in the wild.  

Broad Wing Hawk: Coming Soon!
Each spring, broad wing hawks migrate in large groups, and many call to me from the sky. With my broken leg I can no longer hubt to survive, but at Camp Discovery I don't have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, nor do I have to be concerned about predators anymore!  

Eatern Box Turtle: Squirt
If you have visited me, you might have spotted me sleeping under a log or taking a bath in my water bowl. 


Eastern King Snake: Soloman
I am one of the most popular animals at Camp Discovery and a great favorite of the staff as well. If you have visited me, you might have spotted me on my log basking under my heating lamp. In my tank I don’t look like I move too much, but when I am brought out for programs, I am known for exploring shirt pockets and hanging around people’s shoulders like a necklace! 

Eastern Corn Snake: Stormy
Most corn snakes are brown and orange.  We are called corn snakes because our scales resemble corn on the cob and we are often found in corn fields hunting mice. Unfortunately, my white scales make it hard for me to blend in a hide. The naturalists at WNC take good care of me. I am used to teach about reptiles, camouflage, and adaptations. 

Green Tree Frog: Laurel
Did you know there are TREE frogs in SC? That’s right. We are very hard to spot because of our excellent camouflage and our call that sounds more like a bird! I am used to teach about amphibians, life cycles, and camouflage. I’m also good at hopping up the arms of the naturalists while they are teaching! 

Domestic Rabbit: Olaf
I was grateful for a new home. 

Sulcata Tortoise:  Bella

Tortoises like me live for a very long time, more than a 100 years!  I am not always at the Camp, but when I am, I am a crowd pleaser.!  I am gentle and friendly. The educatorss use me to teach about reptiles, food chains, adaptations, and more!

Adult  and Teacher Workshops coming to Camp Discovery soon!

 

 

At Camp Discovery, we believe that children can benefit from hands-on experiences with nature and animals.  Camp Discovery is home to a variety of wildlife, including some resident animals that have important supportive roles in our education programs.

Lynn Blaylock is the Assistant Vice President/Store Manager for TD Bank N.A and has over 30 years of banking experience in the Columbia area.  Her community involvement includes working with at-risk youth to provide personal financial literacy as well as adults through Richland School District Two’s W R Rogers Adult, Continuing and Technology Education Center. She attended Georgia Southern College and Columbia Junior College working towards an Associate's Degree in Retail Management. Lynne lives in the Northeast Columbia area and is married to Dennis Blaylock with one son (Cameron).

Kyle Evans serves as Director of Operations & Strategic Initiatives for South Coast Commercial, a real estate investment and asset management firm in Atlanta, GA, where he is responsible for the development and implementation of the firm’s corporate infrastructure and operating platforms. Prior to South Coast, he served as Business Development Manager with C.F. Evans Construction, a southeastern multi-family construction firm, and as Senior Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, a global management consulting firm. Outside of work he is an avid runner, a musician, and a community volunteer. Kyle has been involved with Camp Discovery since 2011 and believes deeply in the organization’s mission to engage children and develop their self-awareness through meaningful interactions in the natural world. He earned undergraduate and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Virginia.

Michelle Klett is the Legal Recruiting and Development Coordinator at Nelson Mullins law firm, where she has worked for over 20 years.  When she is not busy scouting legal talent, Michelle tries to keep up with her four children.  She is a graduate of the Darla Moore School of Business at USC, and enjoys international travel and life on Lake Murray. Michelle is committed to supporting and developing the programs offered by Camp Discovery in her home town of Blythewood, and delighted to serve on its Board of Trustees.

Cindy Nord is a dedicated philanthropist whose passions include children, family and animals. She is the founder of The Nurturing Center, a family-focused treatment center for child abuse and neglect since 1988 and she serves on the board of many organizations. Cindy earned her Ph.D. in Applied Child Psychology from Union Institute and University and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Oberlin College. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Columbia College. Cindy has published two books. “The Nickel Run”, which features her artwork that details her life growing up in a sexually abusive home from her perspective as a ten year old girl. Her most recent, “Scare and Dare on My Hopscotch Square”, is a collection of her poetry that she has worked on since 1972. By sharing her passions and beliefs through her books, Cindy hopes that anyone endeavoring to learn more about childhood abuse and its effect on families can use these books as a resource and inspiration. The mission of Camp Discovery fits with Cindy’s passion for the well-being of children and families, to which she has dedicated her life’s work. Cindy believes in the healing and restorative powers of nature and it is her desire to provide a place to encourage future generations, especially those in challenging circumstances, to explore themselves by exploring the outdoors.

