June 26-29, 2017: Wonders of Water! Week 2

Our second week of Wonders of Water took us to the Norski Trails, the Big T, Deer Creek, the Little Tesuque, Nambe Falls, and White Water Rafting on the Rio Grande for the Beavers!  It was an event and water filled week with lots of learning and fun for both groups.

Here are a few of the highlights: we made a cloud in a bottle as a way to learn about condensation and the water cycle.  We made sunprints which was a great way to look more closely at the nature around us, and fun to do in the river.  We did an activity called the Web of Life where we each represented an animal, plant, or element and made connections with each other by throwing a ball of wool around the circle.  It ended up in a tangled web, illustrating clearly the interconnections of our web of life, including the importance of water to everything.  I was super-impressed with the kids focus and interest during this activity, and the connections they readily made with each other.

We did a lot of hiking and playing games and found a little time to sit quietly in nature. We braved the cold water at Nambe Falls, and survived the heat of late June! What a great week of watery fun and learning all around.

Enjoy the photos of both groups from the week below!

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June 19-22, 2017: Wonders of Water, Week 1

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Our Wonders of Water theme began very appropriately with the sprinklers going on at drop-off time on Monday morning. It was wet and provided a good opportunity to talk about the best time to water your garden or grass!

The first day we went to the Ski Basin where we had a blast playing in the river and exploring the mountain without (much) snow, and so many people.  It is fun to you have it to ourselves and see what lies under the snow.

The older campers decided to call themselves the Beavers for this session – a good choice given that we were studying the Beaver’s physical adaptations to survive in it’s environment the following day. Ezra and Grace very gracefully dressed up as Beavers for us to demonstrate.  Thank you, Grace and Ezra! It is always entertaining to illustrate these concepts!

Grace and Ezra demonstrate physical adaptations of beavers!

The younger campers decided that they would call themselves the Whales. While this may seem strange, since New Mexico has no whales, we talked aobut how New Mexico was once part of an ancient ocean where many prehistoric sea creatures (including whales) once swam!

On Wednesday we went to the Santa Fe Watershed with our wonderful guide, Rich Schrader from the Santa Fe Watershed Association and Riversource. We looked for aquatic macro-intvertebrates in the Santa Fe river, (that’s a fancy way of saying water bugs!) It was fun to use nets to find these little creatures in the river, and then find and identify them using hand lenses. It’s interesting to learn that the presence, or absence, of these creatures tells us if the water is good, clean, healthy water.  We are lucky to have a clean and healthy water source from our mountain snowpack!

On Thursday, we went to the Rio en Medio, one of our favorite locations, especially on a hot summer’s day! We got to find and identify poison ivy and hike along the cool, shady river. The Beavers headed up to the waterfall, and then went beyond it to explore some some smaller waterfalls and do Sit Spots, quiet time in nature. 🙂 Sometimes hard for kids, but also an incredibly rich experience to introduce to children.

The Whales made it to a beautiful spot by the Rio en Medio with huge Ponderosa Pines and a nice place for games. We played in the river, ate lunch, and then played some games. Our C.I.T. (Counselor-in-Training) Skyler led us in a fun game with sticks and numbers which required good observation skills to solve the puzzle. We then moved onto practicing our sneaking skills by learning how to “Fox Walk.” Then using the Fox Walk to play “Firekeeper” which requires sneaking up on a blindfolded fire keeper without being heard. A challenging and fun game! We finished the day with a story and packed up to hike back along, and through, the river.

What a great week of watery adventures the Beaver and Whales had, learning about and loving water!

Enjoy the slideshow of the Beavers (8-12 year olds) below. The Whales (5-7 year olds) slideshow is above.

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