Welcome to Camp Discovery
Therapeutic Recreation (Tools for Life) Assessment and Group Visit
Tools for Life program fees are $20 per student, minimum fee of $150 per group. For particpants with acute needs, including high risk or medically fragile, the program fee is $25 per child. Tools for Life programs are limited to 45 particpants, but smaller groups are most beneficial for those with acute needs. No charge for teachers and chaperones.
- Tools for Life provides an opportunity for groups to socialize in a structured environment while learning essential life skills through a variety of goal-oriented recreational activities.
- Assessment will be completed by a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) prior to a customized recreation field trip
- The CTRS will program and facilitate the Tools for Life field trip based on the goals, needs and interests of the group.
Environmental (Discovery Days) Group Visit
Discovery Days program fees are $15 per student, minimum fee of $150 per group. To maximize the learning experience, Discovery Days programs are limited to 25 students. No charge for teachers and chaperones.
- Discovery Days offer dynamic hands-on, science-based environmental education to assist teachers achieve South Carolina’s educational standards.
- Visits last between 2.5 hours to 4 hours depending upon the interests of the group.
- Each program can be customized to coincide with classroom learning.
Financial and Special Assistance
Program grants are available to Title I Schools, Urban Schools or schools in under-served areas to offset field trip costs. Funds can underwrite up to 50% of the program fees associated with a Camp Discovery visit during September through May. These grants are available throughout the entire school year, but educators are encouraged to book programs quickly as funds are limited, and available on a first come, first served basis. For further details on scholarships, or if you need special services, assistance, or accommodations to participate in our programs, email Donna Johnson (Tools for Life) or Joanna Weitzel (Discovery Days) or call us at 803-754-2008.
Reservations & Payment
To arrange your school or group's visit, complete the appropriate program request form below and forward to Camp Discovery.
After the reservation form is received, leaders will receive a program confirmation and additional information to insure a successful Camp Discovery visit. Program start times can be adjusted in advance. Plan to arrive 15 minutes before scheduled time. In order for the group to get the full benefit of their time at Camp Discovery, we cannot delay a program. If unforeseen circumstances arise, please call 803-754-8500.
Upon arrival, you will be asked to provide an exact count of the number of children and adults in your group. Full payment is expected by program date. Camp Discovery accepts checks, credit cards and purchase orders.
Note: With the exception of service dogs for guests with disabilities, pets are not allowed on Camp Discovery grounds.
Grassy areas and quilts are available for picnics. Benches can also be reserved in advance at no cost. Participants should bring bag lunches and drinks, including waters, as children will be outside for much of their program. Camp Discovery does not have vending machines or water fountains.
Other Program Related Fees
Cancellation Fee, if less than 2 weeks in advance................................... $25.00
No-Show Fee……………………............................................................. $35.00
Rescheduling Fee, if less than 2 weeks in advance................................. $25.00
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. Each of the following programs are available year-round, unless otherwise marked as seasonal.
Animal Life Cycles
Birds of a Feather
Things That Go Bump In the Night
The Dirty Details
Field, Forest and Stream
You Are What You Eat (Food Chains)
Instincts for Survival
Trails to Trees
Wetlands to Watch
Scales, Scutes and Skins
Discovery Days immerses students into nature through hands-on exploration and provides a unique opportunity for outdoor learning in a healthy,fresh air environment. With every Discovery Days visit, students will enjoy 2-3 hours of stimulating, hands-on environmental programming. Programs also address the needs and challenges facing today's youth. Activities are selected to promote teamwork, communication and respect.
Each experience begins with an introduction to our staff and the core values that guide us at Camp Discovery. The students are briefed on the day's topics, the adventures that lie ahead, and then we get moving! At the end day, we reflect on what's been done to help students internalize the experience and to instill a broader insight and appreciation of nature.
