Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center?
Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center (JBYCC) is 12,000 pristine North Florida acres located just outside Tallahassee. We host summer day camps June through August and school year programs for families and classrooms August through May. Our school year programs include fields trips, night hikes, public events, and retreats, including classroom and outdoor hands-on learning for kids of all ages. JBYCC's conservation education programs are designed to give kids and families positive, memorable experiences in the outdoors and kids are provided with all the necessary equipment and supervised instruction for: hiking, birdwatching, camping, archery, wildlife discovery, survival skills, and fishing in our well-stocked 15-acre pond. Joe Budd's is a local treasure trove of education and adventure!

Summer Camp

What kind of camp does JBYCC offer?

Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center (JBYCC) Summer Adventures Camp is a nature-focused day camp for kids in 3rd-8th grade. It runs 8AM-5PM Mondays through Thursdays and 8AM-2PM on Fridays. Our goal is to have every camper experience Florida’s amazing wilderness in a safe, positive way and leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of nature and the outdoors.

Daily activities include wildlife discovery (birds, mammals, reptiles, insects), forestry, geology, orienteering, and archery. Campers will also have the opportunity to go on guided hikes every day. JBYCC regularly brings in guest speakers and incorporates STEAM-focused activities to offer hands-on illustrations of conservation topics.

When does Summer Camp registration open?
You can register for summer camp through our online registration portal, which typically opens in early January. In December, keep an eye on our website and social media pages for specific opening dates.
How much does camp cost?
In 2022, summer camp at JBYCC was $210 per week, but costs typically increase a little each year.
Are your staff background screened?
Yes. All JBYCC staff have passed a Level 2 background screening. Click here to check out our current staff.
How do I know if a program I want to register for is still available?
We process our registrations in the order that they were received, so when you register your camper online you’ll receive a status of “pending” until we have confirmed we have space and availability to accommodate your camper for that program that week. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for us to process your registration.
How old does my child have to be to attend camp?
JYCC offers programs for children in 3rd – 8th grade. Some programs have age requirements. Learn more about which programs cater to which ages here.
What should I send with my child for day camp?
Please send campers to Joe Budd in play clothes and closed-toed shoes that will get wet and dirty! Please pack a bagged lunch and water bottle for each child, and be sure to send or apply sunscreen and insect repellant.

Children, Family, and School Programs (in Fall and Spring)

What else do you offer in addition to summer camp?

We are busy year-round! The team at Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center do everything from hosting field trips and workshops at JBYCC’s campus to visiting schools and classrooms with conservation education. Check out all of our current services below:


Field trips specially-designed to fit your classroom's needs! JBYCC's campus is open to school groups Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For more information, visit: Field Trips


Have an environmental educator come to your school! JBYCC staff are thrilled to present their in-school programming, featuring curricula correlated to Florida Science Standards and STEAM. Our schedule is flexible, accommodating a single class or several throughout a school day.

While the programs are designed to be hosted outdoors, they can be modified for indoor presentation in cases of bad weather. All we need is an outdoor pavilion or open field. All programs are free and will provide the necessary supplies. For more information and to see the specific programs offered, check out our flyer.


JBYCC offers unique single family experiences, hosting one family per weekday for a variety of outdoor experiences including fishing, hiking, pond studies, bird watching, archery, and wildlife discovery. This uniquely-structured family programing is available September through December, from 10AM-2PM. For more information, visit: Family Programs


A new adventure program for 3-5 year olds and their grownups! Let us guide you and your little one through Project Wild’s award-winning Growing Up Wild curriculum, designed to build on children’s natural sense of wonder about nature. At this exciting new weekday program, we extend an invitation for families to explore wildlife. Through a wide range of experiences and activities, we’ll help your child develop a positive first impressions about the natural world and build into lifelong social and academic skills. Check out our Knee-High Naturalist flyer for more information.


JBYCC offers survival workshops periodically for 6th-8th graders. Kids will learn how to build a shelter, navigate the woods, start a fire, and camp overnight in a tent! All supplies are included. $60 per child and pre-registration is required. To see information about our next workshop, check out our flyer here.


The goal of the Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center Network education program is to complement and enhance classroom learning, educating all visitors on conservation stewardship and encouraging a lifelong delight in nature.

Long-term goals for student learning include the following:

  • To develop an understanding of and respect for the natural environment.
  • To gain an understanding of a diversity of our natural world.
  • To develop a feeling of responsibility and accountability for human environmental impacts on the natural environment.
  • Students desire to return to Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center as a camper.
What are the facility amenities at Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center?
The Joe Budd cabin has two bathrooms for use during scheduled programs and field trips, plus a large, covered pavilion with a capacity of 100 people. The Joe Budd office features large, freshwater fish tanks that show students and visitors the potential “catch” they will be fishing for: channel catfish, largemouth bass, and bluegill. Resident reptiles and taxidermy mounts are also showcased to further illustrate the array of wildlife found at JBYCC. Public parking is available in the gravel lot in front of the office. Please note: JBYCC does not have a water fountain or vending machines. Please pack a lunch, snacks, and drinks.
What is the history of Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center?

A man named Joseph Budd owned the Budd Cigar Company as well as many other plots of land in and around Quincy, Florida. The Budd Cigar Company company grew tobacco, rolled cigars, and had 800 employees. The two main cigars he produced were the Lord Clinton Cigars and the Florida Queen Cigars. At one time, Mr. Budd was was the second wealthiest individual in all of the Florida Panhandle. He purchased the land that Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center now sits on in the 1930s from the St. Joe Paper Company. He also leased an additional 20,000 acres around his property.

The property was his favorite place in the world, and he took refuge in the sport of hunting and fishing in his man-made pond. He enjoyed fly fishing in the pond and would boast that the waters were so clear that you could see the fish as it was reeled in. The pond was built on the property when the spring was discovered and dug out to a great depth for the enjoyment of the guests of Joe Budd. Mr. Budd picked out the timber personally for the log cabin that is built on the property. Red clay mortar fills each crack to secure the two-story cabin and the large fireplace provided warmth for the hunters and guests. Mr. Budd even purchased bucks from Wisconsin to enhance the deer population, which became very large and had impressive antlers like their Wisconsin cousins. Mr. Budd also raised and released large grackles of turkeys on the property to increase the population, making the Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area (the area around JBYCC) plentiful for hunters.

How do we get there?
Joe Budd is in the middle of the Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area. Our address is 639 Pond Road, Midway, FL, 32343.

I have more questions!

Have a question, an idea for our programs, or want to bring your family or students? Camp director, Meghann Dawkins, would love to talk with you. Contact her at or call Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center directly at (850) 933-4322.

Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center
639 Pond Rd. | Midway, FL 32343
850-933-4322 |
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