Looking for a unique camp for your adventurous high-schooler this summer? How about a camp that takes advantage of Florida's fantastic flora, fauna, and fun? One accredited by the American Camp Association, led by the best staff around, and based out of a world-class theme park?
Look no further, Busch Gardens' Wild Florida camp is for you!
This once-a-summer camp may begin and end at Busch Gardens Tampa, but where it goes in between is another story entirely...
Once upon a time, Busch Gardens had a camp called Wild Florida.
Campers arrived at Busch Gardens' dormitory, Mzinga Lodge, from all over the world, and spent the few days and nights of their visit in Tampa.
At Busch Gardens, they made new friends (some more wild than others),
They got to experience Summer Nights, an event at Busch Gardens where the park stays open late for amazing shows and coaster-riding in the dark!
Getting in touch with the more natural side of Tampa, campers canoed down the Hillsborough River,
...and then cooled off at Busch Gardens' sister park Adventure Island!
After campers packed their gear, they hit the road in search of adventure. Their first stop was Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary where they walked along the boardwalk in the largest forest of ancient bald cypress trees in North America in search of native Florida wildlife.
At Ten Thousand Islands, campers take a pontoon boat tour to view manatees and learn more about the Everglades ecosystem.
In search of more information on the state's most elusive mammals, campers hit the road and visited the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.
Next they traveled to Billie Swamp Safari, located on Seminole Tribe land, where they stayed in primitive Chickee huts and took a nighttime ride in a swamp buggy!
The next morning they motored on to Marine Lab in Key Largo where they snorkeled in the eelgrass beds near the mangrove trees and on a coral reef off the coast.
Just a stone’s throw away is the Dolphin Research Center, where campers learn about Florida's marine life including manatees and dolphins. Each camper participates in a dolphin training session where the dolphin paints a t-shirt for the camper to take home!
Venturing even further into the Everglades, the "river of grass", requires special transportation: an airboat, to be precise! Campers will feel the wind in their hair and the sun on their faces as they seek out Florida's most famous residents: alligators!
Heading north, campers arrive at another of Busch Gardens' sister parks, SeaWorld Orlando. They'll spend the day frequenting world-class rides, taking in amazing shows, and visiting some of the most majestic animals of the sea. By night they'll be sleeping next to manatees!
Then it's back to Busch Gardens Tampa for some rest, relaxation, and good times with good friends...
(and grrrrrrrrrreat animals!)
That may seem like a lot, but this article just scratches the surface of what's in store for Wild Florida campers. Join us August 10-19, 2012 for our once-a-year camp that'll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your camper!
To book your camp, visit Busch Gardens' Camps' website, or call 1-877-BGT-CAMP
Photo Credit: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Florida Panther Wildlife Refuce, Marine Lab, Dolphin Research Center, and Connie Bransilver.