Good evening, friends and family! Happy Friday! Today was the last day of camp for the second week of peppers here at the 4-H Green Science Adventure Camp at MSU Tollgate Farm. Mr. Alan, the counselors and I were very sad we only had one more day left to play and learn with the peppers, but we did our best to ensure that we all enjoyed our last day together.
To start off the morning, the peppers gathered for their last pepper party (Moo!). Mr. Alex, Ms. Jackie, Ms. Mandy, and Ms. Courtney recapped what the peppers learned the day before and explained the plans for the day. Brownie, the mother goat, felt she didn’t have enough quality time with the peppers throughout the week, so the peppers began the day by giving her some special attention. The peppers learned that male goats are called buck or billy and female goats are called doe or nanny. Brownie can be referred to as a doe or nanny. Her children, Stripey and Goldey, are known as kids.
Afterwards, the peppers spent some time in the Maple Forest with Farmer Roy to learn about the process of making maple syrup. Farmer Roy helped them identify maple trees. After identifying a maple tree he showed them three different tools to tap a tree. The peppers also had the opportunity to practice carrying two heavy buckets (just like they would have done if the tree had filled them up with sap!). Carrying sap is hard work, but the peppers got the job done and were all ready for a snack.
In the Garden Kitchen, Ms. Katie had some maple syrup to share with the peppers. They helped her make popcorn and each had a chance to drizzle maple syrup over their own plates of popcorn. The peppers loved the sweet treat and were eager for seconds, and thirds!
To end the morning,the peppers spent time examining insects, identifying flowers, making print molds, and learning about metamorphosis. They learned the life cycle of a butterfly, which starts off as an egg, transforms into a larva (or caterpillar), then into a pupa (the cocoon), and finally into an adult, the butterfly.
After lunch, the peppers learned about beekeeping. They observed honeycombs and even made their own candles! Peppers learned that bees are arthropods, which means they have an exoskeleton made of chitin and a segmented body with pairs of jointed appendages. Bees are social animals that live in colonies. A colony consists of drones (males), worker bees (females), and the queen. The queen is the only bee capable of stinging multiple times without dying! It’s not hard to tell who’s in charge!
Outside, some pepper groups worked on making foil ships and experimenting with their shapes to see how to make them stay afloat longer as weight was added to them. One pepper learned that shaping his foil ship to include higher sides rather than being too flat would allow the ship to stay afloat even with eight pebbles resting on it! This is because the aluminum in the boat shape displaces more water than the flat one. A fun competition and simple physics lesson all in one!
Midway through the afternoon mother nature provided the farm with a brilliant thunderstorm. The peppers gathered in the barn and Garden Kitchen for shelter from the rain. Inside, the counselors shared stories with the peppers like The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. Mr. Alex brought out a sheep brain and explained how a sheep’s brain is similar to our own. The peppers also had a chance to visit our chick and rabbit friends once more before it was time to go.
To end the day, the Red Peppers shared a funny skit with us about the “secret papers.” I’ll share the secret in the gallery below! I’m sad the peppers’ time here is done, but I’ll be seeing you soon here for more adventures at MSU Tollgate Farm. In the meantime, stay in touch by reliving our day together in the photos below and liking MSUE Tollgate Education Programs on Facebook.
Until next time,
Clifford the Calf