June 24-28: Wilderness Skills

The Hummingbirds (Mountain Kids’ younger group) started their week exploring the trails and waterways of the Beaver Ponds, while learning what to do should we encounter a bear and mountain lion.

The fun continued with an introduction to building survival shelters and a lesson on their importance. As the week continued, the Hummingbirds discussed the essential 6W’s (who, what, when, where, why, & weather) and why they’re important even before entering the wilderness. The children also learned seven new hand gestures in order to help them better understand the seven Leave-No-Trace Principles (ways in which we can respect and take care of our wild lands and parks with low impact practices). We also explored ways of staying S.A.F.E.R. (a mnemonic for how to stay safe while spending time in the outdoors), with one of the key elements being to STOP AND STAY PUT if you get lost.

During our week of acquiring new wilderness skills, the Mountain Kids roamed through areas such as the Rio en Medio, Aspen Vista, and the Ski Basin, all of which are  beautifully wooded locations and provided us with a wonderful setting for each camper to use their imagination while becoming animals such as deer, mountain lions, bats, and moths.

Our week ended with the Eagles (older campers) and Hummingbirds gathering together for a day filled with fun and games at the meadow of the lower Big Tesuque trail. What a fun and adventure-filled week!

Mountain Mamas!

Wednesdays, 9 am – 12 pm.

May 1-29, 2019. Various Trailheads

Month of May (5 sessions) $99 | Four Session Punch Pass (never expires) $79 | Drop-In $25 | + tax

Mountain Mamas meets each week to hike, connect, and share. Through exercise, reflection, mindfulness, and nature-connection, you will find time for self-care and for creating community, while getting a good dose of nature and exercise endorphins.

Our Practices:

  1. Fitness and Nature-Connection –Regular exercise alone is a tonic for health and wellness, by combining exercise with nature we experience benefits for the body, mind and the soul.
  2. Sit Spots – A form of mindfulness in nature where one can slow-down to see, hear and experience nature, while practicing mindfulness or journaling.
  3. Reflection and Gratitude – Weekly discussion and journaling topics provide an opportunity to reflect on various aspects of motherhood and life.
  4. Connection with other Mamas – Share the joys and challenges of motherhood and life with other women.

Our Fitness Goal: Summit Santa Fe Baldy!

Need childcare? Please inquire: katie@sfmountainkids.com

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Let’s Grow! and Bikes, Hikes, and Boats! July 2018

What a week for our Mountain Kids! We had two groups exploring last week our 5 to 8 year-olds and our 9 to 12 year-olds. See what they got up to last week!

Let’s Grow!

lets_grow

Mountain Kids! are celebrating cooler weather at every opportunity with the glorious monsoon season now upon us. The (almost) every afternoon thunder and rainstorm this past week kept us cool and energized for all the “Let’s Grow” activities in store!

We began our week with the initial, seemingly far-off concept of having a Mountain Kids! feast on Thursday with wild fruits we harvested, yogurt we processed into cheese, and even homemade sourdough bread! By the end of the week, our campers couldn’t believe how much tasty food we were all able to eat with the same plants and natural, earthly elements we worked so hard to gather.

What a success! It’s still a mystery how our Mountain Kids! had time to gather and create such homemade delicacies amongst so many games, hikes, and swimming. Park Ranger, a camp-favorite game, was requested and played every single day this week! When we weren’t playing, we were found climbing trees at El Rancho de las Golondrinas, swinging over streams on tire swings, and swimming at Santa Cruz Lake.

Thursday’s plentiful feast we shared consisted of cow milk yogurt processed into cheese, goat milk cheese with fresh herbs, an apricot jam made from freshly picked apricots, sourdough bread risen with natural yeast we collected from aspen tree bark, and wild berries for a sweet dessert. So good! Great job this week Mountain Kids! – it was quite a treat to have you!

 

Bikes, Hikes, and Boats!

This was a seriously full week for our Mountain Kids! in the Bikes, Hikes, and Boats group! After enjoying the newly reopened forest on Monday, our week got more dramatically awesome mountain biking, visiting waterfalls, and lake kayaking. Our kids made some of the best dams we’ve ever seen, rocked out on the bike trails, kayaked across Santa Cruz lake at incredible speed, and had one of the most extreme water fights ever. It was satisfyingly exhilarating and exhausting! As well as the pure fun, we were very impressed with the kindness of this group: everyone was very supportive of each other’s differences and needs. Fantastic week!

 

Check out our upcoming camps!

Photo Safari!

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!

July 3, 2017: Digging into the Past, Week 1, Galisteo Basin

Today was an adventurous, hot and muddy day, and boy did we have fun! The morning was mellow with all the new campers shuffling in. Some decided to make the art project which was nature journals and some decided to play Park Ranger.

We circled up afterwards and had a great time playing a name game, and learning how to stay safe and have fun at camp. Next up was eating our snack while hearing an incredible story about archeology. We talked about how to be archeologists, and our plans for the week ahead. We then got ready to load into Steve, our adventure van. After water bottle re-fills, bathroom breaks and buckling, we were ready to hit the road!

The day began with some good clean fun, and ended with the joyful abandon of bug catching, mud slides and mud balls!

We arrived at the Galisteo Basin excited to see what we could find. Specifically we were looking for colorful rocks to make paint with, clay, and other clues to the past.

