About Nature Discovery Camp
At Nature Discovery Camp, 4th – 9th graders spend a week living at the beautiful Campsite at Shield Ranch, 22 miles west of Austin. Campers and staff live off-grid in sustainable, screened shelters among the trees and trails near Rocky Creek.
Established in 2007 in collaboration with El Buen Samaritano and Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center, our mission is to connect children with the natural world by providing an extraordinarily fun and inspiring nature-immersion experience.
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
- 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.