Fresh Air Family


Gross Out Campers

FAF logoFounded by Verna in 2006, the non-profit Fresh Air Family has blossomed into an organization that serves thousands each year.

Coming up fast is the Wacky Tacky Christmas Light Tour! Sign up your group for a wacky Christmas party on the party bus! Embrace your inner tacky as we take you to see the best of the worst that Christmas has to offer. Dates coming soon. You can book during the regular guided tours, or a private guided tour. 

Here is a link to Fresh Air Family's calendar:

As a result of this annual fundraiser, 216 children and youth came to award-winning Gross Out Camp on scholarship. To make a donation, click here.

Fresh Air Family works statewide to provide healthy, family-oriented educational op- portunities in the great outdoors.

Mission: To teach that every living thing deserves respect. Launched in July 2006, today, we offer more than 400 annual educational activities. Fresh Air Family is a 501(c)3 non-profit.

Fresh Air Family Programs include:

Hikes for Tykes - A hands-on biology program for pre-school children. In partnership with the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Huntsville Botanical Garden.

Fresh Air Field Trips and Classroom programs - Focusing on hands-on learning, we teach science, zoology, biology, geology and survival skills. Based at Ruffner Mountain.

Gross Out Camp - 2016 camp programs served 1,164 campers. Gross Out Camp received the Peggy Spain McDonald Bright Idea Award from the Alabama Department of Education.

boy holding turtleGross Out Day - A new field trip program introducing students to highlights of the summer program, like looking for macro invertebrates, conducting experiments and meeting reptiles.

Prepared, Not Scared Camp - A partnership with Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale to teach children how to survive severe weather, getting lost and other dangers.

Fresh Air Friends - A year-long training program as junior counselors and as leaders. They learn experiments and participate in service learning projects.

family hike in creek
Family Hikes
- We offer more than 400 family hikes in partnership with everyone from Alabama State Parks to Ruffner Mountain, Alabama Wildflower Society, Alabama Hiking Trail Society, Alabama Paleontology Society and many others.

Wacky SantaWacky Tacky Light Tour - our annual fundraiser that funds scholarships for our camps. A bus ride to see over the top, outrageous holiday lights. 1058 attended in 2016.

Scale Back Alabama - Annually, Fresh Air Family is the activity arm for the Alabama Department of Health and Alabama Hospital Association's weight loss program called Scale Back Alabama. Last year, more than 35,000 participated. Membership is $25 for individuals and $35 for families.

More at

Contact: To schedule book signings, speeches, travel writing, tours, please contact:

Verna Gates
P.O. Box 321038
Birmingham, AL 35232
Phone: 205.540.6642

For more information on Fresh Air Family programs, email