The purpose of Our Big Backyard (OBB) is to immerse children ages 8-12 in the outdoors and increase their environmental literacy through fun, educational activities.

Funded by grants, private gifts and generous in-kind donations by local businesses, the program prioritizes children with a financial barrier to participating in a traditional summer camp and accomplishes big things with a very small budget!

Campers spend the week away from their screens having adventures in nature and eating (mostly!) healthy. We travel to a different destination each day of camp exposing children to a variety of outdoor activities such as fishing, swimming, hiking and more!


In 2018, Our Big Backyard began as Foothills Conservancy’s first-ever summer camp for kids! Thanks to a partnership with NC Cooperative Extension – Burke Center, 43 campers between the ages of 8 and 12 were accepted to participate in the week-long camp.

Take a look at our adventures from 2018 here:


  • “My daughter loved the fishing and asked us to get her a fishing pole! She also was proud of the blueberry jam she made.”
  • “It was a perfect week!”
  • “I hope you do this again next year!”
  • “The kids loved the camp leaders, activities, and their “swag bags”.


  • Burke County United Way
  • Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge
  • Community Foundation of Burke County – Burke Women’s Fund
  • Food Matters
  • International Paper Foundation