Culture // 6 min Read

Palmetto Bluff Growing Outdoors

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Apr 12, 2024

Photographs by Summer Pagatpatan

Palmetto Bluff is a wilderness playground for families, a gateway to the outdoors, to living life close to nature. Palmetto Bluff Growing Outdoors, or PBGO, encompasses the ethos of this extraordinary place.

CampGO is PBGO’s summer program and caters to Palmetto Bluff Club members from five to fourteen years old. To address the varying age groups, the camp has meticulously curated age-specific activities, ensuring each child enjoys a program tailored to their developmental stage. By organizing children into appropriate age brackets, CampGO aims to optimize the camp experience, offering activities that resonate with campers of all ages.

The camp follows a Monday-to-Thursday schedule with an optional field trip every Friday. Last summer, CampGO offered eight themed weeks. Each week brought a unique experience—a Mission Impossible week, PB’s Got Talent!, and Christmas in July, to name a few. First and foremost, this revamped camp programming encourages kids to get outside and explore beyond their usual likes and dislikes. Unlike traditional camps that focus on a single activity, this approach surprises campers with undisclosed weekly activities. This element of surprise encourages kids to try new things without preconceptions. As a result, many discover interests they hadn’t explored before, like trying archery for the first time! Or horseback riding!


Each week, CampGo is organized around an exciting theme. A camper favorite was PB’s Got Talent! Campers honed their skills throughout the week to prepare for a showcase talent show. There was singing, acting, and dancing. One camper showed off on a Rubik’s Cube; another told a series of cop jokes while eating a donut.


CampGo utilizes Palmetto Bluff’s impressive amenities. Each week, skilled instructors teach campers new skills and techniques. The kids played tennis, pickleball, and golf. They visited the shooting club and learned how to use a bow and arrow. They rode horses at the equestrian center. These weekly activities provided new ways for campers to connect to the outdoors and to the Palmetto Bluff community.

The kids are really the reason we go to Palmetto Bluff every summer. And a lot of that is the camp. They love it. The talent show was the highlight of the summer. I couldn’t be more complimentary about what they’re doing with PBGO—the communication, the staff—it’s a really great experience. – MilLs Goodloe | Club member

Color Week

Color Week is a summer highlight. For four days, camp is organized around color activities. The kids tie-dye t-shirts, play on a colorful paint slip and slide, and throw a foam party. The week culminates in a final, epic color battle on the field.

The idea of growing outdoors is important to our family. We are so fortunate to live in an area that is beautiful and rich with opportunity, to explore and connect with the outdoors. It is also important to us that we foster a sense of respect for the world around us. We noticed early on that our son had a deep interest in all things nature, and Palmetto Bluff is the perfect place for him to learn and explore. During his time at camp, he harvested at the farm, rode horses, and swam. It was amazing to hear him talk about blue herons, snake birds, and the many other creatures that call the Bluff their home. – Christine Fox | Club Member

Sports and Games

Outdoor games are central to the CampGo experience. The CampGo team organizes games of kickball, capture the flag, and gaga ball, but always with a twist! For instance, kickball becomes slip-and-slide kickball for added difficulty and a little extra fun.

My husband and I were never indoors when we were kids. We played outside from dusk to dawn. I want my kids to have a similar experience, and Palmetto Bluff is the best place for that. It is one giant playground for the kids. – Lauren Jarman | Club Member


Each week, CampGo hosts a different vendor or outside company that provides a specialized activity for campers. One week, it was a silent disco; another week, it was laser tag. On a Hawaiian-themed day, campers enjoyed shaved ice. Another vendor brought a small village of inflatable bounce castles.

Sundae Slip and Slide

CampGo pauses for the week of the Fourth of July. This year, the PBGO team organized a Sundae Slip and Slide, and kids slid through ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and cherries. There was a sundae eating contest, and the fire department showed up to hose everyone off.

It reminds me of the way we grew up—playing outside all day until the sun sets! Camp gives the children a way to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. From discovering turtles in the marsh to swimming in the May River, PBGO offers them the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Bluff in a fun and meaningful way. – Tanya O’Reilly | Club Member


CampGO falls under the umbrella of PBGO, the Palmetto Bluff Club’s family programming arm. Throughout the year, PBGO director Lexi Yager and her team organize an impressive array of events and celebrations. Oftentimes, these events are organized around major holidays, when kids are out of school, and families come to Palmetto Bluff to celebrate. Lexi and the PBGO team have created a family framework to ensure that events are age-appropriate and that there is always something for everyone. Programming is organized into five categories: PB Root, PB Sprout, PB Tide, PB Indigo, and PB Evergreen.

We feel that Growing Outdoors really encompasses our ethos. What makes Palmetto Bluff so amazing is this outdoor playground available to children and their families.
Lexi Yager -Children’s Program Director | Palmetto Bluff Club


Just as a plant’s roots supply water and nourishment, our parents serve as the bedrock of support for the Palmetto Bluff community. PB Root stands as a dedicated support group for these parents, acknowledging their pivotal role as the cornerstone of children’s lives.


Our five- to eight-year-old members are eager and curious to explore life and understand themselves from a fresh perspective. This stage marks their budding journey to discover their identities and understand the world around them.


Much like the ever-changing tide, which navigates and adapts to obstacles, PB Tide encapsulates the dynamism, evolution, and imaginative spirit of our nine- to twelve-year-old members.


Just as the indigo plant flourishes under the sun and needs room to grow, Palmetto Bluff’s thirteen- to sixteen-year-old members deserve a nurturing community. This dedicated group ensures they have the ideal space to thrive.


The evergreen plant stands steadfast, resilient, and vibrant. This is a dedicated community for our members with disabilities. The PBGO team tailors its Evergreen approach to cater to each member’s specialized needs, fostering inclusivity, adaptation, and a strong sense of community.

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