Camping Clinics

At this time, we are developing a schedule for our most popular Camping Clinic – Car Camping at Rowlett’s Creek Preserve.

The term “car camping” refers to having your automobile near enough to your campsite that you can enjoy conveniences such as coolers, heavy, thick camping mattresses, and handy kitchen tools you would leave behind if you were backpacking.  This method allows you to drive into a special place and easily shuttle your gear into a site.

Our car-camping plan goes like this:  Spend a beautiful morning driving into one of  the remotest areas of the Apalachicola National Forest – the flagship property of the Coastal Plains Institute: Rowlett’s Creek Preserve.  The preserve is an 80-acre inholding entirely surrounded by National Forest and is located approximately 3 miles NW of the tiny forest village of Sumatra.

We will congregate our vehicles within the property and spend the afternoon soaking up Florida pineland ecology while hiking to various points of interest within the property.  Look out over a vast pitcher plant bog and explore the fascinating biology of these carnivorous plants.   Frolic along a beautiful, pristine blackwater creek, and perhaps take a dip in the dark water.  Walk through pinelands and discover the longleaf pine/wiregrass ecosystem, the most biologically diverse ecosystem in the Eastern United States.  Discuss pineland restoration ecology and compare and contrast planted slash pine versus natural longleaf pine landscapes.

At some point, we will make camp near our vehicles and you will learn everything you want to know about how to become a more efficient and confident camper.  We can discuss everything from proper outdoor attire and picking a good campsite to tent setup and fire building.  And then there is the whole subject of gourmet food preparation.  We believe in eating right while in the woods!

Kids will be at play all around both night and day in a safe and fun environment interacting with parents and other children.  We will have our 2-year old daughter, Skyla with us.  We encourage everyone to turn off their cell phones, not that there is any reception anyway, and get disconnected from civilization for an evening under the stars.

We will socialize around a phenomenal campfire and discover the feeling of warmth, comfort, and security that a campfire provides. Discover why the use of fire is one of the greatest intellectual advancements human ancestors ever invented.  Fall asleep under a bright blanket of stars listening to the sounds of calling chorus frogs and coyotes, and the wind through the pines.

In the morning, we awake to bird calls and the sound of remoteness.  The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker will be squeaking all around us from lofty tree tops.  Breakfast will be prepared and enjoyed in the morning sunshine.

We will set out for another frolic to the savanna bog for tremendous photographic opportunities in the morning light while the dew or frost dries off of our tents.  We can learn a little about how to take better nature photos.

For one night campouts, we will take down camp sometime before lunch and you can head home or we can congregate for a seafood lunch at the only restaurant in Sumatra.  Here, we can plan our next adventure!  We will adjourn this adventure upon conclusion of lunch.

For two night campouts we will have another day to frolic and to practice camping skills learned the night before.

Email us if you are interested and you will be among the first to know when a camping clinic is scheduled.