WELCOME TO ECO SUMMER CAMP 2019!
Your favorite, entirely outdoor summer camp experience is back! Some of you brought your campers out when we were known as the Green Schoolhouse, now our camps (and after school sessions!) are brought to you by Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors (ECO!). Our educators - with Lauren at the helm - are gearing up for next summer when they’ll boost the curiosity of your camper through chemistry, artistic endeavors, growing food, and many, many adventures. We have camps running throughout summer 2019 at the Learning Gardens Laboratory in the SE Woodstock neighborhood.
We’re thrilled to be expanding our camps to welcome students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade! What’s more? Campers from K-6th grade will be at one location. That simplifies coordinating multiple campers! We’ll be forming two groups, K-3rd grade and 4-6th grade, to ensure they receive age-appropriate programming.
There will be 9 sessions next summer - register for one, a few, or all of them! We have revamped our experience so that if your camper has spent time with us before, they can look forward to all new explorations. To those of you who only know ECO’s in-school programs, we’re excited - at long last - to offer year round opportunities for hands-on learning!
Weekly themes are the same for both age groups. Our activities during the week are different for each group ensuring age appropriate activities for everyone. What does my camper need to bring?
Water, Water Everywhere! This time of year the Pacific Northwest hasn’t always decided if it really is time for sunshine or not. We’ll relish every drop and reiterate that water is a precious resource; all that we have on this planet is all we will ever have, with only 3% of the Earth’s water being freshwater! A few sprinkles here and there will add to our investigations as we search for rainbows and create our own by refracting light; search for worms, slugs, and other slimy friends; and plant our summer treats in the ECO plot.
Solstice. It’s officially summer! We cannot wait to celebrate the arrival of one of our favorite times of year. All week long we’ll be gearing up to welcome the season of berries, tomatoes, and light. Science will drive our explorations! We’ll take a look at the rotation of the Earth as we spin towards summer, with it’s rising temperatures and decreasing precipitation. We’ll also examine how we can work as a community to preserve the Pacific Northwest we all love.
Strawberry Moon. Tis the season for strawberries! Campers will be able to taste test all the different varieties that we can get our hands on. We’ll explore the ethnobotany of these juicy, red berries along with a few of our other favorite Pacific Northwest gems. Jam, compote, dye, and experiments will unveil a realm of strawberry you didn’t know existed!
No camp July 1-5.
Farmstead. What did it take to survive in the wild west? Jarred goods, the ability to darn a sock, knowing how to live off the land, starting a farm, harvesting wild foods, avoiding dangerous situations, and building your community. This week we’ll try our hand at a few of these skills and put in some good ole fashioned work on the farm to create our Friday community feast.
Junior Ranger! Our week will start by creating a field guide to keep our notes together for the week. Bugs, birds, mammals, trees, bushes, and so much more will become our areas of interest as we slow down and observe what is going on all around us. We’ll tackle the questions: Where do humans fit into the “natural” environment? How can human impact harm and/or help? Who are the people who have jobs in the field? We’ll work to answer these questions and more through games, fort building, experiments, and investigations galore!
Soil to Table. Have you ever wanted to try to grow a giant pumpkin, wondered why some plants grow faster than others, or were curious about harvesting wild edible foods? This is the week for you. All week long we will be exploring where our food grows - whether wild or cultivated - how it grows, and when it tastes the best! Science meets culinary explorations this week, and it’s sure to unleash the food scientist in all of us!
No camp August 5-9
Nature’s Structures. Scientists have been looking to the natural world since the beginning of time to be inspired in their creative endeavors. We’ll spend this week finding our own inspiration from the tiniest ladybug to the tallest tree. Campers will move throughout the space with an inquisitive eye as they discover where they are drawn, what is fleeting, and what can stand the test of time as they translate it into their own artistic impression.
Ecologist, Naturalist, Agriculturist. Our camp location is a unique area that hosts developed farmed area, an orchard, wild space, and curated native land. From the bugs, to the soil, to the plants, campers will be able to explore the niche environments and become a scientist in the field. We’ll move through each ecosystem to understand where these sciences meet and how they work together.
Feast! Campers will get to study what it takes to make our seeds grow through field experiments - from the soil, to the water, and the temperatures. We’ll test the health of our soil, create chemical reactions, and report our quantified and qualified findings. Every experiment along the way will lead us closer to our final outcome, a delicious feast!