Summer Day Camp Blog

Secrets of the Sanctuary

Ecology Day Camp, Week 5

Audubon is a magical place to discover nature’s most mysterious plants and animals. From poison ivy to plantain, we learn to tell hazard from helper. We had lots of time for foraging, making magical concoctions, and built fairy houses too!

Monday we started right away with a native plant walk. We learned about the different things that plants can do for us. We collected plantain that we will soak in oil to turn into a salve later in the week. It is also important to remember that we should never eat or use anything that we aren’t 100% certain of. We should also always have an adult with us when we are foraging. In the afternoon we built boats and baskets at the Sherman Hollow brook.

Tuesday we learn all about mythical beasts. We took some time to design one of our own and built them a habitat. We learned about the 3 components of a habitat, food, water, and shelter, that way our beasts would live comfortably. We then learned about some animals who make their homes (beavers and birds). Later in the afternoon we played Life and Death in the Forest, our groups were: Dragons, trolls, and Fairies.

Camper building a fairy house
Working on our Fairy house Photo: Audubon Vermont

Wednesday started with a wildflower walk. Once we learned about some of our wild flowers we then worked on our Fairy homes and fairy village. In the afternoon we had some loud fun and did flower pigment transfers/smashing on paper. We made some beautiful flower art.

Flower press
Student flower print layout Photo: Audubon Vermont
student laying out flowers
Flower print making Photo: Audubon Vermont
Campers with flower print
Final project Photo: Audubon Vermont

Thursday being a chilly day we began with a lesson on Fire building. This is one skill that the magical world uses a lot. We learned how to collect sticks, build a good shape for a fire and everyone got a chance to lite a match if they wanted to. While we were doing this Kyra started a fire to boil or oil and plantain to make a salve, we mixed in beeswax to make it thick. In the afternoon a stream fairy, Newt came to tell us that she needed us to help assess the stream health. We went down to the brook to see what critters we could collect and find as one way to assess the health of the stream. With he critters we found, we found out that the stream is healthy.

Campers in brook
Campers searching the Brook for Critters Photo: Audubon Vermont
A big crayfish that we found! Photo: Audubon Vermont

Friday morning we went on a Fairy scavenger hunt around Audubon! When we got back Newt came to visit and we got to tell them that their stream was healthy! Later in the day we each got to make a magic wand and decorated them.

Throughout the whole we week split into groups and worked on skits. We worked together to build a theme, write a script, and then at closing circle on Friday we preformed them for our adults!

WE had such a magical week!

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