Mud, Clay and Camouflage

Getting dirty has to be one of the greatest joys of childhood! This week we will learn about mud, clay and camouflage in a variety of ways.  We’ll muck in the mud, create with clay, and combine both art forms to camouflage ourselves in nature. We’ll become stealthy stalkers in sneaking and hiding games and be ready for a good scrub after this week of muddy fun!

July 12 – 16 | Ages 5-7 & 8-12

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

August 5: Mud, Clay, & Camouflage

It’s been another muddy good week with the Mountain Kids! It all began with an adventure to Deer Creek, where the Hummingbirds and the Eagles discovered several puddles of mud, camouflaged themselves from head to toe, and cooled down with an afternoon spent playing in the flowing water. While the Hummingbirds played in the stream much closer to the trailhead, the Eagles enjoyed a lengthier hike up to the ‘swimming pools’, where they practiced their [what felt to be] cold plunge and admired the beauty of the waterfall!

Tuesday, the two teams parted for different adventures. While the Eagles explored their way up the Santa Fe river, from Patrick Smith Park, the Hummingbirds took a sweet little adventure to Glorieta, where they gathered local clay, before heading back to the park due to incoming weather. While the adventures in Glorieta were short lived, the two teams enjoyed the opportunity to recombine at the park and spend an afternoon sculpting sweet pieces of art with our freshly harvested clay.

Wednesday morning started with a fun craft which showed the Mountain Kids how to create paintbrushes from yucca and painting pigments from different crushed up elements and stones. Before long, both teams were on their way to Abiquiu Lake, where the Mountain Kids found ample amounts of mud, dug through the dirt, sand, mud, and clay, and made a splash for several hours in the lake.

The Eagles and Hummingbirds headed up to the Big Tesuqe Trail for their Thursday adventures. While the two teams participated in separate hikes, both, the Eagles and Hummingbirds were able to practice their camouflage skills through games such as Eagle Eye” and “Pig”. Of course there was plenty of time, too, for the kids play in the water as they wished! Several of the Eagles competed in a dam building competition and used their wild imaginative creativity in order to build fairy houses along the river.

Friday found both teams exploring the Santa Fe River with an adventure up to the nearby tire swing. During our hike up the River, the Mountain Kids found several different berries and plants which we broke down into vibrant body paints. The afternoon was filled with much fun, playing at the Cerro Gordo Park, in the river, and on the tire swing! Our day was finished with a sweet little treat and a lovely lesson on bee keeping. One of our Hummingbird campers is a local bee keeper and brought a jar of his recently harvested honey to share with us, in addition to showing us his gear and talking us through the process of beekeeping. It wasn’t long after our lesson on bees that each Mountain Kid began running around and involving themselves in a massive water fight to end an exciting week!

 

Natural Art Projects! June 29-July 2, 2015—Hummingbirds (5-6 year olds)

During our natural art project week, clay, grasses, flowers, leaves, and rocks were our featured materials. The week’s adventure started with a last-minute location change, when our original location was infested with stealthy mosquitoes. The Galisteo Basin Preserve proved to be an excellent alternative, and the kids enjoyed collecting clay, which they then turned into little pinch pots. Tuesday was spent keeping cool at the Beaver Ponds. After discovering a particularly deep spot in the river, we all enjoyed taking a dunk before heading back to work on nature collages. On Wednesday, surrounded by croaking frogs and soaring dragonflies, we made grass headbands, bracelets, and rings by the pond at Las Golondrinas. We ended our week flying our handmade kites and painting flagstone with rock paint. The hummingbirds made beautiful natural creations all while enjoying the splendor of the outdoors.

Week 9 – July 28-31, 2014: Dirt, Rocks and Clay!

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!

Dirt, Rocks, and Clay! June 16-19, 2014

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.

 

Wednesday, August 7th: The Wildlife Center

Mountain Kids went to the Española Wildlife Center today, but first we worked with clay, glass marbles, pebbles, stones, wildflowers and twigs to create fairy houses, or crazy houses!  The kids loved playing with the clay and making their own creations.

The Wildlife Center focused the kids’ attention on birds – particularly raptors. The three main characteristics of raptors are that they have powerful hooked beaks, strong talons/feet, and amazing eyesight – all which serve them to capture prey. The kids held their breath as  – one by one – the Center guides introduced them to different birds, starting with a red-tailed hawk, followed by a peregrine falcon, the fastest animal on earth (yes, it is faster than a cheetah!). They also met two owls and a turkey vulture.

After learning some basic facts about these birds and getting a good close up look at them, the kids toured the cages of various owls and hawks. They saw a beautiful American Bald Eagle, an Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Goshawk, Red-tailed Hawk (to name just a few!) and two bobcats.

The animals at the center are there because they have been wounded, often by cars, and can no longer live in the wild. A strong message came out of the visit that we all need to be more aware of the impact we humans have on the animals with which we share our land and skies. The kids asked a lot of questions and often knew the answers the questions the guides asked. It was a magical day!