Bugs and Birds (with The Friz!)

August 2-6 | Ages 5-7

8:30–3:30 | Early & After Care Available

Mon-Thu $347 | Mon-Fri $425 | Mon-Fri (8:00-5:30) $550 + tax

Challenge Level:

Join our very own Mrs. Frizzle to learn the secret language of birds and some local specie. Birds love bugs, and if you do too, we will capture creepy, crawly bugs using our hands, pitfall traps, funnel traps, potato traps and finger traps.  We will get up close and personal with Tarantulas and more with a visit to the Bug Museum in Santa Fe.

Scholarship Application

Amazing Animals (with The Friz!)

Animal lovers unite! This week our very own Mrs. Frizzle will join us to learn about some of the amazing animals and insects of New Mexico. We will examine animal tracks and signs on our hikes in nature and we’ll examine pelts and skulls of local mammals. We will learn about bird language, look for birds in the wild.

We will also get up close and personal with bugs. Wade Harrell, owner of The Bug Museum), will teach us trap and release methods for insects, and we’ll get a special tour of the Bug Museum. Of course, making new friends and plenty of play is a part of any Mountain Kids! adventure.

June 28-July 2 | Ages 5-7

8:30–3:30 | Early & After Care Available

Mon-Thu $347 | Mon-Fri $425 | Mon-Fri (8-5:30) $550 + tax

Challenge Level:

Scholarship Application


The Secret Language of Birds & Bugs: July 15-20

It was a bugging good week for the Mountain Kids! Monday’s adventure on the Aspen Vista trail, accompanied by the Hummingbird’s hand-crafted bug catchers, provided a lovely introduction to a variety of our local bugs and birds. Tent Caterpillars painted the dirt paths and climbed up the aspen trees which allowed for fun and easy hands-on access to the little critters! After spending the morning reviewing some of the characteristics of different birds and bugs common in our area, the Hummingbirds practiced their creativity in a few rounds of bug and bird charades!

Wade, our wonderful bug friend in town, met with the team on Tuesday and guided us on a hike to several different bugs. The Mountain Kids learned about local spiders, beetles, ants, grasshoppers, water insects, and many more during their time at the Beaver Ponds.

With lots of new information concerning different bugs, the Hummingbirds were ‘antsy’ for their visit to the Bug Museum on Wednesday. The team met with Wade, again, at the Harrell House Bug Museum, where they held different bugs, watched the spiders and tarantulas get fed, and explored several different caged critters.

On Thursday, the Hummingbirds buzzed on over to the Santa Fe Raptor Center where they met with a variety of different owls and falcons and learned about their characteristics, diets, and different habitats. Each child was able to spritz one of the falcons with water to help him cool off in the heat. Boy – it sure was a hot one! The Hummingbirds also had their chance to cool off by splashing around in the river in El Rito.

We finished our day with watermelon and ‘appreciations’.  It was sweet to hear the kids appreciating new friends they had made, the birds they saw, bugs they met and the counselors who lead them throughout the week.

Friday was a sweet end to the week spent playing in the mud and water at Nambe Falls!

June 10 – 14: The Secret Language of Birds & Bugs

Our week began with a bug search on land and water in the Nature Conservancy with Wade, from the Harrell House Bug Museum. Thanks to Wade, we now know that the large black beetles we’ve been calling ‘stink bugs’ are really called ‘Darkling Beetles’! We had fun looking for and identifying bugs with Wade.

Tuesday found us at the New Mexico Wildlife center in Espanola, where we met an impressive variety of birds of prey in addition to two relaxed bobcats and a fox, each of which were enjoying their afternoon downtime. With a long day spent exploring the grounds of the Wildlife Center, the team cooled down in the Pojoaque Creek, where they splashed in the water and built mud castles. Fun!

Each camper made a bug catcher on Wednesday morning, just in time to carefully capture and release a number of cabbage white butterflies and crickets at the La Cieneguilla Petroglyph site, down airport road.

On Thursday our culminating bug trip was to The Harrell House Bug Museum, where we delighted in visiting with all sorts of scorpions, tarantulas, various beetles and a huge water monitor (rather like a Komodo dragon).

‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ will forever be ‘Head, thorax, abdomen’ to us, especially as we added antennae, mandibles and compound eyes to our action song! Becoming bugs together in bug charades infused us with fun and laughter and the necessary water frolicking was an essential part of our week together!


Photo Safari!

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This week our Mountain Kids learned and practiced everything photography! We learned how our human eyes relate to cameras, how cameras work, different composition techniques to capture the most interesting photos, and even had the opportunity to take home a print of our favorite shot!

Esha Chiocchio (CIT Zubin’s mom, and a professional photographer) came in to talk to us about composition and shared lots of fun exercises with us.

We explored a different photo challenge each day, sought objects for photo scavenger hunts, zoomed WAY in on bull frogs and goats, and took beautiful photos out on the many hikes we conquered!

Of course, sprinkled in to each day, was a number of active games to tie all of the skills we learned together. These campers were so impressive and are some of the best photographers Mountain Kids has seen all summer!

Bug Out! July 11-14, 2016

This week Mountain Kids had a blast exploring the world of bugs! On Monday, we started our adventure at Little Tesuque. Led by Wade from Harrell House Bug Museum, we set pitfall and potato bug traps. We left the traps near the trail overnight and on Tuesday we headed back up to Little T to see what we caught! Checking the traps, we mostly caught ants but there were a few spiders in the traps too! Tuesday afternoon we visited the Harrell House Bug Museum. There, we admired the large collection of creepy crawlies, butterflies, moths, giant lizards, scorpions, and much more! The brave campers also got to hold some of the museum’s bugs, including a millipede and a tarantula. On Wednesday and Thursday we enjoyed the water and cooler temperatures up the mountain at Big Tesuque and Norski trails. It was a fantastic week filled with bugs, nature, and adventure!

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Bug Out! June 15-18, 2015—Owls (7-8 Years Old)

Bugs, bugs, bugs! The Owls dug in the mud and scavenged through grasses, spotting many spiders, beetles, flies, and butterflies. On Monday, we explored the Beaver Ponds, and we made potato and cup bug traps, which we hid in the arroyo next to Fort Marcy. Every morning, we checked our bug traps to see what we caught. Commonly we caught many ants, but some managed to catch ground beetles. On Tuesday, the Harrell House Bug Museum and Science shop shared their collection of bugs with us. In the collection, we saw living black widows, tarantulas, vinegaroons, and many more. Wednesday was our mud day as the Owls dug into the moist dirt, finding many worms. We finished our week hiking with gnats, spiders, and moths. Our week was Bug-tastic!

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Bug Out! June 15-18—Hummingbirds (5-6 Year Olds)

The Hummingbirds had lots of fun making bug traps and exploring nature and bugs in their own habitat.  On Tuesday, Wade Harrell from the  Harrell House Bug Museum and Science shop shared his collection of bugs with us. In the collection, we saw living black widows, tarantulas, vinegaroons, and many more.  We got muddy in the creek on Monday, explored the Beaver Ponds on Tuesday, hiked all the way to the pools at Deer Creek on Wednesday (wow!), and had a blast playing in the trees on Thursday!   All in all it was a buggy and dirty week of fun!

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