Opportunities to Come to Camp

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Alabama Folk School Winter 2017 Workshops

2017 marks the ten-year anniversary of the Alabama Folk School. We will celebrate the milestone in style with 3-day, 4-day, and week-long programs in folk art and music. Special programs include birding, blacksmithing, wooden boat building, cooking, drawing and painting, fiber arts, homesteading, music, and songwriting.

Join us this year in celebrating #10YearsOfFolk. Registration is already open for many classes and others will open in the coming months.


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March 17, 2017 - March 19, 2017

Awakenings is a spiritual retreat for all 7th and 8th graders at Camp McDowell. Awakenings is designed to explore the Life and Light of Christ within us. High school counselors lead junior high participants by sharing their stories and facilitating small groups, games, music, and worship.

High school youth counselors may use the link below to apply to staff Awakenings. Please contact Stratt Byars at stratt@campmcdowell.com for more information.

Staff Registration: Click here from November 9th-December 31st.

Camper Registration: Click here from December 1st-March 1st


OUR TIME grief support retreat for kids and adults

March 3, 2017 - March 5, 2017

OUR TIME is a no-cost camp for kids in rising 6th-12th and retreat for their adult caregiver who are healing from loss of a significant person, such as a sibling, an adult child, or a parent. OUR TIME gives safe space and dedicated attention for kids and adults to reflect on their loss (in separate groups) with the guidance of professional counselors and to connect with others who grieve. Youth and and young at heart will enjoy swimming, arts & crafts, the high ropes course, and making new friends. Adults will be able to step away from the normal routine and truly relax in a peaceful setting. All meet together at the end of the weekend for discussion on common language and coping techniques that help in the grief journey, a meal, and a celebration of life worship service in honor of all those we love but see no longer. There is no cost for OUR TIME. For more information, please contact the Coordinator, Susanna Whitsett susanna@campmcdowell.com or 205.281.1903. Click HERE to register.


FATHER/SON RETREAT - for all combinations and interpretations

March 31, 2017 - April 2, 2017

Come enjoy quality time with your Father or Son (or uncle, or stepfather, or someone who is like a father or like a son!) during the beautiful spring time at wonderful Camp McDowell! This weekend retreat is open to all combinations and interpretations of Fathers and Sons looking for some activity, play, rest, and quality time spent together in the great outdoors! Enjoy the breath-taking canyons with your son, or work together as a team during a canoe outing on our slow-moving yet exciting Clear Creek. Enjoy friendly competition at the annual Father/Son kickball game, or spend some quality time in a rocking chair enjoying the fresh air. Do not miss out on the chance to tour the farm or to see Big Dave’s Radical Raptors presentation! Camp McDowell has many opportunities for real retreat and your Father or Son is sure to have a fantastic time with you! All men and boys are welcome with love and joy to this weekend get-a-way. This retreat is recommend for 1st grade and older. Cost is $125 pp ($25 for 3rd member of a family group). Registration opens Jan 11. Click HERE to register. .


MOTHER/DAUGHTER RETREAT - for all combinations and interpretations

April 21, 2017 - April 23, 2017

Come enjoy quality time at Camp McDowell in the beauty of spring! This wonderful weekend retreat offers many opportunities for activity and play, as well as time for rest, renewal and reflection on the mother/daughter relationship and the sisterhood of all

women. Have fun on a hike along the canyon or canoeing down Clear Creek! Be creative with arts & crafts or challenged on the ropes course! Dance and sing a joyful noise at the Saturday night PJ dance party for daughters and social time for adults or simply take it easy in a rocking chair on the front porch of Eppes Hall before ending the day with worship in the Chapel. Our wonderful chaplain for this wonderful weekend is the wonderful Rev. Callie-Plunket Brewton (Trinity, Florence). This weekend is low-key and lovely. All women (daughters, sisters, mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, godmothers, nieces, and special friends who are like mothers or daughters) - are welcome! This retreat is recommended for ages 1st grade and older. Cost is $125 pp ($25 for 3rd member of a family group). Registration opens on Jan 11. Click HERE to register.


Teacher Workshop - Southern Roots: The Edible Garden and Culinary Arts in the Classroom

June 12, 2017 - June 14, 2017

We will explore where our food comes from by gathering vegetables and fruits in season on the McDowell Farm and preparing or preserving them in our new Teaching Kitchen. We will look at ways to understand food systems and how they connect to the natural world. Mostly, we will have fun on the Farm!

This workshop is sponsored by Legacy, Partners in Environmental Education. To register and find out more information, click here!

For more information about any of these, please contact Maggie Johnston at maggie@campmcdowell.com with “2017 educator workshops” in the subject line.

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Teacher Workshop - Rocking Inquiry Based Science (RIBS): Helping Teachers Make Geology Place based and FUN!

June 19, 2017 - June 21, 2017

We will hike into the sandstone canyons of Camp McDowell and use inquiry based learning to explore and gather facts about what created them. Educators will not only learn the geology of Alabama, but how to transform their classroom into a more creative and fun environment.

For more information about any of these, please contact Maggie Johnston at maggie@campmcdowell.com with “2017 educator workshops” in the subject line.

To register, click here!


Teacher Workshop - Exploring Alabama’s Living Streams with Alabama Water Watch (AWW)

June 26, 2017 - June 28, 2017

We partner with AWW on this one to not only get out and explore our Camp McDowell streams and creeks, but help teachers become more comfortable with taking their students out into local streams. Teachers go home with a copy of the AWW classroom curriculum, Exploring Alabama’s Living Streams.

For more information about any of these, please contact Maggie Johnston at maggie@campmcdowell.com with “2017 educator workshops” in the subject line.

To register click here!


Teacher Workshop - Mountains to the Gulf Expedition

June 25, 2017 - July 2, 2017

This is our fifth Mountains to the Gulf (M2G) event. Many past participants have called this the most amazing 8 days of a teacher’s professional life!

Camp McDowell partners with several other organizations in an amazing teacher expedition called Mountains to the Gulf. A group of twenty teachers from across Alabama is selected to travel the state of Alabama for a week with some of the Southeast’s top experts on geology, watersheds, herpetology and ecology. Some of the experts who participate are Dr. Jim Lacefield, author of Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks, Dr. Bill Deutsch, founder of Alabama Water Watch, Heather Montgomery, author of many children’s books, and Jimmy Stiles, herpetologist. They guide the teacher group through all ecoregions of the state.

Stops are made along the way at Little River Canyon, Cheaha State Park, Lake Martin, and Dauphin Island. We gather fossils from roadside cuts and stream beds in Southern Alabama. The final two days are spent at Dauphin Island Sea Lab where we explore salt march estuaries and go out on their research vessel to trawl and learn about the living species in our gulf waters. We stay in hotel style lodging along the way and travel in a charter bus.

The partners for M2G included Legacy, Partners in Environmental Education (www.getthetag.com), Environmental Education Association of Alabama, Georgia Alabama Land Trust, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Alabama Water Watch and, of course McDowell Environmental Center.

To register of learn more information go to the Legacy website!

For more information about any of these, please contact Maggie Johnston at maggie@campmcdowell.com with “2017 educator workshops” in the subject line.