Leaders choose from a menu of Discovery Day Curriculum to best complement classroom learning and provide a well-rounded balance of learning experiences. Discovery Days can be either a half day or a full day program, and we can work with your class to develop pre- and post-trip materials to provide students with a personalized learning experience. .
About Discovery Days
• Programs consist of age-appropriate, SC Science Standards-based activities.
• 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.
• Please do not bring more than 25 students per visit unless special arrangements have been made in advance and confirmed in writing.
• One chaperon per every ten children is required.
• Being outdoors is what we're all about! We ask that you and your students to be prepared for seasonal and mild inclement weather.
• All participants should turn off cell phones and audible personal electronic devices during visit.
Arrange Your Own Discovery Days Experience
To arrange your group’s Discovery Days program, please complete a Discovery Days Request Form and send along with a $25 deposit to secure your date.
• Camp Discovery staff works closely with all individuals, schools, 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 co-teach during their group’s visit.
• Individuals, schools and groups who participate are responsible for supervising their constituents during their time at Camp Discovery.
“The only source of knowledge is experience.” ~ Albert Einstein
Coming to Camp Discovery this Fall! Take your students out from behind their desks and bring them into a whole new world of discovery! The Discovery Days program offers a traditional way of experiencing nature, something that is vanishing from the lives of children today.
Students learn best when engaged in active, cooperative learning. Through safe, interesting, multi-faceted lessons, Discovery Days connects children to the wonders of the natural world and allows them to experience it firsthand. From field exploration to outdoor activities to hands-on investigations, Discovery Days has something for every group and every learning style.
Camp Discovery provides a 100 acres of deciduous forest, open pastures, scenic creeks and winding trails -- the ideal classroom to awaken a child's senses and engage with the great outdoors!
Program Structure and Topics
Using an array of dynamic hands-on, science-based environmental education programs, Discovery Days can help teachers achieve South Carolina’s educational standards. Choose from a menu of topics that incorporate nature, artifacts and even live animals for an individualized learning experience. To view the full list of Discovery Days programs offered click here.
Let us assist in arranging a program that best meets the needs of you and your students! Click here for more information about how to schedule your visit, programfees, lunch options and policies.
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Program Partners are an remarkable group of our most devoted supporters. Program Partners enable Camp Discovery to deliver services over and above what we can do without them. Individuals, businesses, churches, or other groups donate monthly or quarterly to send a child, or even a group of children, to Camp Discovery!
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. Program Partner gifts are placed into a scholarship fund that offers individual or group assistance to those impacted by financial circumstances beyond their control. Your gifts also help the future of our programs with 10% of every Partner gift being placed in the Camp Discovery endowment fund to further ensure our future.
Becoming a Program Partner
You determine the amount of your monthly donation. A monthly gift as little as $10.00 makes a difference in the life of a child! You can change or stop your gifts at any time.
Your credit card is charged or your checking account is drafted around the same date each month or quarter, and you receive an email confirmation at that time.
- In January, you are sent an annual giving statement for tax purposes.
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"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes." ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
In keeping with our mission to enrich the lives of people of all ages, Camp Discovery offers intergenerational programs for groups seeking mutual enrichment.
Participants can learn from each other through carefully designed recreational activities for both seniors and youth. Our programs allow for seniors to share life experiences with the young, while the youth further enrich the lives of the elderly.
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 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts a variety of habitats to explore, including forest, pastures, and streams. 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. For more details, please review Our Programs at Camp Discovery to select a program that meets your specific interest.
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 nesting boxes (owl, blue bird, etc)
- Creating a bridge or walkway
- Collecting items for the Camp through a supply drive
All 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 mutally 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 representative from our office will contact you about planning, organizing, and approving your project. For other questions, please call (803) 754-2008.
“There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven … a time to cry and a time to laugh, a time to grieve and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4
Camp Discovery provides spiritual and service retreats for youth programs and churches of any denomination. Recreational activities can be a wonderful way to bring people together, while offering renewal and embracing spiritual development. Enjoyable activities can range from outdoor experiences to indoor exercises, incorporating learned concepts into a spiritual context.
