We are all grateful to Jennifer Bennett, a Friends Volunteer, who painted the camp banner after the campers' and staff's signatures dried. Very colorful! She then passes the banner on to Bonnie Anderson, the Friends Administrator, whom we thank for washing the banner (5 cycles!!) to remove the glue signatures, leaving behind the white background. The 2016 Session 1 Banner was hung in the EE Shelter this morning.
Today was very different than yesterday. Yesterday was filled mostly with time on the Trails. Today was focused more on understanding and appreciating biodiversity, and how animals adapt to the environment in which they live, with birds as an example. Marilyn Ellis, a Volunteer Naturalist, has developed a new activity to have kids learn about biodiversity and adaptations. All of the Teams of Campers met in the Environmental Education Classroom at the beginning of the day. Marilyn described that, to survive, and animal must adapt to its environment. All birds live in specific niches, which allow the many hundreds of different birds species to exist. Each species has adapted its beak, feet, wings, and tail to enable them to collect the food it eats.
For example, Marilyn explained the special design of raptor talons, with three toes in the front and one in the rear. She demonstrated to the class how such a design enables eagles, hawks, and falcons to quickly seize and kill their prey. The campers practiced the technique. Have your camper demonstrate the technique to you.
Marilyn presented the wings and tails of different bird species and described how the design of those appendages enable them to fly in the different ways that species do.
Ask your camper to explain how the broad wings and tail of eagles and the thin wings and V-shaped tail of swallows allow them to fly so differently from each other.
We affectionately refer to Marilyn as the Bird Lady. She practices "Total Body Instruction" when that technique is best suited. Today, she demonstrated how a Great Blue Heron, with its very long neck and legs, walks. (View left to right.)
When Marilyn completed her overview, the three Teams were separated and began a rotation among four stations: "Get It Together", Bird Identification, Paper Making, and Selection of Camper Favorite Photos from Photo Day. The Team assigned to "Get It Together stayed with Marilyn.
Get It Together " is a new activity for this year. Campers select from various options of body parts to assemble a bird. They could try to create a model of a real bird, or design a bird that we have yet to observe in nature. Here's a model that Marilyn assembled and the options that the campers have to work with.
Another station was in the Riparian Room, where our Photographers Tom Shreve and Don Nelson, reviewed all of the photos taken by each camper with that camper to select their favorite two pictures for printing. One will be framed for display in Visitors Center and the other framed to take home on Friday. What were the subjects in your campers favorites? Was it hard to choose two?
The third station was on the Plaza Overlook, where Gary Fawver, Volunteer Naturalist, gave some instruction for how to identify birds in the field. Ask your camper what clues can be used to determine what type of bird they're seeing.
All of the campers have been actively engaged this week in entering their drawings, thoughts and other items into their journals. The fourth station was setup for them to make a cover for their journal. Sandy Reid, a Volunteer Naturalist, and Jennifer Bennett, another Volunteer, aided by the Camps Team Leads and Assistants, made covers from shredded recycled paper. They embossed their cover with leaves and sprigs of pine. They'll dry for a couple days and then be attached to their journals.
Charlie Graham, Camp Director, finally got enough sun to "fire up" his solar cookers. The campers are always intrigued by cooking with sunlight.
Everyone enjoyed the baked potatoes. Charlie cooked red,white and purple potatoes and served them with ketchup or Ranch dressing.
A busy day. We think that everyone had a good time. Did your camper?