Foraging in the Forest

Summer Camp Week 2: June 3-7, 2024

Foraging in the forest is an exciting week learning about plants as allies, tools, medicine, food, and fun!

On Monday, we explored plants as shelter by using down, dead and dry aspen to build the base of our shelters, and learning about Old Man’s Beard, Pine, and Grasses to waterproof our shelters. Trees and plants also served as great hiding spots for a classic game of Eagle Eye. Our Hummingbirds (youngest campers) got very excited about making their personal plant page; building their curiosity about each new plant friend.

Tuesday was tool day, exploring the uses of Yucca to make cordage, soap and clothing. We also talked about the uses of plants and made a salve to illustrate the many uses of plants. A hike to the Hyde Park waterfall was a wonderful way to cool off on a hot day in the mountains. Our oldest campers (Eagles) gained experience with safe knife-use learning how to whittle to make a spear, or a pair of chopsticks.

On Wednesday and Thursday we explored plants as food and medicine on the Big Tesuque trail; collecting edible plants to make nourishing and yummy teas. Of course, every conversation about edible plants includes a caveat that campers are never to eat any plant without permission from an experienced and knowledgable adult. We learned about edible dandelions and talked about juniper, mullein and some plants to avoid (Monk’s Hood).

Friday at the Norski trail was an opportunity to learn to identify trees, tell stories, and press some of the plentiful wildflowers in the forest. Team building with games like Otter in the Water and shelter building gave everyone an opportunity to consider how to work together toward a common goal; an important skill to bring back into our daily lives.

What a wonderful week of plants and playing in the mud (Eagles). Thanks to our plant expert, Bek, for designing the curriculum for a fun and educational week of foraging in the forest.

Awesome Animals of NM!

Summer Camp Week 1: May 28-31, 2024

Summer Camp 2024 launched by exploring the mountains of Santa Fe and the awesome animals that live here. While exploring the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve, we learned about awareness of being in nature, listening for sounds all around and looking for animal signs. We saw many signs of the beaver that used to inhabit this area, and learned about the characteristics of beavers that enable them to live in a watery, cold environment, while chewing trees to make their homes and fill their bellies.

We played many animal themed games including Animal Charades, Pig, Tail Tag, and Park Ranger to think more about the characteristics of animals that help them thrive in the wild.

A visit to the Wildlife Center brought us up close and personal with real animals of New Mexico including owls, raptors, raccoons and snakes.

Of course, a week of Mountain Kids! wouldn’t be complete without imaginative play including boat-making, bridge-making and fort building. It was a wonderful week to kick off summer 2024, and we had a great time imagining the life of an animal and becoming one with the wild!