Mary Douglass Smith is the Director of Experiential Education at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy. She graduated from Presbyterian College in 2004 with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and from University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy in 2008 with a Doctorate of Pharmacy. She still practices community pharmacy at Morgan's Pharmacy in Gilbert, SC and Eau Claire Cooperative Community Health Centers in Columbia, SC. She lives in Chapin with her husband (Stan) and two girls (Mimi - 4 years old and Penny - 1 year old). Mimi and Penny especially love attending the GNAT program! Mary Douglass is also a member of Junior League of Columbia and First Presbyterian Church, Columbia.

Tom Summerford and his family have been part of the Blythewood Community since 2006.  He graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Accounting and served as an Intelligence Officer and pilot in the U.S. Army.  His professional career was in marketing and marketing technologies in the insurance industry with a focus on future state systems and strategies for emerging technologies.  He is an active volunteer in the Richland Two school system; serves on the PTO board and School Improvement Council for middle and high schools in Blythewood; and received certification in the Leader in Me program being offered through many RSD2 schools.  He has a keen interest in how our future classrooms will be designed to accommodate overwhelming amounts of information and technology while maintaining a “whole” child approach to education.  Tom and wife Martie enjoy camping and a variety of outdoor activities with four children and first grandchild.

Mike Switzer is producer and radio host for SCETV’s SC Business Update. After almost 20 years, Mike retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager and became an owner and operator of a Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. In 2009, Mike and his wife, Maggie, constructed their “green” home in Blythewood, SC which was awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the US Green Building Council. In 2011, Mike co-founded Voterheads, a voter education/citizen participation technology company where he serves on its board of directors. He is also past chair of both the Town of Blythewood Planning Commission and the board of the Greater Blythewood Chamber of Commerce.

Ephraim Ulmer is a managing partner at Godsey & Gibb Associates in Columbia. He has worked in the securities and investment management business since 1973.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from The Citadel, and graduated from the Law School at the University of South Carolina and the Securities Industry Institute at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, is a Past President and for the last six years has served as the Executive Director. Ephraim has been a Director of Palmetto Boys State since 1969 and is Chairman of the Board of the Friends of Palmetto Boys State Foundation. He is a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Columbia and has served two terms as President of the congregational Council. Ephraim’s outside interests include alpine mountaineering, distance running, sea kayaking, backpacking and mountain biking

Jessie Williams is the Assistant Principal at Bethel-Hanberry Elementary in Blythewood.  His career began in Richland District One at A.C. Flora High School as an Instructional Assistant. He taught Middle School Social Studies at Alcorn Middle School.  In 1999, he joined Richland Two as a teacher at Joseph Keels Elementary teaching 3rd and 5th Grade before moving into administration as the Assistant Principal at Blythewood Academy.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and Master of Education degree in Educational Administration all from the University of South Carolina.  His future plans are to enroll in the Doctor of Education program.  Jessie married his high school sweetheart and they have one son. He is an ordained minister and member at Victorious Believers Ministries COGIC. Jessie finds Camp Discovery’s work and wide variety of services to be an exceptional resource for teachers and students. “It is my hope that the camp can expand our offerings, because it truly is a hidden gem that needs to be brought forth into the limelight to reach more and more students.”

To get involved with our Board of Directors, please contact us at (803) 238-9470.

Joanna Weitzel, Executive Director

Joanna serves as the organization's director and her passions include children, nature, and animals. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Darla Moore School of Business at USC and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Clemson University. Prior to joining Camp Discovery in 2012, Joanna was Executive Director of Carolina Wildlife Center. She has served on a statewide coalition to advance environmental education, established the state’s first conference on wildlife rehabilitation, and was a guest presenter on songbird rehabilitation at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior. Her contributions to the preservation of SC’s natural resources were recognized by the South Carolina Wildlife Federation with the Conservation Ethics Award. Outside of work she enjoys birding, photography and travel. Joanna grew up in Columbia and currently resides in Blythewood with her husband Steve, their children Erin and Davis, and their 3 dogs, 2 cats and tortoise.

