This week at Ecology Day Camp, we explored and learned all about Pixies, Pollywogs and Potions! Campers enjoyed a week full of mystery, plants, animals and fun. The hot, humid weather this week allowed us to spend much of our week hanging down by all the different water spots at Audubon, and making a goal to drink lots and lots of water!
On Monday, we heard from Gnome Norman, who has been frozen and needs our potion making and exploration skills to become unfrozen. We have spent the week writing notes back, creating a potion for him, building fairy houses and other activities to help our friend.
Monday morning, we started the day by calling the thunder and made a rainstorm in the clubhouse, and the thunder definitely responded back! We discovered the note from Gnome Norman and devised a plan for the week so that we can help him unfreeze.
Tuesday was no doubt very hot, so we spent much of our time in the woods and by the water. We had the pleasure of watching Mark's Bird Banding program in the morning, where he showed us several different birds and how he bands them, and then we saw him release them back into the wild--totally cool! Then, we did a scavenger hunt for the potion we needed to make to help Gnome Norman, which consisted of objects like burdock burrs, pine needles and other ingredients from nature. We spent some time at Beaver Pond to cool down and look for critters in the water, and even met up with the pre-school camp and all had fun together by the water. Several campers decided to capture some leeches and make their own leech farm, and one camper even found a baby snapping turtle at the pond!
On Wednesday, the hot weather brought us to the water again, and we spent time at the Huntington River and the Sherman Hollow Brook. We found some super cool rocks down by the river, and even caught a frog for all of us to look at. Making sure to stay hydrated and cool, we built our own fairy houses at the brook to help save Gnome Norman. They came out awesome! We ended the day by playing a classic camp game about species dynamics, Life and Death in the Forest, but instead of the usual teams such as the coyotes, rabbits and grasshoppers, we played it with ogres, gnomes and frogs! We ended the day with a wild edibles where we learned what around us in the woods is good and safe to eat, and what is not.
For the rest of the week, the weather is supposed to remain hot, so we will continue to take advantage of the various water bodies around Audubon. Thursday, we started the day off by playing a big game of Mad Libs, and then Capture the Flag. Later, we will use nets to look for some creepy crawlers at Peeper Pond. The afternoon will bring us some relaxing nature yoga, as well as learning how to build fires! Friday, we will find out if we have successfully helped Gnome Norman and unfreeze and finish the week with some more water and nature adventures.
Pixies, Pollywogs and Potions has been truly a week for exploration, fun and mystery!