The Babler Outdoor Education Center (OEC) can sleep a total of 168 participants. Eight identical cabins each sleep 20 participants and the Administration building sleeps 8. In each cabin, twelve of the sleeping spaces are single beds, eight of the sleeping spaces are bunk beds. Mattresses are provided for each bed; campers need to bring their own bedding, pillows, and towels. The cabins at OEC are spacious and offer electricity, restrooms, heat, and a working fireplace. The cabins are heated but are not air-conditioned. Each cabin has several large overhead fans and the windows open to allow for plenty of fresh air.
At the heart of the Babler OEC is the Dining Hall, a place that draws participants together for meals, meetings, and activities. The Dining Hall is heated, but not air-conditioned. Large overhead fans and large picture windows open to allow for fresh air and ventilation. Large tables can be arranged as each group sees fit. Restrooms, a water fountain with a water bottle filler, and a large sink for activity or meal cleanup are located inside the building. A sound system and Wi-Fi make this a great location for meetings, trivia, and activities. The dining hall offers storage, refrigerators, and a kitchenette option for groups who prefer to provide their own meals. An industrial kitchen provides the option for rental (daily or by meal) or full food service for groups over 50, where meals are served cafeteria-style. Learn more about food options. A spacious porch serves as the perfect gathering place for games, songs, and announcements.
Located near several large activity fields the Recreation Hall often serves as the center of activities for a group’s stay at the Babler OEC. Heat and air-conditioning allow the Rec Hall to be used year-round for a basketball or volleyball game, movie night, spiritual service, craft activities, or large group meetings. Tables and chairs are available for groups to arrange according to their needs. Restrooms, showers, a drinking fountain with water bottle filler are located inside. The smaller activity area inside the Rec Hall has a kitchenette (including a stovetop, microwave, and refrigerator) and a washer and dryer available for use by rental groups. The gymnasium has one basketball hoop, volleyball stanchions, and plenty of space for any activity.
The Administration Building serves as the office facility for Babler OEC staff and a health center for user groups. Wi-Fi is available here. The building has two bedrooms with 4 bunk beds in each for a total of 8 sleeping spaces. The central area can serve as a nurse’s station and/or an office for program leadership. The nursing area offers medical-grade locking cabinets for medication storage and a medication fridge. The AED and Epi-pens are located in this building. Two restrooms with showers are located in this building. Groups wishing to use the administration building will share the space with Babler OEC staff daily and will need to plan accordingly.
Located between the Administration Building and Dining Hall is a 40’ X 60’ tent with a concrete floor. The tent is available for group use from approximately April through November, weather depending. With lighting, electrical plug-ins, and tables and chairs, the tent is an ideal location for large group meetings, craft activities, and education classes.
There are four picnic pavilions located at the Babler OEC that are available for group use. All pavilions are equipped with trash and recycle cans and picnic tables. The two pavilions located by the cabins have barbeque pits next to them and serve as a great meeting place for each cabin pod. The cooking pavilion, located behind the Dining Hall is the largest, featuring two large, covered grills, electric plug-ins, and lights.
An accessible swimming pool provides relief on a hot summer day. The zero-depth entry design and portable lift ensure every participant can enjoy relaxing at the pool. Located at the center of the Babler OEC, the pool and pool house offer a popular activity location throughout the summer.
The swimming pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Groups may schedule a time to use the pool during their stay. All participants must follow rules posted at the pool. Failure to do so will result in loss of privilege.
Groups must have a lifeguard on duty at a minimum ratio of 1:25 to use the pool. Lifeguards are not available through the Babler OEC. Groups must provide proof of current certification for lifeguard that will be working. Groups that do not wish to provide their own lifeguard will be referred to a lifeguard management company in order to obtain lifeguards. The estimated cost through these companies is $25.00/guard/hour. The number of guards needed is based on a 1:25 guard/ participant ratio. All lifeguards must go through orientation with a Babler OEC staff member before using the pool.
Prior permission must be obtained before SCUBA diving activities occur. Groups must provide an adult supervisor with a current SCUBA Instructor rating from a nationally recognized certifying body and a lifeguard must be guarding from the pool deck during all SCUBA diving activities.
Two campfire rings are available for use with rental. A bundle of wood is provided with each rental and additional wood is available on-site. The small campfire ring is located behind the cabins at the start of the Kelpe Nature Trail. It is nestled in the woods next to the dry creek bed. It seats 40 and serves as a great location for a campfire or program discussion. The large campfire ring is located in the backfield, behind the Rec Hall. Set in the open field, it’s a great location for stargazing and can seat up to 180 people with the addition of benches and camp chairs.
Take a short walk up the ADA-accessible trail and find our catch and release fishing pond. Enjoy your morning coffee while you watch the birds and listen to the frogs. The perfect size for bass, sunfish, and bluegill, the pond also makes a great backdrop for art programs or pond ecology.