Tuesday, Aug 6th: Tsankawi

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.

Monday August 5th: The Big Tesuque

The first day of the last week of camp was wonderful! We started the day meeting our buddies and playing games with one another. Then we headed up the mountain to the trail.

The Bobcats went off on a hike to a shelter and a beautiful lunch spot where they played games (team building games and ‘meet a tree’) and learned about the different trees and wildflowers.

The Otters played in the river and then hiked to a nice spot in the shade for story time. After our story we talked about trees and split into teams to build shelters and look at the various big shelters already built with the aspens. We reflected on our trip and then ended the day working together as a group to learn a camp song called ‘a-mia.  We then split into buddies to play and then headed home for the day. Looking forward to another wonderful day tomorrow!

Thursday, August 1, 2013: Tsankawi

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!

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013: Leonora Curtin Preserve

Today we played tree tag at the Children’s Museum and then had a circle where we talked about how trees are used by people. We examined various products to show how trees are used in so many different ways.

Our adventure today was to the Leonora Curtin Nature Preserve, a 35-acre property owned by Santa Fe Botanical Gardens. It is located on the I-25 frontage road south of Santa Fe. We had a wonderful tour guide named Susan who showed us around and pointed out various flowers and trees including Lemon Verbena, Cat tails, Cottonwoods, Russian Olives, and Yerba Mansa.

We did pastel drawings of flowers and plants that we liked, we read books about trees, and we went on a beautiful hike to a pond. At the pond there were dozens (literally dozens) of frogs! Since this was so exciting for the kids, we played games like Frog Detective and What Time is it Mr. Frog? It was such a treat to be there and to see the wetlands.  Thank you to Susan and the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens for showing us around this beautiful treasure!

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013: Ski Basin

Mountain Kids went to the Ski Basin today for the theme of ‘seeing and being aware.’ We spent much of our time at the river. Throughout the day we also paid particular attention to safety, learning and practicing the acronym S.A.F.E.R. which is about how to stay safe on a hike (Stop and stay put if you get lost, Tell and Adult where you are going, go with a Friend, bring an Equipment kit, make sure you Rest).

We played different games that focused on observation and awareness. We tried to remember what our friends were wearing as a practice for observing our surroundings, and a great tool in case someone gets lost.  We focused on staying still in order to observe all the tiny creatures that we can find in nature, such as spiders and caterpillars. We also worked on paying attention to where we put our feet so we do not accidentally hurt our little friends!

We did a group activity called Build a Tree where we learned all the parts of a tree and how they work – from their hearts to their roots.

Of course, we had much stomping about in the cool stream waters. It was a very fun day of learning and playing in the mountains!

Tuesday July 16: Tsankawi

The weather was perfect today! It was not too warm and perfect for our adventure on the top of a beautiful mesa. We began the day talking about flint and steel and how to put out a fire safely. We also spoke about why we cannot use fire in New Mexico because it is too dry and too dangerous. Both groups did a lot of hiking. The Bobcats did the whole loop, stopping for lunch on the trail and time to play in the caves. The Otters went up a few of the ladders and visiting the ancient pueblo ruins. Lastly (and for you to practice at home if you want), we learned an acronym about what to do if we are lost. It is SAFER:

S: stop and stay put

A tell an adult (where you are going)

F: go with a friend (never alone)

E: bring an equipment kit

R: make sure you rest

This first slideshow is of the OTTERS:

The slideshow below is of the Bobcats. Enjoy!