The Natural World Is Our Classroom!

Established in 1989, the Outdoor Education program at Camp Grady Spruce is devoted to helping teachers educate students about the interrelationship and interdependence between man and the environment. Students are guided to understanding by involving them in interactive learning. The natural world is our classroom for environmental education! Students have the opportunity to learn while exploring trails, hiking Johnson’s Peak, canoeing, fishing, orienteering, and boating to Devil’s Island.

The OE Program operates during the school year and is primarily focused on the curriculum of fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade students. We offer outdoor education experiences ranging from one to five days in length. The information taught utilizing the staff’s expertise and the natural setting has been carefully aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Students learn responsibility and develop an appreciation of diversity in nature and within each other.


While Outdoor Education was developed with school curricula in mind, the overnight experience provides many more growth opportunities for these students.

Many of these students have never spent extended periods of time away from their parents. Camp staff will help chaperones and teachers involve students in activities so that these students learn personal responsibility (keeping up with their own possessions), how to get along (many students do not share a bedroom or bathroom at home, now they are sharing with 8-14 other people.), how to appreciate diversity (yes, they know there is diversity at school, however through the overnight experience they will learn even more about customs, mannerisms, etc.),  conflict resolution (important to every environment where people live close together in a community is how to resolve daily conflicts), and self-reflection (from wondering where this all began to my teacher is really different at camp, students see the world with a different set of eyes). Participation in an outdoor environment is a lifelong activity; this is often an introductory experience to what can be done out-of-doors.

Every student is changed through this outdoor experience!



Camp Grady Spruce is located on the beautiful shoreline of Possum Kingdom Lake in north central Texas. A place where numerous ecosystems exist: freshwater, mountain, and prairie terrain. Nature abounds! Deer, rabbits, quail, bald eagles, lizards, and raccoons all are supported in our ecological system. An aquatic environment supports Great Blue Herons, bass, dragonflies, frogs, catfish, aquatic plant life, and microorganisms.


Student campers live in climate-controlled cabins equipped with restrooms and private showers. Meals are shared in our dining halls where students continue to interact as a community through family-style meals. We also have multiple indoor facilities available for instruction and recreation.

ACA Accreditation

We are American Camp Association (ACA) accredited. This assures you that camp practices have been measured up against 300 industry standards. ACA-accredited camps voluntarily go through a rigorous risk-management process to provide a supervised, positive environment with controlled boundaries where children can grow.

YMCA Camp Grady Spruce is accredited by the American Camp Association and is visited every three years to assure compliance with the ACA standards. Why is this important?

For more information, to arrange a tour or set up a visit to your school, please email Cassandra Martin.