What Do We Offer?

It is important to understand that we interact with the natural world on a daily basis. It is the job of the Camp Grady Spruce Outdoor Education staff to ask quality questions to gain a better understanding of the natural world that surrounds us. The YMCA Camp Grady Spruce Outdoor Education program can guarantee a memorable Outdoor Education experience and provide memories that will last a lifetime.

The YMCA Camp Grady Spruce Outdoor Education program can customize your experience to increase the rigor and comprehension of your experience.

There is truly no classroom needed when you have an island, mountain and 535 acres in northwestern Palo Pinto County.

Core Trails


Johnson’s Peak

This 1.2 mile hike is considered one of the “crown jewels” in the world of Camp Grady Spruce hiking. The students will traverse Johnson’s Peak while learning about the horizontal stratification of various rock formations and the chemical components within them. Native flora and fauna will be studied as well during their hike to the awe inspiring view at the summit of Johnson’s Peak.


Devil’s Island

Journey to the Island via barge to explore the intricate interactions among native island flora and fauna. Plenty of local history will be shared during this trail as well as a bird’s eye view of the Brazos River Valley as it meanders through Possum Kingdom Lake. If you want to understand land formation and horizontal stratification of rock formations, the island has it all and more!


Man and the Environment

1.6 miles of nature investigation! Prairie Reclamation, Nutrient Cycling, Water Cycles, Sustainable Development, Bird Blind and Natural Resources. These trails are the total package! Hike through long grass prairie or 200 year old live oaks. Observe monarchs feeding on native wildflowers or “rattle” up some white tails.

Project Adventure Team Building

It is all about the team! The students will work together as a team to perform various low ropes initiatives. Through the staging and sequencing of tasks the students will achieve greatness. Through the various stages, the students will practice sharing responsibility and leadership to get through and complete the objectives.

Additional Day Classes


Prairie Restoration/Path to Verse

Students will travel through our reclaimed mixed grass prairie while learning about the fine art of poetry. Big Blue Stem grass, Side Oats Gramma, Hairy Gramma, Cotton Top, Cinquain’s, Haiku’s and Limericks will abound!


Lake Ecology

Students will investigate and sample Possum Kingdom Lake to determine the health of the aquatic habitat. Students will determine pH, dissolved oxygen, Transparency, micro and macro invertebrates, wind speed and GPS location.


Texas Time Trail/Cedar Brakes

Students will learn more about the very specific ecology of a Cedar Brake and what environmental factors govern this very unique forest. Throughout this trail the students will learn about pioneer life and will participate in numerous pioneer activities!



Students will learn how to bait a hook and discover the finer points of fishing etiquette. Students will learn more about the fish’s adaptations and their life requirements. We’re on Possum Kingdom Lake……we have very photogenic fish!



Forces in motion! The students will receive paddling and safety instructions prior to setting out on a spectacular canoe adventure on Possum Kingdom Lake. Students will learn how to properly fit a life jacket and work as a paddling team. We are all in the same boat on this one!


Fire Building (Ultimate Toast Burn Off)

Heat, Fuel and Oxygen! The students will receive fire building instruction and fire safety. Students will learn how to start a fire using primitive techniques and of course…Burn some toast!

Horseback Riding

Students will participate in an instructed horsemanship lesson lead by our equestrian staff. Helmet up and head out for trail ride! Students will learn how to navigate their horse along the trail, tack up their horse, and perform barn chores.



Magnetism and Polarity! Students will learn how to correctly use a map and compass. Students will participate in our poem orienteering course and create their own course for other students.


Outdoor Living Skills

Students will learn what they really need in their backpack! Students will participate in the building of a brush shelter and culminate with the awesome fire building competition!


Sensory Trail

The students will become more in tune with their senses as they travel through our rope-guided trail… while blindfolded!



Students will receive instruction concerning the proper shooting of a bow and arrow. It’s all about your stance! Students will have a friendly competition with the targets and culminate with a Flu-Flu tournament.


Conservation Projects

Blue Bird Nesting Boxes, Water Bar and Check Dam Construction, Composting, Mulching, Gardening, Replanting and Removal, Project Live Oak,  and the Conservation Village. It’s all about kinesthetic learning while making our planet a better place!

Camp Grady Spruce Map


Camp Accredation