Camp Fire Central Texas, P.O.Box 303040 Austin, Texas 78705  (512) 349.2111

© 2017 Camp Fire Central Texas

 camp Balcones

 Camp Fire's Summer Day Camp at Emma Long Park 

1600 City Park Road at the Caretakers Cabin

Summertime Adventures Await!

"Camp Fire sparks an interest in kids in the world around them. When you see Camp Fire in action, the impact clicks. My girls have had a great time at the summer camp ‐ and they still talk about what they learned and did even months later."

Alicia, Camp Fire Parent

Explore, learn, and grow at Camp Balcones - Camp Fire's Summer Camp at Emma Long Park! Austin’s premier urban nature and science day camp sparks curiosity and inspires learning in kids ages 6 – 12 years old while preventing summer learning loss. Each week features a nature or science theme in addition to swimming, hiking, games, archery, creative expression, and other fun-filled activities.


Camp Balcones has four unique weekly STEM-based themes which incorporate hands-on, project-based activities. Your child will explore nature, identify plants and animals, and have fun with unstructured play in a safe environment with new friends and camp instructors.

Camp Balcones runs for 8 weeks during the summer, beginning on June 3th, 2019. Camp Balcones is available Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm

 Parents may choose to extend to pick up at 6:00 from camp during registration. 


Ages 6 - 12   Please note: Camp is for campers who have COMPLETED Kindergarten.

Cost: $350 per week


Please remember to choose and pay for your annual membership. It is paid just once per person for the year.  If you forget to add it during checkout and registration it will be added to your order. 

It is the first item in the list when you add weeks and transportation etc. The membership is 25.00 per year. 


A bus will depart from Bowie High School, Maplewood Elementary School and the Northwest Recreation Center. 

Morning Departures:

Bowie High School - 7:30

Maplewood Elementary School - 8:30

Northwest Recreation Center - 9:15

Afternoon Drop Offs:

Bowie High School - 4:15 to 4:30

Maplewood Elementary School - 5:45 to 6:00

Northwest Recreation Center - 5:30-5:45


Please note the vans must depart each location on time. They must continue so that they may pick up and drop off other campers on time. Times are subject to slight change due to traffic conditions. 



A limited number of partial scholarships and sliding fee spaces are available.

Please call Camp Fire at 512-349-2111 or at 479-685-8730 to learn more.



Click here for 2019 handbook


2019  Weekly Camp Themes

Lone Star Week-- Natural History of Texas


We are going all the way back to learn how our Lone Star State came to be! This week we will dive into the natural history of Texas, learning how Native Americans lived and changed the land, how Texas is home to multiple and varying ecosystems, and how geology affects both human civilizations and other animal populations. How do resources affect migrations? What caused Texas’ gold rush? What is the Balcones Escarpment? Why do we find aquatic animal fossils hundreds of miles from the ocean? We’ll investigate these questions and many more as we travel through the geologic timeline.


Example Concepts:

  • Geology, rock layers, rock cycle, fossils

  • Native plant and animal species, wild edible plants, local wildlife

  • Migration

  • Natural resources, conservation

  • Climate, biomes



We will learn that even in the daytime, you can make key observations about the solar system and beyond. We will learn how ancient civilizations told time, as well as learn some of the constellation stories from across the globe. The investigations of questions like these will lead to even more questions about the sky above and our little corner of the universe.  


Example concepts:

  • Sundials, the solstice

  • Gravity in space-time, orbits, seasons  

  • Time travel in physics vs. in the movies

  • Black holes

  • The moon, tides, ancient calendars

Camping 101

We’ll practice basic outdoor skills one would need to safely and confidently camp in a park or natural area, such as setting up tents, starting and managing campfires, hiking and navigating, tying useful knots, and more. We’ll also learn how to be good stewards of the environment by practicing Leave No Trace principles. By the end of the week, we won’t quite be ready to tackle the Appalachian Trail, but we will be able to safely enjoy any city, state, or national park!

Example concepts:

  • Camping, tents, knots, fire safety

  • Outdoor cooking

  • Leave No Trace, hiking, wilderness first aid

  • Hydration, water filtering

  • Emergency preparation

Water Week


From the Pacific ocean to our backyard creeks, we are jumping in! Did you know whales used to walk on land? Or that diamonds originally were found in riverbeds? This week we will learn about many different types of wildlife in our waterways, as well as what makes up riverbeds and ocean floors and how why we should protect our water sources.


Example concepts:

  • Water quality testing, aquatic invertebrates

  • Mammals vs. fish, ocean vs. river wildlife

  • Evolution of whales

  • Riparian zones, watersheds, fresh vs. salt water

  • Basic safety near moving water


Camp Schedule

8 AM | Arrival Begins

8:15 AM | Small group activities 

9:45 AM | Morning Announcements,  Vans Arrive

10 AM | First Activity Period, Morning Snack

10:50 AM | Activity Change

11 AM | Second Activity Period

12 PM | Lunch

12:45 PM | Council Circle

1:30 PM | Third Activity Period

2:30 PM  Afternoon Snack

3:30 PM Van Routes Depart 

Sports/ Games/ Group projects

5 PM | Camp Closes

After Camp until 6PM