|Drawing our own "people" cookies|
come from a tree! Now, that's something worth protecting. Campers also got an up close look at a tree's cross section, also called a "tree cookie". They drew pictures of their own cross sections, labeling important life events on each ring! We were able to play "Every Tree for Itself", a game that illustrated the importance of all the different resources trees need to survive, as well. We wrapped up our first day by checking out all the different micro-habitats in a single tree. We observed the animals and other organism living from the tops of the highest branches to the roots and surrounding ground. It was a fun way to learn that people aren't the only things that depend on trees!
|Investigating trees as habitats|
|Our recycling relay|
|Experimenting with chemical run off|
|Learning watershed terminology|
|Designing each piece of the watershed|
On Thursday, Camp Explorations took a walk in the woods! Campers took a field trip to Nichol's Arboretum where we played "The Carbon Dioxide Game". A new take on tag, our "carbon dioxide molecules" tried to catch our "sunbeams" and keep them trapped in Earth's atmosphere. We drew cards to determine what aspects of human behavior help or hurt our cause (driving puts CO2 into the air, planting trees pulls CO2 out of the atmosphere, etc). We had a blast running around the meadow and building fairy houses as well!
|Exploring the Arb|
|Carbon Dioxide game!|
|Building our eco-friendly fairy house|
On Friday, we wrapped up our ecology session by focusing on environmental stewardship. Environmental stewardship is defined as the "responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices". We played a game called "Virtual Water" to illustrate why water is so important to human interests and conserving resources is so vital. Campers were all assigned roles within a community and had to tug at a string connected to a central water. All the other campers could feel the pull of each other, a great way to show how the overuse or conservation of water affects everyone. We also took time to design our own Great Lakes community. We designed businesses, homes, and other aspects of a community and then carefully planned their positions on our mural in order to best utilize the available space and resources while still leaving enough area for our wetland friends and their habitats. Finally, we learned about oil spills! Oil spills are bad for our environment and often occur over large areas of water. Campers tried to clean up a mini oil spill, testing various absorbent materials to try to soak up and contain the oil. After experimenting with different substances they worked together to create the most efficient procedure for saving the ecosystem in the event of a spill.
|Adding our community buildings|
|Aftermath of cleaning up the oil spill|
|Writing out our procedure|