Jay Robinson, Director of Experiential Learning

Jay facilitates the development, implementation, and expansion of high-quality experiential programs for Camp Discovery. Before joining the Camp in the spring of 2015, Jay worked at EdVenture Children’s Museum as its Museum Experiences Manager insuring strong educational experiences at the museum to include public programs, family programs and special events. Before joining EdVenture, he spent 10 years as a Park Ranger, first at Saluda Shoals Park and then with the City of Columbia’s Three Rivers Gateway. Robinson holds a Natural Resources Management Associate Degree in Applied Science from Central Carolina Technical College. He lives in Lexington, SC with his wife Beth and daughter Anna. His favorite pastimes include paddling, fly fishing, gardening, reading or collecting anything Star Wars.

 

Anne Palyok, Program Support Specialist

With twenty years’ experience in client services at Time Warner Cable and having served as a former wildlife rehabilitation director, Anne fills a perfect niche for Camp Discovery, overseeing animal care and the volunteer program. A proud mom and grand mom, Anne is a certified Master Naturalist and spends much of her time as a wildlife rehabilitator and foster volunteer for Pawmetto Lifeline. She lives in Rosewood with her husband Ron, their 3 dogs, cat, & parrots.

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

What started as a dream about bringing together people of diverse ages and backgrounds in a special place of “discovery” became a reality in 1985 when recreation therapist, Donna Johnson, founded what is now known today as Camp Discovery. Camp Discovery orginated as a recreation therapy program seving children and youth in most need throughout our community. Since then, the populations that the Camp serves has continued to expand alongside the Camp's offerings that now include environmental education and experiential learning programs in a natural setting.

As we look ahead, Camp Discovery remains dedicated to serving the needs and interests of people of all ages and backgrounds through innovative nature-based programming and engaging activities delivered in a safe, supportive learning enviroment.

Give the gift of learning!

 

Teachers and parents with preschoolers are invited to Give Nature a Try (GNAT) and embark on amazing discoveries in the fields and forests of Camp Discovery! GNAT programs bring children and adults outdoors to learn together in a safe and supportive setting.

GNAT programs are offered to schools and families, bringing a mix of hands-on activities for children ages 3-5 that include nature walks, songs, stories, animal experiences, and crafts for a variety of themes. Lessons are designed to encourage discovery, cultivate wonder and curiosity, and build a loving connection to the natural world.  

 

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

School GNAT Programs

Family GNAT Programs

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 6-12 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

Earth Keepers Summer Program at Camp Discovery offers a fun and safe way for children ages 6-11 to learn about nature through an exciting week of outdoor exploration, adventure, and discovery. Each day will take your child on an exciting journey to reveal the wonders of the natural world using the fields, creeks and forests of Camp Discovery. 

Earth Keepers Day Camp activities include:

  • Special up-close visits with the Camp’s animal ambassadors
  • Creating nature-themed crafts using natural and recycled materials
  • Hands-on exploration through hikes, games, experiments and more!
  • Discovering new and exciting ways to protect nature and wild places!

Earth Keepers Dates for Summer 2016

  • June 13th - June 17th
  • June 20th - June 24th
  • June 27th - July 1st

Each week brings new learning and new adventures. Your child may join us for one week or for all! Registration fees include all activities, daily snacks and a camp shirt. Campers must bring water bottle and lunch each day.

Earth Keepers Fees and Hours

  • $175 per camper through April 15th, 2016. $185 per camper beginning April 16th. Register earlyEnrollment is limited to 20 spaces each week!   
  • Camp hours are 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.  Extended stay is available.                                     

Multiple-Week Campers
Campers who sign up for 2 or more weeks will receive a $10 discount off each additional week.

Sibling Discounts
Registration for 2 or more siblings (i.e. brother, sister) will receive a $10 discount for each additional child registered. Enter the code FAMILY on sibling's registration at check out. (Multiple-week and sibling discounts cannot be combined.)

Extended Stay
Morning extended care is available from 8:00 –9:00 a.m. for an additional $25 per week. Afternoon extended care is available from 4:00 - 5:00 pm for an additional $25 per week.

Cancellations
Cancellations must be submitted in writing no later than two weeks prior to camp date to receive a refund minus a $50 nonrefundable deposit. No refunds will be given for cancellations within 2 weeks of the camp date.

Financial Aid
Camp Discovery is committed to being accessible to all.  Scholarships
 are available to help families with limited financial resources who are unable to afford the full cost of a week of camp. If you are applying for a assistance please limit your registration to one week of camp per child. Scholarships are usually partial and based on financial need. Online Applications are due by April 15, but submission at the time registration is highly recommended. You will be contacted directly by a staff member upon receipt of registration.