To schedule your retreat or field trip, fill out a “Group Needs” request and mail or email to Camp Discovery. This request form and others needed for your visit can be found here in the TR Field Trip Packet.
This page is under construction. We apologize for the inconvenience.
This page is under construction. We apologize for the inconvenience.
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. This form and others for the field trip can be found in the TR Field Trip Packet.
Step 2: Schedule Assessment Date
When the Group Needs Assessment is received by Camp Discovery, a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist contacts the leader to schedule a date for an assessment of participants and discuss the 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 goal of the leader, and the participants’ preferences, a customized field trip is developed.
Step 4: Recreation Therapy 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.
"By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before…" ~ Edwin Elliot
Camp Discovery's Tools for Life recreation therapy programs provide unique opportunities for children, youth and young adults 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 recreation, participants unearth their own personal strengths and come to value them, while also learning to recognize the strengths of others.
Who Benefits from Recreation Therapy?
Any person can reap the many benefits derived through indoor and outdoor recreation. But groups that are the best match for customized therapeutic interventions at Camp Discovery have leaders that know the challenges of their students and have clear goals in mind. Children, youth and young adults served through our recreation programs are often identified with critical challenges stemming from
- 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
Our recreation therapy programs provide a variety of engaging activities to help improve the lives of those facing difficult circumstances beyond their control. The “Tools for Life” model we use addreses life’s challenges by building essential skills that promote independence, improve self-esteem, develop confidence in independent thinking and social skills, and enhance sensitivity to the needs of others. Activities are clinically designed to boldly interrupt, interfere with and challenge patterns of behavior or thinking which are not working, while simultaneously teaching tools for life.
Permanent Markers in Assorted Colors
Dry Erase Markers
Name Tags (NO Blue or Red)
Michael's or Wal-Mart Gift Cards
Dyson Animal Care Vacuum
Lowes or Home Depot Gift Cards
Collecting and Using Personal Information
(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.
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
Location Map (PDF)
208 Claude Bundrick Road
Blythewood, SC 29016
Humbling it is when a bus pulls up and children unload. Camp Discovery’s staff are standing on the shoulders of hundreds of volunteers. The recreation areas, materials the children use, and facilities are a reflection of the active caring of many hands and resources.
Camp Discovery maintains a list of top priority projects and service needs to allow volunteers easy ways to discover how to help.
Camp Discovery supporters are, without a doubt, extraordinary people! Thanks to the generosity and spirit of our donors, partners and volunteers, Camp Discovery touches the lives of hundreds of children each year. While some give time, and others give resources, everyone gives with their hearts and becomes a valued partner in bringing hope and laughter to children of all abilities and backgrounds. Your tax deductible gifts allow children, families and communities to benefit from Camp Discovery’s top quality services and provide participants with memorable experiences to last a lifetime.
Donate Today – Join us in touching young lives by supporting the work of Camp Discovery! Every dollar donated makes it possible for Camp Discovery to achieve its mission by empowering youth, bringing hope and touching lives. A donation to Camp Discovery helps children reap the benefits of our programs throughout the year, regardless of their ability to pay.
Be Our Partner – Will you partner with us today in creating a better tomorrow for children? Program Partner gifts enable Camp Discovery to deliver services above and beyond what we can do without them. Individuals, businesses, churches, or other groups donate monthly or quarterly towards the cost of a field trip for a child or a group. 90% of every Program Partner donation goes to programs and 10% to the Camp Discovery endowment.
Honor a Special Person or Event – Is there a loved one that you wish to honor or a special event to celebrate? Consider making a donation to pay tribute to that special someone or to commemorate the occasion. Camp Discovery will send the person you designate an acknowledgement informing them of your kindness.
