Well, this day of camp was supposed to be about caring for animals. Which it kind of was, but in more of a roundabout way. Here’s the story.
We normally start every day of camp with some free time in the small garden. We explore, fix up the stick house, dig, water, look for bugs, etc. Well, the day before the campers had learned how to screen the compost so I added that to the list of options they could participate in during free time. As they were piling compost into a bin to take out to the garden, we discovered the BIGGEST BUG EVER! Kids actually screamed. Turns out we found the largest grub I’d ever seen. We went to the computer and immediately tried to figure out how to care for a grub, so that we could see what it would turn into. Ironically most of the information on the Internet is how to *kill* grubs, which was the opposite of what we wanted to do. So we discussed animal needs as a group: Space to live, food to eat, water to drink, and air to breathe. We set up our new friend with a nice little home with plenty of compost and a little bit of water. The Grub has been the talk of camp ever since.
After all the excitement and some time in the big garden, we settled down for our book of the day “The Kingdom of Singing Birds” by Miriam Aroner. The book is about a king whose birds wouldn’t sing. A wise Rabbi, who knew a lot about nature was called to help the king figure out how to make his birds sing. The Rabbi knew the King would not like his response, but he told him anyway: The way to get your birds to sing is to set them free. The king set his birds free and immediately they began to sing. Some flew away, but so many stayed that the kingdom was called the Kingdom of the Singing Birds. The campers talked about how wild animals are happier when they are free and we agreed that any wild animals we found we would eventually let go (even the grub).
After the story we went on a birding hike with my Peterson’s Guide to Birds on the iPad. We saw tons of robins, some black birds, and a hawk! One of the campers has a neighbor who has peacocks so she vowed to bring pictures so the rest of us could check them out.