Rain, rain, go AWAY!

So this week of camp has been unusual due to the fact that we have had rain storms almost every day.  Today we were blessed with a beautiful, sunny day of camp and everything went according to schedule.  Here is a peek at our campers from this week:

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We had a successful day of camp today with no rain involved.  We charted the weather, spent time in the garden weeding, planting kale, and generally soaking each other with water to stay cool.  We made our craft that was meant to be done on Monday, and started or finished crafts from today.  We also highly enjoyed our free time in the open air, away from the cramped quarters of the Clow House where we spent several hours this week hiding from the rain playing games and doing puzzles.

We also made a camp snack today with the radishes we harvested yesterday.  Here is the recipe for Chilly Willy’s Special Summertime Confetti Soup (from Epicurious… I might have renamed it for kid appeal):

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound trimmed radishes, quartered (1 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 pound seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped), peeled and chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 cups well-shaken chilled buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Garnish: thin slices of cucumber and radish

Put everything in a blender and mix.  Serve immediately.

Check back tomorrow for more photos from this week’s camp!

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The Magic of Metamorphosis and Radish Picking Day

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The theme for today’s camp was the Magic of Metamorphosis.  We read three books today, one about butterflies, one about dragonflies, and one about lady bugs and then compared the life cycles of all three.  Afterwards we went on a bug hunt with some nets and containers but mostly found and caught moths.  We also painted some wooden dragonflies and lady bugs and made a butterfly craft.  Our main garden task for the day was watering, weeding, and then picking radishes.  They were the first things ready in our garden so we were super excited to harvest them.  As you can see from the picture, Peter Rabbit tried to get in on our harvest but luckily he didn’t eat too many and the campers took home several radishes each.  We estimated how many radishes we thought we had harvested and it turns out we had way more than we thought! Here’s our total radish harvest for the day:

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First week of full day camp… ever!

So this week we launched a test of having full day camp at the farm.  We made this decision based on feedback from parents last year, and decided to test it out for two weeks of camp this year.  So far, it’s been going GREAT!  We also lucked out with awesome weather so far this week, and it looks as if the rest of the week will be good as well.  The only concern with full day camp is that we have very limited indoor space at the farm, so if the weather is really bad for an extended period of time it could be challenging keeping everyone happy. But after just two days I can’t imagine how we fit everything in with just a half day in the past! 🙂

Our theme for this week of camp is “The Garden is a Magical Place”.  Yesterday we explored the magic of seeds by reading two books, doing a seed match game, and creating a seed identification chart as our craft.  

Today our theme was the Secrets of Soil.  We investigated different soils around the farm, explored our compost bins (lots of worms were found!) and did a soil/sand painting craft.  Tomorrow we will be exploring the Magic of Metamorphosis!

Here’s a picture of our campers for this week (missing our one camper who was the photographer for the day):

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Our Garden Angel

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This is Chuck Henning, a volunteer for the Conservation Foundation.  For the past year and a half, he has been the angel in our garden. Chuck is responsible for installing our weather station, putting a gate in the back of the garden to access the other children’s garden (farm), creating new irrigation stations in both gardens, tilling all of our garden beds, and within the next week he will be tilling and adding mulch to the smaller children’s garden which will make it look AWESOME.  I don’t know what I would have done without Chuck the past two years.  If you see him at the farm, please THANK him for all he has done for us.  The garden is awesome because of Chuck’s help!

Making Nests and Garden Games

Yesterday we talked about birds, reading the book “The Kingdom of Singing Birds” and then doing one of the campers favorite activities… making bird nests! We looked at nests made by actual birds, and then we tried to recreate them using natural materials from around the farm.  Since our soil has a lot of clay in it, it was easy to use mud as the base for our nests and then add to them with grass, sticks, leaves, etc.

Today we spent some quality time in the garden, and as it turns out, these kids love to weed! We weeded the tomatillos, the snap peas, and the tomatoes, and then planted cucumbers (even the young plants smell just like fresh cut cucumbers) and some fairy tale pumpkins.  We lucked out with the weather today since the weather forecast last night said 60% chance of rain all morning long.  Hopefully the storms tonight will give our new plants some good water and the sun will come back out tomorrow!