Natural spaces at Camp Discovery offer the perfect outdoor classroom and field study destination for exploration, inquiry and hands-on learning! Discovery Days programs are aligned with the current SC Academic Science standards and reflect the simplicity of the outdoor experience by providing safe, high-quality recreational and educational opportunities in harmony with the Camp’s natural setting. Our goal is to encourage the next generation of learners to be good stewards of our natural resources through hands-on, immersive learning in the fields of Life Science, Physical Science and Earth Science.

What Makes A Camp Discovery Programs Unlike Any Other?

During your visit, Camp Discovery is yours, creating a unique and intimate learning experience for students and teachers. No other school groups or programs - our 104 acres of pristine meadows, creeks and diverse forests are just for your students. It is an intimate and immersive experience like no other. 

Discovery Days activities are led by an experienced environmental educator and/or certified naturalist and incorporate the following:

• A classroom lesson to establish the principle, introduce vocabulary and share bio-facts
• An interactive S.T.E.M. based component including hands-on activities specific to lesson
• An interpretive hike to specific habitats and/or historic sites within the camp
• An animal encounter highlighting relevant principles or concepts

Click here for Discovery Days Topics, Fees and Program Requests.

Or, if you're ready to reserve your program now, click on the button below!

Sponsorship is the most impactful way to nurture a child through nature and change our world! Your faithful giving expands the capacity to which Camp Discovery can serve the needs of children within our communities. 

When you become a program sponsor for as little as $15 a month, you'll join with other sponsors, donors, foundations and volunteers to provide

It's easy to provide a deserving child an experience they won't soon forget!

  1. You determine the amount of your 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. In January, you receive an annual giving statement for tax purposes. You can change or stop your gifts at any time.

Please join Camp Discovery in bridging the growing gap between children and nature to bring hope, healing and happiness to young lives!

By making a gift to Camp Discovery, you are taking action to improve the health and wellness of children and youth in our communities and advancing our programs so that we may provide greater access to the natural worldl. 

Barriers between children and nature are growing. Your donations help sustain our programs and make them accessible to young people of all ages and backgrounds.Through scholarship support to children in need and under-resourced schools, Camp Discovery can offer all children opportunities to learn, heal and grow through meaningful experiences in nature. Your gifts are vital to these efforts!

Together, let’s remove those barriers.

Please make a donation today and be our partner in building a brighter, healthier community for tomorrow! 

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


 

"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

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.

 

Support Camp Discovery

Donate Now

 

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

 

 

Support Camp Discovery

Students and teachers love learning at Camp Discovery! 104 acres of outdoor classroom is the perfect place to enhance classroom curriculum, stimulate students' sense of discovery, and make lasting impressions that are often the highlight of the school year.

Camp Discovery offers something for every group and every learning style. The Camp staff works closely with teachers and administrators to create exciting and meaningful educational experiences for students. Students are challenged to think outside of the box, while furthering their communication, problem solving, and collaborative skills for success in the classroom and beyond.

 

Experiential Learning (K-12)

Discovery Days field studies offer exploration, inquiry and hands-on learning to address the SC Science Standards for grades K-12 using engaging, nature-based activities.

 

Experiential Learning (Pre K)

Giving Nature A Try (GNAT) programs introduce pre-school students to the wonders of learning in nature through safe, hands-on exploration that engages all of the senses!

 

Project Based Learning (K-12)

Learners to Leaders offers 9-week, semester or year-long project-based learning designs to fit class curriculum and equip students with real-world skills.

 

Leadership and Character Development

Tools for Life programs combine recreation with goal-oriented activities in a supportive setting to focus on developing and enhancing life skills.

 

Teacher Workshops

Whether you want to learn more about the outdoors or fine tune your skills, Camp Discovery offers a variety of adult and professional development workshops where learning comes “naturally” for participants.

 

Presentations

Let our educators present at your school, event or meeting. 

 

 

 

 

Support Camp Discovery

Donate Now

Today’s demanding work environment requires employees to demonstrate teamwork, effective communications, critical thinking, and the ability to solve complicated problems. Students and professionals must have the skills to effectively manage conflict, interact with others and listen effectively for success in the 21st Century workplace.

Camp Discovery offers the following leadership and character development programs that nurture important life skills for both youth and adults. 

Tools for Life

From high-functioning corporate groups to culturally diverse school communities, Tools for Life programs incorporate goal-oriented, recreational activities that include problem solving challenges, confidence builders, and powerful play initiatives to equip particpants with valuable 21st century skills to succeed in work, life and citizenship.

To learn more about a Tools for Life program for your group, click one of the links below.

