About Nature Discovery Camp
At Nature Discovery Camp, 4th – 9th graders spend a week living in tents on the historic Shield Ranch southwest of Austin. Nestled among beautiful oaks and cedars along a tributary to Barton Creek, El Ranchito offers a true nature immersion experience that nurtures the mind, body, and spirit. Delicious meals are prepared by the camp cook and served under an open-air canopy.
Session 1 – Sunday through Friday – June 18th – 23rd
Session 2 – Sunday through Thursday – June 25th – 29th
Session 3 – Sunday through Saturday – July 2nd – 8th
Activities at El Ranchito’s Nature Discovery Camp include:
- hiking and horseback riding
- swimming in natural swimming holes and creeks
- environmental education, including field trips to Westcave Preserve and Hamilton Pool Preserve
- hands-on study of the lifeways of Native Americans and early settlers to the region
- games and team-building challenges
- singing and storytelling around the campfire
- listening for owls and stargazing with visiting astronomers
- rock-climbing for 6th-9th graders
- backpacking and kayaking/canoeing for 8th-9th graders
WHO CAN ATTEND NATURE DISCOVERY CAMP?
El Ranchito was created specifically to serve children and youth from low-income families. If a family qualifies for the federal free lunch program at school, a child/youth is eligible for El Ranchito’s Nature Discovery Camp.
HOW MUCH DOES NATURE DISCOVERY CAMP COST?
Tuition for campers is $50. If a sibling of that camper registers, their tuition will be $40, and a third sibling’s tuition will be $30. Tuition includes lodging, meals, supervision, programs, a camp picture and t-shirt, and all craft supplies.