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Camp Tonkawa Outdoor Learning Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Environmental Education, Food, Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, Natural History & Natural Science Museums, Primary & Elementary Schools

Mission: Our mission is to connect children and adults with nature through various outdoor immersion activities that teach essential life skills. The goal is for everyone to be as knowledgeable of the natural world as the Native Americans, who love, honor, and respect our planet earth. We accomplish this with our hands-on teaching of the ancient Native American skills of nature awareness, primitive wilderness survival and horsemanship. Our patrons gain a respect and appreciation for our Earth, which helps preserve the environment and promotes sustainability. Our camp is founded on the concept of helping people rediscover their connection to the earth. We all should be connected to nature, it is an essential part of human development. At Camp Tonkawa Outdoor Learning Center, we help you to nurture that connection.

Target demographics: teach sustainable living & promote an "unplugged" lifestyle.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2000+ individuals

Geographic areas served: Texas

Programs: Outdoor awareness & nature connection

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of Camp Tonkawa for about 17 years and have had so many great times there. The camp helped shape who i am not only by learning so much about the woods and animals but also how to be a teacher and help people, those skills i use daily. If you are looking for some place to be out doors and learn its a great place to be! from learning survival skills, sleeping in a tipi or going horse back riding its a perfect place to spend time!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Camp Tonkawa is a welcome trip back in time and back into nature. My American Heritage Girls Troop had an amazing experience learning about Native American culture and nature awareness. We went back for horsemanship camp, too. I appreciate how the camp tailors activities to match our badge requirements, but I absolutely love that Camp Tonkawa gets my girls to willingly put down cell phones and social media in exchange for an authentic experience in getting their hands dirty, caring for animals, listening to the natural world around them and appreciating all the experiences the outdoors has to offer. When we're at camp we're away from our everyday worlds and are fully immersed in the real world of nature. Camp Tonkawa has a way of teaching respect for our earth and each other not just with what they say and do, but with the very way the entire camp is set up and run. This is a special place that lets kids (and adults) play and learn the way we all used to-by being outside!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Where in North Texas can you sleep in a tipi, ride horses, practice archery, go swimming and kayaking, and learn survival skills like fire starting with tools in nature and what plants you can make a meal of? At Camp Tonkawa Outdoor Learning Center in Collinsville, Texas. This place becomes a home-away-from-home and what you learn here and the memories you make will stay with you. It's a place that makes a person want to unplug from phones and computers and just be in the moment. I have personally been involved with Camp Tonkawa and the family who started it, and who have kept it growing, for the last 12 years. Like any successful organization, the camp has grown and changed but has remained true to its founders' original goal of keeping nature awareness and outdoor education apart of the lives of youth and adults alike. Through youth summer camps, weekend camps for boy scouts or girl scouts, family camps, and day camps for homeschoolers and public school groups Camp Tonkawa plants the seed of a love of the outdoors and agriculture through experiential learning opportunities outside in nature's classroom.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The fun our scouts had plus what they learned about nature, they are still talking about their visit to this Nature Camp. We enjoyed the Native American weekend, set up a real tipi, did archery, played woods games, make corn husk crafts and danced at the pow wow. Surprised how yummy the Three Sisters Stew dinner was. We look forward to returning for another one of their camps soon.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been going to Camp Tonkawa for over 4 years and have particpated in a number of Girl Scout, horsemanship and family programs. My oldest daughter also volunteers in the horse program. April and Randy are extremely knowlegeable about all things outdoors, and make learning fun and engaging. There is a wide range of programs on offer, something for everyone. A weekend at Camp Tonkawa is always well spent!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My grandson and I have enjoyed Camp Tonkawa for over ten years, visiting time and again, learning new skills, camping, enjoying the out-of-doors. We have learned so many survival skills - making fire, building shelters, finding water and edible plants. We have learned to tan a hide and make a Native American throwing stick. We have improved our camping skills, hiked, kayaked, and ridden horses. Have also made good friends and life-long memories.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I volunteer at Camp Tonkawa and serve on the Board of Directors. I feel that the Outdoor Learning Center is a GREAT place to get closer to nature and discover its wonders. Families, individuals, and groups can find unique programs to embrace the out of doors.

2 Cabby510

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our Girl Scout Troop completed the Breathe Journey during a campout with Ms. April at Camp Tonkawa. The property is beautiful - plenty of open space for tents but also plenty of mature trees. Ms. April already knew all the requirements for the Journey and had all the supplies to complete the activities. She also provided our troop with a materials list that were able to have donated so that we could even complete the Take Action Project. We really enjoyed our time at camp and are looking forward to other fun weekends in the future!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Girl Scout leader of Freshman in High School and we have been coming to Camp Tonkawa since we were in elementary school and absolutely LOVE it! April & Randy share their knowledge and expertise on nature in engaging interactive ways that are relevant to the girls' lives. The girls always come away with a new found respect for nature and a passion for the outdoors, which is saying a lot for the social media society we live in today's world. I cannot recommend this place enough.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Camp Tonkawa has been our family's favorite place to learn for many years. I go there with my daughter for girlscout projects and we go as a family for their Family Survival weekends and Family Nature weekends. We learn so much every time we go there and we just love to soak up the passion for nature that the owners share with their time and attention while we are there. I can't express enough what a gem this place is, tucked quietly in the woods just north of Dallas!!!

Client Served

Rating: 2

CONCERNED ABOUT THE SAFETY - Our troop has been to Camp Tonkawa on 3 separate camp occasions. We loved everything except the outdoor kitchen and food preparation methods. There is no refrigeration, no running water and the conditions of the equipment is highly questionable. We saw raw meat left out on the counter with flies on it and fruit & veggies prepared on cutting boards that were stored outdoors. There is no effective way to santize the cooking utensils, pots, pans, and serving ware. The children are the ones preparing group meals and no one is wearing any gloves. When we checked with the County Health Inspection Services, we were told that they have never done an inspection of the facilities nor are they required to because it is a non-profit organization. Something serious has to happen before they are even allowed to set foot on the premises without the owners consent. Unlikely that will be happening. They are so busy trying to earn money to build a new barn when they should be more concerned about providing a safe environment for all of the kids that come there.

Review from Guidestar