Tools for Schools or Youth Participants

Tools for Corporate or Adult Participants

 

Learners to Leaders

Learners to Leaders offers 9-week, semester or year-long project-based learning designs to fit class curriculum and equip students with real-world skills to become future leaders in our community and stewards of our environment.

Please grant an item or two from the Camp's Wish List!

Household Items

  • Copy paper
  • Paper Goods (Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Kleenex, Cups)
  • Plastic Spoons
  • Lysol Spray
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Hand Soap

Landscape & Gardening Supplies 

  • Mixed Bird Seed 
  • Hummingbird Feeders
  • Bluebird Houses
  • Purple Martin House/Gourds & Pole
  • Any flowers or butterfly plants 
  • Pine straw

Recreation Equipment & Supplies

  • Benches
  • Picnic Tables 
  • Water Balloons
  • Bubbles
  • Lowes or Home Depot Gift Cards

Crafts Supplies

  • Crayola Markers
  • “Tacky” Glue
  • Shaving Cream
  • Michael's or Wal-Mart Gift Cards

Maintenance/Service Needs

  • Driveway Grading Services
  • Carpet Cleaning Services

Cash donations are always welcome! Thank you!

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 online 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 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!

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.

Endowment Fund - Donations to Camp Discovery’s Sowing the Seeds Endowment Fund helps to 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.

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. Donors 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, Camp Discovery 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! 

Camp Discovery at His Acres is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. Your gift is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you need additional information on any of the opportunities above, please contact Joanna Weitzel at joannaw@campdiscoverysc.org or (803) 754-2008.

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

Nature-based education and environmental stewardship are vital to the health and well-being of our communities and our world. Camp Discovery partners with school districts, educational institutions, corporate groups and community organizations to provide year-round outdoor recreation, environmental education and experiential learning programs and activities for over 6,000 youth and adults each year.

 

School Field Study

Students and teachers love learning at Camp Discovery! Our 104 acres of outdoor classroom 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.

 

 

Leadership and Character Development

Strengthen bonds between group members, build social skills and refocuses energy on important issues in the natural spaces of Camp Discovery. Our experiential learning / team building programs are designed to enhance group effectiveness and develop leadership qualities through goal-oriented recreational, experiential and mindfulness activities. 

 

Summer & Holiday Camps

Our camps give children an opportunity to simply "be a kid" when they are off from school, but keep the learning going in a fun, hands-on way! Children can join us for learning and adventure at one of our summer, winter and spring break programs!

 

 

Family & Special Events

GNAT classes, Discovery at Dark, New Year's Hike, Spring Open House offer fun ways for the whole family to connect with nature together at Camp Discovery.

 

 

 

Adult & Teacher Workshops

Whether you want to learn more about the outdoors or fine tune your skills, Camp Discovery offers a variety of both adult and professional development workshops for adult participants where learning comes naturally!

 

 

Presentations

Invite a Camp educator or naturalist to present at your event or meeting. Camp Discovery can provide programs for school assemblies, community or corporate events, garden clubs, conferences or other off-site programs.

 

 

Help nurture the next generation of young minds and hearts!

Camp Discovery is excited to partner with a growing number of schools to serve children and youth in our communities through nature-based experiences during the 2015-2016 year!

 

 

Sponsor a child or class for a day of discovery!

Camp Discovery is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that nurtures the spirit of curiosity and creates learning experiences in Nature that engage and inspire.

Many children today do not have opportunities to learn through first-hand experiences in Nature, spending much of their time indoors behind a screen. Yet, our children are the stewards of our future and will be responsible for the ecological health of our planet. Camp Discovery's programs sow the seeds for lifelong learning and stewardship by allowing children to reclaim moments of wonder and discovery that have vanished from childhood; moments that are an integral part of shaping who we become as adults.

From school and youth groups to families and community organizations, there is something for everyone at Camp Discovery! Situated on 104 scenic acres of forests, fields, creeks and streams in Blythewood, the campus provides an ideal outdoor learning environment for year-round exploration and hands-on learning. Our nature-based programs provides real-world learning to enrich both minds and hearts for the health and well-being of people, our community and planet.

Since 1985, Camp Discovery has reached more than 15,000 children and youth from across the Midlands through hands-on learning experiences in Nature. 

 

   

 

 

 

Support Camp Discovery

"Living and Learning Through Discovery"

 

 

Join us at Camp for a Wild Edibles Walk

Saturday, May 28th at 10:00 am

 

 

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