First off on the trail we found an old still working windmill! It was so neat to see it pump water up from the ground with wind power right before our very eyes. Back on the trail, we soon found an entire old ruin, a perfect find to practice being archeologists! We looked for clues about what this old ruin might have been and made some educated guesses. We also found what we thought were bells from a distance, and turned out to be a complete mystery when examined up close. (See photo, ideas about what this is are welcome!)

Afterwards, we happily trotted down the trail until we began to descend into a tiny canyon that had really unique and interesting rock formations. The colors kept changing from pure white to dark burgundy, to yellow ochre and varying shades of browns, greens and blacks. After finding many specimens of different colors, we ate our lunches and chatted about fun things.

Then off to the river, which was a short drive down the road to Galisteo, a tiny cute town with a beautiful river running through it. In this spot we found an excellent area of deep clay for making things and playing. The kids mostly enjoyed playing in the river, collecting bugs and tadpoles, making mudslides and mud balls and other imaginative and joyful activities!

After such wet, muddy fun there were lots of clothes to change! After putting on dry clothes, we drove home, laughing and smiling the whole way. What a fun day and an awesome group of kids.  We are looking forward to more historical and playful adventures in the week ahead!

Enjoy some photos of the day below.  More to come! 🙂

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!

Photo Safari and Adventure Filmmaking! June 27-July 1, 2016

Photo Safari!

This week the Hummingbirds and Owls went on a photo safari adventure! While the kids were playing and exploring in nature, they captured images of their adventure using photography techniques they learned from our photography master and Director, Katie. Some of the techniques they used were the rule of thirds, contrast, and close-up and faraway view points. Featured below are the photos taken by the Hummingbirds and Owls throughout their photo safari!

Photos by the Hummingbirds:

Photos by the Owls:

In addition to the kids capturing moments in nature, our Mountain Kids counselors caught the Hummingbirds and Owls in action throughout their adventure. To start the week, we ventured to Little Tesuque where we practiced the rule of thirds and enjoyed the river. On Tuesday, we headed out to the picturesque Rio En Medio. The kids became ever-vigilant as they carefully hiked through “poison-ivy alley” (successfully) and were awe-struck by a huge mass of hot-pink blooming Cholla.  The Hummingbirds had lots of free play that involved such things as crossing streams stone by stone, clambering up boulders, and discovering moss that became green carpet for a home. The Owls hiked all the way to the majestic waterfall and enjoyed getting soaked in the cool water. The week also took us to Big Tesuque, Norski, and the Beaver Ponds where we shot more photos with new knowledge of the elements of design from a photographic perspective: line, shape, pattern, contrast and color. The Hummingbirds and Owls accomplished a lot in one week, culminating in a end of week Photo Show where the kids favorite photo was shown at Warehouse 21.  We are mighty proud of their willingness to see nature as a thing of beauty and wonder.  Check out the kids’ adventures below!

Hummingbird adventures:

Owls Adventures:

Adventure Filmmaking!

Adventure Filmmaking was Mountain Kids first two week camp! For the first week, the Eagles went on a backpacking trip to Rio en Medio. During their trip, the Eagles filmed their adventure, capturing footage of the river, forest, and fellow campers. Throughout their second week of camp, the Eagles went to Warehouse 21 to create a movie out of their taken film. When they weren’t in the studio, the Eagles also took nature adventures to the Santa Fe River and Deer Creek. Their two weeks culminated in a show of their videos, along side the photo show.  It was great to see these beginning film makers work, and was an awesome two weeks of film and nature!

Forts and Forests! & Plein Air Art and Adventure! June 13-16, 2016

Forts and Forests!

Hummingbird Aventure:

This week the Hummingbirds explored Forts and Forests. We began our week at the Beaver Ponds and discovered clues that these master fort builders lived in the area. Tuesday we headed out to Norski where we constructed several lean-to forts using fallen branches, grass, and little yellow flowers to add a bit of pop to the look. Wednesday we were off to Big Tesuque where the kids had ample time to splash around in the creek, and use its water for water colors! We ended our week at Little Tesuque, where children caught a glimpse of a sneaky snake hiding in the bushes. They also made there way up the little creek as branches draped above them like a tunnel and they began to feel like they were in a whole new world. We had a lot of fun building dams, deconstructing dams, building forts, and tearing down our forts in order to leave no trace, and generally getting lost in the wonder of nature.

Owl Adventure:

This week the Owls enjoyed exploring the forests of Santa Fe! On Monday, the Owls cooled off in the water at the Beaver ponds. Tuesday, they played in the trees on the Norski trails. At Big Tesuque, on Wednesday, the Owls built a huge tepee fort and enjoyed splashing around in a waterfall. the Owls also created a clever hiking game as they pretended the forest floor was lava and so they walked on fallen aspen trunks in order to survive the heat of the lava. By the end of the hike the Owls had gain a lot of trust in their balance. The Owls concluded their week at Little Tesuque. There, the Owls built a dam and later they tore it down, creating a huge wave that filled the whole stream. Overall, this week was filled with trees, water, and imaginative play!

Plein Air Art!

The Eagles enjoyed a week of art and nature! Each day they worked on a different project while enjoying the outdoors as their model. The Eagles concluded their week with an overnight at Abiquiu Lake. There, they created masterpiece paintings, roasted apples, and splashed in the lake!