With their spears, bows, rabbit sticks, and deadfall traps, the Eagles have the tools to survive in the wild! On Monday and Tuesday we constructed our hunting tools. Lead by Matt Brummett, the eagles carved their tools and learned how to properly handle them. Using bagged hay targets, the Eagles practiced using their tools and even tried out Matt’s personal atlatl and bow and arrows. On Wednesday, the Eagles had the tools they needed to survive an overnight in the woods, and, in the evening, we learned how to make deadfall traps, enjoyed a game of capture the flag, sang songs while roasting marshmallows, and listened to stories about magnificent animals. On Thursday, after a hot oatmeal breakfast, we hiked to nearby caves and explored the dark caves with our headlamps. After this week of Mountain Kids, the Eagles have the tools to hunt for a scrumptious rabbit dinner!
On Monday’s hike in the Galisteo Basin we had a lot of fun following drainage meanders. We picked up cool rocks after reading Everyone Needs A Rock, and messed around with found clay. Monsoons kept us in low terrain all week.
On Tuesday we were at Tsankawi where we waited out a drizzle in cavates in the welded tuff, then donned rain gear and continued exploring. We spotted a horny toad along the trail.
Wednesday we all quite easily made it up to the first pool in Deer Creek – got to love the cooler weather! We had a lesson at the sandstone outcrop with the nice tilted bedding planes of rock and looked at the fossils of decayers – crinoid stems in the limestone. We worked on learning the sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic rock song.
Thursday Ziggy led us up the wash behind St. John’s College where we played in the damp sand and made pictures with a red sand from the decaying granite bank on the white sand of the wash. We also gained a high point on the shoulder of Sun Mountain and drew maps of our route from the van.
Owls and Eagles stayed together all week. Eagles cooled their jets a little and the Owls stepped up. Super pleasant weather all week and a great group of campers!
We had a teeny, tiny group this week with some big energy! We played games, did intros and talked about Biomimicry (big word!) at Fort Marcy before we headed off to the Big T for our adventure. We hiked, ate, played capture the flag and enjoyed the Tremendous Trees all around us. We played a lot of Frog Detective and got a little wet – lovely!
Tuesday took us to Tsankawi where we stayed dry, despite the downpour in Santa Fe! We found pottery shards, arrow heads and obsidian. We read a Native American story about how humans came to be on earth. We hiked, imagined life here, and explored caves – enjoying a little escape from the heat!
Wednesday: Rio en Medio. We talked about more examples of Biomimicry at circle. On trail we played Meet-a-Tree and A-Mia, made leaf boats and fairy homes (Owls).
The Eagles did a big hike to the waterfall and even had time for games along the way. It was a splendid day to put your head under ice cold water, if you dared!
Thursday: The Beaver Ponds brought us a new and unexpected friend – we found “Muffin” a sweet, sweet dog wandering on the road. We called the owner to no avail, and called Animal Control. The Owls played at the trailhead while waiting for Muffin to be rescued. The owner finally came after lunch! Meanwhile, the Eagles hiked around the pond and played Camouflage and Capture the Flag. Afterward, we scooped up the (recently freed!) Owls and headed to a new waterfall across the road. FUN!
We began the week by learning about each other, camp rules and a Rock Song about the three types of rocks: Sedimentary, Igneous and Metamorphic. Our adventure took us to Deer Creek where we got to see some great examples of sedimentary rock and talk about how it formed. We collected special rocks for painting the next day, and had fun hiking and getting wet in the pools (Eagles) at Deer Creek!
Ditto for the Owls, except they explored different pools and played games!
Tuesday: We began our day with a great game of Park Ranger and some Rock Painting! We sang the rock song and did a Dirt True and False before heading up the mountain. The Eagles did a HUGE hike up to Raven’s Ridge! Nice work, Eagles! It was chilly, so we had to stay moving to keep warm!
The Owls also hiked along the Winsor Trail to a beautiful meadow where they played rock games and explored.
Wednesday: Galisteo Basin Preserve. Morning games and working with clay were followed by a quick stop in Galisteo where the mosquitoes were out and biting – one of the drawbacks of all the lovely June rain! We quickly aborted this location and found some great dirt, rocks and clay to explore at the Galisteo Basin Preserve.
Thursday: Tsankawi. Our final stop for Dirt, Rocks and Clay was the amazing ruins at Tsankawi. We talked about volcanoes and made a human volcano at Fort Marcy before we headed out. it is always impressive to see the remains of the supervolcano that erupted and is now the Valles Caldera. We found pottery shards and obsidian and arrow heads on our hike to the caveates.
Mountain Kids went to Tsankawi for the day. The Bobcats went on a hike to caves and petrogylphs. We learned about the history of Tsankawi and the indigenous peoples who once inhabited it. We found tons of pottery that the rain washed down, and were able to see petroglyphs very clearly because of the wet stone. We even saw a kokopelli and a hunting scene in the rock which would have been hard except for the dampness. We played in a lot of the small caves.
The Otters did a short walk to the top of a mesa, bravely climbing a ladder en route. The Otters drew what they saw and enjoyed the sunshine while playing games.
All of us experienced stunning views, took the time to observe the rocks and the plants. As per usual, we ended the day back at the Children’s museum sharing stories of what we saw and experienced.
This morning we planned to make paper and then go to the mountains, but it was cold and rainy so we changed our plans. Instead, we headed off to Tsankawi where it is almost always dry and warm!
Tsankawi is a part of Bandelier National Monument and there is so much to see! Petroglyphs, ancient pueblo ruins, caves, deeply grooved paths, pottery shards, really interesting trees, brush, cacti, and flowers. Each time we visit we have to choose among the many wonderful ways to explore this site. Both groups took different routes and hiked the whole loop. On our hike, we learned a lot about the history of the land, the ancient pueblo people, and rocks and geology. It was such a treat to have such cool weather, since the heat and lack of shade at Tsankawi usually prevents us from hiking so much.
It was a great hike and a great day! The van home was full of sleeping children, and at the museum we all got to play with a parachute in the cool grass before going home!