Amazing Animals – July 2018

What a fun-filled week these campers had! This week’s “Amazing Animals” theme invited quite exciting animal-themed games along with many opportunities for impressively completed team building activities each day for both our 5-7-year-olds and our 8-12-year-olds!

5 to 7-year-olds

Our 5-7-year-olds began our week at Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, summited the Dale Ball trail, explored open aspen meadows at Big Tesuque, and finished with a gorgeous flowing waterfall at Rio en Medio! We spent our days’ birding, catching flying critters, fishing for local tuna and sardines (ask your campers – ha!), and wildly transforming into animals with their amazing pelts provided by New Mexico Game and Fish

These Mountain Kids! were really put to the test being challenged as individuals and a collective with mind-bending team building exercises. We had two favorites! One, we imagined crossing a bridge made up of different colored bandanas placed flat on the ground. These campers had to successfully walk across to get to the other side – the trick was, only one person could go at a time to find the SINGLE correct route! And did I mention that no one could speak? Another favorite, “Minefield”, is played with a small box drawn on the ground with items messily placed inside. Each of our campers was blindfolded and verbally helped across the minefield without touching anything. Quite the challenge for some, but a ton of fun for all!

When not hiking to gorgeous waterfalls, building extravagant forts/nests, or appreciating the grand views we climbed trails to reach, our campers were playing Eagle Eye and Bear, Salmon, Mosquito – the best of running, tag, and hiding games. Freeze tag, although skinny from this week’s theme, was hands down our whole camp’s favorite game every day! It was just the perfect way to get our blood pumping so early in the morning. And to wake us up in the heat of each afternoon, a good water fight sure reenergized us! Thanks all for such an amazing week – until next time Mountain Kids!

8 to 12-year-olds

This week was a serious one for 8-12-year-olds at Mountain Kids! At least, it was a little bit serious. Under the auspices of our amazing Carmen, we studied the pelts, skulls, and claws of many of our furry friends, exclaiming at how soft they were and wondering what it’s like to be an otter or a bear. We also learned about bird calls and how to use binoculars, which helped us get a look at some very cool avians! Among all this was the usual contingent of games (some very unique forms of tag evolved this week!) hiking, and splashing. Another great week of Mountain Kids!

For all our upcoming camps, check out our site.

Let’s Grow! and Bikes, Hikes, and Boats! July 2018

What a week for our Mountain Kids! We had two groups exploring last week our 5 to 8 year-olds and our 9 to 12 year-olds. See what they got up to last week!

Let’s Grow!

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Mountain Kids! are celebrating cooler weather at every opportunity with the glorious monsoon season now upon us. The (almost) every afternoon thunder and rainstorm this past week kept us cool and energized for all the “Let’s Grow” activities in store!

We began our week with the initial, seemingly far-off concept of having a Mountain Kids! feast on Thursday with wild fruits we harvested, yogurt we processed into cheese, and even homemade sourdough bread! By the end of the week, our campers couldn’t believe how much tasty food we were all able to eat with the same plants and natural, earthly elements we worked so hard to gather.

What a success! It’s still a mystery how our Mountain Kids! had time to gather and create such homemade delicacies amongst so many games, hikes, and swimming. Park Ranger, a camp-favorite game, was requested and played every single day this week! When we weren’t playing, we were found climbing trees at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, swinging over streams on tire swings, and swimming at Santa Cruz Lake.

Thursday’s plentiful feast we shared consisted of cow milk yogurt processed into cheese, goat milk cheese with fresh herbs, an apricot jam made from freshly picked apricots, sourdough bread risen with natural yeast we collected from aspen tree bark, and wild berries for a sweet dessert. So good! Great job this week Mountain Kids! – it was quite a treat to have you!

 

Bikes, Hikes, and Boats!

This was a seriously full week for our Mountain Kids! in the Bikes, Hikes, and Boats group! After enjoying the newly reopened forest on Monday, our week got more dramatically awesome mountain biking, visiting waterfalls, and lake kayaking. Our kids made some of the best dams we’ve ever seen, rocked out on the bike trails, kayaked across Santa Cruz lake at incredible speed, and had one of the most extreme water fights ever. It was satisfyingly exhilarating and exhausting! As well as the pure fun, we were very impressed with the kindness of this group: everyone was very supportive of each other’s differences and needs. Fantastic week!

 

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Plein-Air Arts & Crafts Week – July 2018

Mountain Kids! loved our Plein-Air Arts and Crafts week! We focused on the simplicity of nature journaling while hiking beautiful trails, diving into color combinations while water coloring, and even guided acrylic paints onto canvases by the end of the week!
Our group’s favorite destination was Tsankawi, where we tried our skills at landscape sketching. We challenged our group to complete the designated one-mile loop and were soon met by an abundance of chilly raindrops that promptly steered us into Tsankawi’s impressive cliff-side caves. Don’t fret, our Mountain Kids! were safe and dry, imagining what life was like for the people that lived here.
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On Friday we ground different rocks and minerals into fine powder creating earth-based paint. With a rekindled understanding of how much material mother nature provides, we even harvested yucca stalks and engineered our own trailside paint brushes.
These campers were so eager to churn their creative juices this week – the resulting masterpieces were wonderful. What a fantastic week of plein air art!

For upcoming camps, please check out our Programs page!

Digging Into The Past June 2018

What a fun-filled “Digging into the Past” week we’ve had. Our Mountain Kids! explored as far as Villanueva State Park and Bandelier National Monument learning all about different rocks, minerals, and all the unique contributions they offer.

Our week’s adventure at the Beaver Ponds on top of Fossil Hill where we collected fossils – what a group of junior archeologists! We discovered that Santa Fe used to be underwater and home to creatures like shellfish that left their beautiful shell imprints in the earth.

Then we ventured to Villanueva State Park and Bandelier National Monument where we were able to see and imagine how natives lived before there were modern houses, grocery stores, and dare we say it… video games! We climbed in and out of ancient ruins. We played games and even created our own painted clay pottery like the ancient pueblo children did.

We concluded our week learning all about metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rocks, enough to be able to identify the differences. The gorgeous river and chilly waterfall at Nambe Falls kept us feeling cool while exploring the many rocks and minerals found in the depths of its canyon. An excellent week and even better campers. Hope to see your smiling faces again this summer!

There is still a lot of summer left! Check out our Programs page over at the Mountain Kids! website for upcoming camps.