Friday, 17 July 2015

Great Outdoors - Summer Camp | Week 3

We couldn't have asked for better weather to enjoy the great outdoors last week! We lived outside, enjoying every minute of the sunshine and fresh air. We were able to visit some of our favorite local spots outside, and even found a brand new spot that we are all excited about!

We started our week off with a nature scavenger hunt I put together. There were no instructions and no questions. The children ran to the bags and were gone. We went all over our property and then hit the trail to look some more. Unfortunately, there were huge piles of dirt blocking the path to the frog pond we always visit. The children were disappointed but saw a machine working on a new dirt road a little way over. The man stopped and told us we were welcome to check our the new road he was making. (This was very exciting!!) 

The road goes on for quite some time and we were all equally excited to take an unexpected adventure.

You would have honestly thought these kids were walking into the main entrance of Disney World. They were running all over the place looking at everything and finding things on our check list.  I am so thankful that man stopped and told us we were able to go down the road because it is definitely are new favorite spot!           

In addition to exploring the great outdoors we also decided to spice up our outdoor classroom a bit. We're often doing projects outside and a problem we have is where to put them to dry. This is where the inspiration for our new nature drying rack came from.

A nice and easy (minimal tools involved!) way to create a beautiful drying rack is from the sticks laying around our yard.  The kids helped me find 4 similar size sticks, I used the drill to screw it together and then had the children paint it any way they liked. 

Once our drying rack was put together I hung it on the trees and tied ropes across the frame! Just like that we had a fun new addition to our yard! The children were excited to hang their first pieces of art work on it and have even used it as a jewelry store. 

I wanted to try geocaching with the group and downloaded the app on my phone, but we could not get to any of the locations near by. So I did the next best thing and made my own. I gave the campers 1 clue for each cache hidden and that was it. We spent the entire morning searching high and low for the treasures! 

They were quite surprised when they found the JACKPOT of lollipops stuffed to the top of one of the containers! 

We also had Emily from St. John Ambulance come in and teach us a first aid course! We learned important information and the campers really seemed to enjoy it! 

After Emily's presentation the children received certificates and coloring books! The kids wouldn't let Emily leave without showing her every part of our yard. 

To end our busy week we finished off with camping and survival. We built a tent and I'm proud to say it never collapsed! (Has anyone else tried to build a tent with 15 kids trying to help?!?!) 

                    Some of the boys built their own shelter which was pretty impressive! 

We did a clean water experiment with garden pots, coffee filters, sand, gravel, and rocks! The campers agreed it was fun to do, but would not want to drink the water!! 

The plan all along was to make fire started and then use them in the camp fire we were going to build. Due to all of the hot dry weather we have been having their was a fire ban so we decided to make them anyways and take them home to try. 

A few of the children came in and told me they tried them over the weekend and they worked really good! 

A fellow educator at the center let me borrow her camping grill so we could still have our camp snacks. The fire ban was not about to put a stop to our s'mores!!

It was a perfect way to end our week, sitting together enjoying s'mores and hotdogs. We even had leftovers so the campers made s'mores for EVERYONE which was a big hit with the staff and younger kids! 

                                                                           - Leslie Dionne 

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