Camp day five

Before we left the campsite, we cleaned up our trash — and trash left by previous campers….
…and we found a LOT of trash, including a lot of plastic trash (Peri and Carol have been talking to us all week about trying to get to zero waste)
Working on natural tie-dye, using redwood cones
Tending the rocket stove, a high-efficiency stove that burns biomass, but needs to be tended (tending the stove is more fun when you have someone to talk with)
Playing “Evolution,” also known as “Pond Scum,” a game that has no particular educational value but is simply fun


Sometimes when you’re setting up your sleeping bag, you have to stop and look at something interesting
Playing “Camouflage,” a game which helps understand how predators stalk their prey
Opening cans of beans to make taco filling
Cooking beans and meat for tacos
Lighting a charcoal fire

Day three camp photos

The older campers took a field trip to Pescadero State Beach today — lots of photos below. For the younger campers, Kris left her phone behind so we don’t have any photos yet — if I get some, I will post them later.

A skit at opening circle — Ecojustice Super Hero confronts Trashman, telling him that he shouldn’t throw his plastic trash on the ground!
Examining the exoskeleton of a dead crab found on the beach
We found lots of Sand Crab shells (and some live Sand Crabs), Dungeness Crabs shells, Pacific Ribbed Mussel shells, and more along the beach
Naturalist Kat showing animal tracks in the wet sand along Pescadero Creek
Building a fort with driftwood
Practicing whittling under the bridge over Pescadero Creek
Eating lunch
Exploring tide pools, and looking at Harbor Seals through binoculars

Day two camp photos

The National Weather Service station at Los Altos recorded 103 degrees today, our second day of triple-digit heat (102 on Monday). Our amazing campers and junior counselors handled the heat well, proving that you can have fun outdoors even in extreme weather conditions.

I got so wrapped up in our activities with the older groups (gr. 2 and up) that I only took two photos, both from our field trip to Ulistac Nature Preserve:

Drawing from nature at Ulistac Nature Preserve
Eating lunch in the shade at the city park across the street from Ulistac

Some of the other adults did take photos of our other activities (looking for macroinvertebrates, learning to use pocket knives, salsa-making workshop, games, etc.), and as soon as they email them to me I’ll post them here.

Fortunately, Kris remembered to take plenty of photos of the Sea Otters:

Digging a hole for insect pitfall traps
Making nature crafts
Making nature crafts
Using natural materials as paint brushes

Day One for Sea Otters

Here are some photos of the Sea Otters, our youngest group, from the first day of camp:

Crafts with natural objects
Crafts with natural objects
Climbing trees (with adult supervision)
Feeling the tips of native grasses, with nature journals in hand
Drawing in nature journals

Day One: Foxes and Falcons

Here are a few photos of the two older groups, the Gray Foxes and Peregrine Falcons, at the first day of camp:

Arranging natural objects on light sensitive paper
Developing the light sensitive paper
Arthropod expert Jack Owicki came for a visit and showed us a variety of arachnids and insects…
…and this is what Jack is showing everyone in the photo above
Expert native plants gardener Nancy Neff giving a tour of some of the many native plants on campus

“The Evolution Game” at camp

This game really has nothing to do with Darwin’s theory. It’s called “The Evolution Game” because in the course of the game players can move up from plants, to herbivores, to carnivores, with Mountain Lion as the apex predator. And we do play the game using organisms native to California. But aside from that, it’s just a game!

Sea Otters photos

Camp photos from our youngest group of campers, the Sea Otters….

Above: With Nancy Neff, native plant expert, and older campers, learning about native plants.

Above: One of the daily field trips to Mitchell Park.

Above: In the Sea Otters’ favorite tree.

Above: Looking at a pine cone on Tree Day.

Above: Kris talking to the campers about trees.

Above: Dave and campers looking for insects on Bug Day.

Above: Looking at an insect under a giant magnifying glass.

Above: A process art project.

Above: Pulling the wagon back to camp at the end of a field trip to Mitchell Park.

Above: Doing bark rubbings.

Above: Making “fairy houses.”