Blue Jay is a prime destination for field trips. There are five options available for planning an environmental education field trip to Blue Jay Point. The Blue Jay staff looks forward to working with your group in the coming year. Please let us know how we can help!
1. General Group Visit – Leaders prepare and lead the activities or secure services of a non-park specialist to present their program. We have 4 miles of hiking trails, dozens of picnic tables, an Open Play Field, and an Environmental Education Center with permanent exhibits on water, environmental issues, and Piedmont habitat types for you to use. No staff-led services or materials are included with this option.
2. Discovery Box/Resource Loan – This includes in-park use of reserved Discovery Boxes for no charge. Boxes include written activity instructions plus necessary equipment. Some boxes are simple enough to use with no advance preparation; other boxes are more complex and leaders may study the boxes in advance by making an appointment with the Blue Jay staff. No staff-led program services are included in this option. Reservation of materials is required and can be used here in the park between the hours of 8 a.m.–4:45 p.m., Monday–Saturday.
3. Guided Program – Monthly, themed programs especially for Scout groups are available on selected Saturdays. Some programs are "requirement-oriented" while others are "background-oriented," enabling Scouts to continue work on their own. Please see the Scout Saturday flier for more information. Programs are scheduled during the school year and are advertised in the summer, with registration beginning July 1.
4. Overnight Lodge – Many of you are already familiar with the Blue Jay Lodge, an environmental education overnight facility. If you have a Lodge reservation for this school year, consider inviting an older or younger Scout group to partner with you (the Lodge sleeps 36). Not only does that share expenses, but mentoring is a very important part of Scouting philosophy. Remember: Reservations can be made up to a year in advance (e.g., August 2013 was open for reservation on August 1, 2012), so call early to get your desired date!
5. Service Projects – Service opportunities abound at Blue Jay Point County Park.
- Winter Open House – The Blue Jay Center for Environmental Education's Winter Open House will next take place on Saturday, February 1, 2014. During the Winter Open House, families, groups and individuals come to see our permanent exhibits, participate in simple, hands-on opportunities and do simple crafts. We have openings for several older Scout groups to host natural history "hands-on" tables.
- Songbird Celebration – Blue Jay's banner event, Songbird Celebration, will take place on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Songbird Celebration is a free festival that includes myriad classes, crafts, games and hikes, all related to birds. Scouts can participate in several ways. First, you can bring your group out for the day and take part in the educational festivities. Preregistration is required for some activities, but the craft tables and games are walkup. This choice is especially appropriate for younger Scout groups. Second, you can volunteer your group's time to staff craft tables or to run school carnival-type, bird-related games. This is especially appropriate for older Scout groups (you could even design your own game or craft). Most of our older Scout groups enjoy arriving about 10 a.m. and departing about 3:15 p.m., having helped half the day and participated in crafts, classes and hikes for the other half of the day. Call 919-870-4330 or email Blue Jay Point to indicate your group's interest, and we'll contact you at a later date and arrange your group's personal itinerary for Songbird Celebration.
- Big Sweep – This statewide shoreline litter pickup takes place annually on the first Saturday in October. Please call 919-870-4330 to sign up your troop to help out! Your group can also participate in a Big Sweep-style litter pickup at Blue Jay at any time of your choosing. Register your group to spend an hour (or more!) cleaning up the Falls Lake shoreline adjacent to Blue Jay Point County Park. Your group's community service work would have the double benefit of protecting wildlife and Raleigh's drinking water supply. You will be provided with work gloves and trash bags. Scouts should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Sunscreen, bug spray and a hat are a plus. Call 919-870-4330 to register.
- Eagle Scouts – Over the years, many Eagle Scout candidates have chosen to complete their Eagle Award Project at Blue Jay Point County Park. Occasionally, the park staff has specific projects that would satisfy the requirements. Scouts are encouraged to submit their own ideas. To find out more information regarding Eagle Scout opportunities, prospective Eagle Scouts should contact Ben Wittenberg at 919-870-4329 or email Blue Jay Point.