Fall Field Trips @ Camp Fletcher

Picture2Did you know that Camp Fletcher isn’t just a summer camp! The fun doesn’t end when school starts — in fact, it’s just beginning! Our outdoor education program provides public, private and home schools the opportunity to experience camp all year long. Using the outdoor education curriculum created specifically for Camp Fletcher, we encourage students to become ecologically literate, responsible citizens, in an experiential learning environment. The program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to promote the appreciation of our natural surroundings and the values of working together. Our aim is to teach students the concepts of sustainability and interdependency outside of the classroom walls.

Our program activities include creek ecology, archery, hiking, and low ropes course initiates, among many others. Content is completely customizable depending on your specific class needs. Additionally, our programs align with Alabama Course of Study Standards, and Camp Fletcher is accredited by the American Camp Association.

If you’re looking for something new and exciting this school year, look no further than Camp Fletcher’s Outdoor Education program! We’re now booking for fall field trips, so reserve your date before our calendar is full. For more information and an online reservation form, visit our website today!

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Backyard Campfires

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Now that the weather is getting cooler and our fall events are over, we’re really starting to miss summer camp and all the activity it brings to Camp Fletcher! If you’re starting to miss summer camp, too, then we’ve got something just for you. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be posting some awesome ways to bring Camp Fletcher home. The temperature is lower and the days are shorter, but we’ve got some really creative ways to celebrate the spirit of Camp Fletcher all year long!

Campfires at Camp Fletcher are one of the best parts about our summer sessions, but fall is the perfect time to have your own camp fire at home! We know the cooler weather may have you missing camp, so we’re excited about the first post in our new series, designed to help you enjoy all the things you love about camp during the off season! Summer will be here before you know it, and we’re so excited about everything we have planned for Spring and Summer 2016. If you just can’t wait, though, we’ve got the best tips for having your own campfire at home!

Cool November evenings are the perfect time for your family to enjoy a campfire at home! When building a camp fire at home, be sure to follow these safety tips from Smokey Bear!

Building Your Campfire:
1. Gather tinder, kindling and larger pieces of wood (fuel).
2. Loosely pile a few handfuls of tinder in the center of the fire ring/pit.
3. Add kindling
4. Ignite the tinder with a match or lighter
5. Wait until the match is cold, and discard it in the fire
6. Add more tinder as the fire grows
7. Blow lightly at the base of the fire
8. Add kindling and firewood to keep the fire going
9. Keep the fire small and under control

Maintaining Your Campfire:
As you’re enjoying your campfire, remember these safety tips:
1. Once you have a strong fire going, add larger pieces of dry wood to keep it burning steadily
2. Keep your fire to a manageable size
3. Make sure children and pets are supervised when near the fire
4. Never leave your campfire unattended
5. Never cut live trees or branches from live trees

Extinguishing Your Campfire:
When you’re ready to put out your fire and call it a night, follow these guidelines:
1. Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible
2. Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones
3. Pour until hissing sound stops
4. Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel
5. Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers
6. Stir and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch
7. If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember: do NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.

A camp fire in your backyard is the perfect place to roast marshmallows and make s’mores, sing songs and even tell some scary stories! When it’s time to go inside, though, be sure you extinguish your fire properly. You should never walk away from anything that can start back up. Fires need to be drowned in water, stirred, drowned some more and before walking away you should be able to feel that it is cold to the touch. This is especially important for us at camp. Also, never run around or horseplay around the fire, children and animals should always be supervised and an adult should ALWAYS make sure that the fire is out!

Camp fires at home can be a lot of fun, but you always want to be safe! Be sure to pick a good area far enough away from your house and free of any debris. You also want to be aware of weather conditions: when humidity is low and wind is high, there is an increased danger of forest fires. 

We can’t wait to have everyone back at Camp Fletcher for more campfires, fun, memories and more. Until then, however, we hope you’ll enjoy a campfire at home with your family!

Fall Gardening at Camp Fletcher

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October was a busy month for all of us at Camp Fletcher! We had a great time at all of our Fall Events, and we even managed to plant our fall garden. With the addition of our new VISTA members, Danelle and Chele, we’ve really been able to get to work and the fall garden is looking great!

This is our very first fall garden, and we learn something new each time we plant! Our summer garden yielded corn, squash, tomatoes and more, and we are thrilled to try our hand at some fall vegetables. Our plants this time include carrots, garlic, strawberries, kale, cabbage, collards, and three varieties of lettuce. We also added a fence around the garden and a bench with planters. We couldn’t have done it without the help from Camp Fire Alabama employees spending time in the garden last week!

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Many of the plants came from The University of Montevallo’s Organic Plant Sale. Everything is in the ground and growing, and we’re excited to see what we’re able to harvest in the coming months.

If you would like more information about Camp Fletcher’s Education Garden, click here. We’re always looking for volunteers with green thumbs to help out, so feel free to contact us today if you’d like to get involved!

What to do if you’re already missing Camp Fletcher

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We’ve been experiencing some incredibly nice weather in the Birmingham area for the past few days, and it’s a pretty clear sign that summer is officially over and fall is inching its way here. It was an incredible summer – one of our busiest yet, but we know our campers and counselors are probably already settled into their school year routine. We’re been staying busy, too, but we definitely know you’ve gotta be missing camp by now! If the cooler weather’s got you down, we’ve got a few tips to deal with some end of summer sadness!

  1. Reminisce with photos: Our social media sites are a great way to see photos from the summer! Our campers made a lot of memories this year, and many of those memories were captured in photos. We’ve got albums for most sessions on Facebook, and we’re also daily updating our Instagram account. If you don’t already, be sure to follow us on social media – you can do it on the right side of this page! Don’t forget to tag yourself and your camp friends so you can stay in touch.
  2. Come back for fall events: We’ve got plenty of awesome events planned for this fall at Camp Fletcher, and we want you to be there for all of them! From day events like the community yard sale or Camp Fletcher Unplugged for Jefferson County schools, to our overnight fall retreat in October, we know the next few months are going to be packed full of fun at camp! If you’re missing summer, experiencing camp in the fall will definitely help!
  3. Start planning for next summer: We know you’ve got a lot of school year before summer camp starts again, but it’s never too late to start planning! Don’t hesitate to look at a calendar and start thinking about what weeks you’d like to join us. Registration isn’t open yet, but it will fill up fast! Planning for next summer and gearing up for registration is sure to get you excited for summer 2016 at Camp Fletcher!
  4. Count down the days: If you really can’t wait until next summer, go ahead and start counting down the days! We’ll keep you updated as it gets closer, but marking down the days on the calendar is a great way to get excited for everything you’ll experience next summer at Camp Fletcher!

We still have to make it through the winter months, but we know it will go by fast! We’re already so excited for next summer at Camp Fletcher, and we hope these four tips will get you excited, too!