Leave A Legacy - Remembering the children at Camp Discovery in your final wishes is a wonderful way to leave a lasting legacy. Including Camp Discovery in your long-term estate planning is easy, with the most common ways being to name Camp Discovery as a beneficiary in your will, or by gifting a life insurance policy, an IRA account or other retirement plan. Consult with your professional advisor and share your completed gift plan with us, allowing us to recognize your gift during your lifetime.
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 significantly increase your gift and make an even greater difference in the lives of those at Camp Discovery!
You can feel confident that your support is truly making a difference in the lives of others as Camp Discovery was recognized by the Secretary of State with the Angel Award in for being one of “the most efficient and effective charities soliciting in South Carolina.”
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.
Camp Discovery provides a safe and wholesome place for children of all ages and abilities to learn, heal and grow in a natural setting. Our focus is on meeting the needs and interests of participants through enjoyable, innovative programs and carefully designed activities delivered in a supportive, nurturing atmosphere. Programs can be specifically designed for civic clubs, scouting groups, religious organizations of all denominations, youth groups, senior citizens, and all public and private schools.
Tools for Life therapeutic recreation programs
offer specialized recreational activities that focus
on identified concept areas to benefit the overall
needs of the group.
Discovery Days programs provide a menu of
environmental topics to complement classroom
learning through exciting hands-on experiences
and outdoor exploration.
You select the program that works best for your group! Programs
• include recreational, educational & social activities
• can be half-day or full-day
• are designed to meet the individual needs and interests of groups
• are guided by a professional, educated and experienced staff member
• feature more than one hundred acres of classroom
Download a pdf of the Camp Discovery Program Brochure here.
About Camp Discovery
Camp Discovery is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing therapeutic recreation and experiential learning in a natural setting. Camp Discovery provides a special place where it is okay to make a mistake and everyone, regardless of abilities or background, is valued for being just who they are!
Camp Discovery offers a more traditional way of experiencing nature, something that is quickly vanishing from the lives of children today. Our day programs are designed to equip children with essential social, emotional and other skills necessary for building positive self-concepts and effective tools for living.
What started as a dream about bringing together young people of diverse backgrounds in a special place of “discovery” became a reality when therapist Donna Johnson founded what is now known today as Camp Discovery. The original plan was to utilize Camp Discovery for clinical therapeutic interventions, as it still does today, but that plan is growing by leaps and bounds. With the expansion of our therapeutic recreation program offsite, the introduction of a new experiential learning program, and the additions of an outdoor amphitheater and the new Discovery Room opening later this year, we are excited to further our reach and serve those needing it most within our communities.
Close to thirty years later, Camp Discovery has become a respected leader in recreation therapy programming touching the lives of over 10,000 children from throughout South Carolina and serving hundreds more each year. As we look ahead, Camp Discovery remains dedicated to meeting the needs and interests of participants of all ages and abilities through innovative programming and carefully designed field trips delivered in a supportive, nurturing atmosphere.
Meet Our Staff
Executive Director- Steve Reynolds
Associate Director- Joanna Weitzel
Program Director- Donna Johnson
Director of Development- Henry Chastain
Camp Discovery Board of Trustees
Board Chair- Cindy Nord, PhD
Vice Chairman- Kyle Evans
CF Evans Construction
Trustee- Sindia Rondon
G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital
Trustee- Lynn Blaylock
Assistant Vice President
Trustee- Dawn Croop
Trustee- Stuart Andrews
Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough
Attorney and Shareholder
Trustee- Susan Anderson
Trustee- Ephraim Ulmer
"Living and Learning Through Discovery"
Camp Discovery provides a special place for participants of all ages and abilities to learn, heal and grow through recreation and experiential learning.
Situated among 100 acres of trails, woodlands, pastures, and creeks in Blythewood, SC, our day programs take full advantage of this 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!
Camp Discovery is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.
Stay up-to-date on all the latest happenings at Camp Discovery!