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.
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.
Geology, rock layers, rock cycle, fossils
Native plant and animal species, wild edible plants, local wildlife
Natural resources, conservation
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.
Sundials, the solstice
Gravity in space-time, orbits, seasons
Time travel in physics vs. in the movies
The moon, tides, ancient calendars
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!
Camping, tents, knots, fire safety
Leave No Trace, hiking, wilderness first aid
Hydration, water filtering
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.
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
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