Summer 2012 – Week 4 – Dirt, Rocks and Clay!

We started this week getting to know one another at the Children’s Museum – playing games and making our group contract.  Edie read us a story about clay called “When Clay Sings” before we headed out on our adventure to the Galisteo River, which we have found to be a wonderful source of clay.

Once at our destination, we split into two groups – the “Bigs,” who chose to be the Greater Roadrunners this week, headed one way along the river to play Camouflage, and explore the river.  We had lunch and found water striders, which many enjoyed trying to scoop up.  We walked back along the river, through the river this time, to our great clay source.  Once there, we had a great time: some building a long canal, some making clay bowls, and some getting into a clay fight!  It was wonderful a cool in the shade of the clay wall and in the river for a great afternoon.

The Littles chose to be the black-tailed deer this week.  The Littles hiked the other way in the river, made clay pots, and played games to practice listening to the natural sounds. We got really muddy and found a tee-pee where we made a bed of bamboo inside.  It was a great way to start our week of Dirt, Rocks and Clay!

On Tuesday we started the day playing games and then read the story Everybody Needs a Rock, which inspired all of us to find a beautiful rock that day.  After snack, we headed out on our adventure to Santa Cruz Lake.  The lake was a welcome sight on such a hot day!  We found some giant crawfish and enjoyed running into the water up to our waist, getting completely soaked, and soaking as many other people (mostly counselors!) as we could in the process.  We balanced rocks, played tag, and enjoyed lunching by the lake. We read another story about different types of rocks after we had found our own special rock before heading back to Santa Fe.

On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to create our own Mountain Kids garden at the Railyard Park thanks to Mountain Kids Staff, Jennie and Mark.  It was a HOT day, so we did out best to stay cool as we buddied Littles with Bigs for a Scavenger Hunt in the Park. We had a tour of the park, and did an obstacle course, played tag, planted the garden, and planted our own sunflower seed to take home.  We each won a veggie gift plant to take home as well.  We learned about compost and worms.  We made prayer flags to hang in our garden to provide some shade. Everyone was thrilled when Alexandra bought popsicles to cool us all down as we played in the playground and splashed in the water to end the day.

By all accounts, Thursday was an AMAZING DAY!  At the Children’s Museum, we all played hide and seek, did sun salutations and then read a book about giving thanks to the sun and earth before heading up the mountain.

The Big Tesuque was shady and cool after the heat of yesterday.We took a short hike all together to the meadow and had lunch together. After lunch we split into two groups.

The Littles played in the river, did water colors and drawings, read stories, played ‘meet a tree’ and did sit spots. A few brave kids went with Alexandra on a harder and steeper hike to get some great views. We listened quietly to hear the wind and the river below and then walked to a grassy meadow.

The Bigs went with Jenny and Heather on the “Explorer Hike”. We explored a shelter, played camouflage in the grass, played the log game using our names, and read wilderness survival cards. We looked at different rocks and how they may have formed. Each of the kids found a smooth and a hard rock and then we discussed how they would be formed that way. We played the game “Bob the Weasel” the kids really had fun with this. Then we picked a smooth rock to be the weasel for the next game.

We hiked up a small mountain and read another trivia card about wilderness survival. Afterwards, we went down to the river and constructed a dam out of rocks and branches tested it out.  We played on the teeter-totter log we had discovered last week, and Heather told us a story about “Falling Rock” while we had snack. Afterward, we went over to see Gigi’s island and played there for a while. We returned to meet the Littles for a group rain dance to help Santa Fe get some much-needed rain, and close out a wonderful week!

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