Animal Camp + Winged Wonders Camp: Day Five

Hello! Coltrane the Turtle at your service. It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Tollgate Turtle Tells All: A Camp Exposé Part V! Not only will I let you know what went down during the final day of Animal Camp, but I have some awesome photos from the Winged Wonders crew as well.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Google Folder that contains ALL the pictures from this week of Animal camp!

Also, make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for photos and information from Winged Wonders! If your camper was a part of Winged Wonders, be sure to check out this Google Folder that contains tons of photos from the week.

And as a special bonus, here’s a look at this week of camp:

Let’s start off the way we always do: animal chores! All of the animals have asked me to thank the campers who did a fantastic job taking care of them all week. So…thank you!!

Saying “see you again!” to the chicken

A friendly pat before the camper and goat part ways for the weekend

AND, not only did the campers do a great job taking care of the animals, they also watered and weeded our garden all week. The plants are looking happy and healthy, so thanks for all your hard work.

Pulling those pesky weeds!

Helping our garden grow!

Next on the agenda was a game called “Wrens and Jays.” In this game, jays all had to take seeds back to their nest one at a time while the wren circled around. If the wren spotted a nest, he got to take all the seeds! The jay with the most seeds at the end of the game is the winner.

The wren is on the lookout!

A flock of jays

A good hiding place for your nest is the key to the game!

The games were just beginning, though, as you’ll soon see. The next activity was a game that was brought to camp by our very own Ms. Claire. Each camper got to be an animal with a special gesture, and campers had to say their animal and another pepper’s animal before they were tagged by the person in the middle!

Black wolf!


Now, if you’ve been a loyal fan of my exposé this past week, you’ll know that Garden Kitchen normally happens twice per day. But today, we only had morning Garden Kitchen (plus a great afternoon snack that was made by Ms. Leah). Today’s Kitchen was a lot of fun– check it out:

Having a bad day? Churn it around and make it butter

Voilà! We have butter!

We used yummy radishes and turnips as vehicles for our freshly-made butter

You can also put all the butter ingredients in a jar and shake it vigorously!

A fun farewell day

After a morning chock-full of awesome activities, we took some time to eat lunch; today we ate inside because the sky was looking a bit dark. It did rain a bit over lunch, but that didn’t stop the peppers from having a blast this afternoon.

The first thing they did was…TAKE ME OUT OF MY TANK!! I couldn’t believe it– I  finally got to meet some campers face to face! I have to admit, I was a little nervous as first, but the campers handled me with great care, and now that I’m safely back in my tank, I find myself hoping for another journey outside soon.

They love me!

They don’t call me red-bellied for nothing

Sweet freedom

Then, it was time for something really awesome: making goat milk soap! The edu-leaders cooked up a different color for each pepper group and then let the campers mold it into whatever shape they want.

Finished and ready to shower!

Remember campers, goat milk is not edible!

Molding soap into all shapes and sizes!

For the grand finale of the creature creation activity, campers were able to paint their animals. By the end of the afternoon, all of the creatures were looking really nice. Although the campers may have gotten a little messy during the process…

An artist focused on her work

I have a suspicion that this camper painted his hands instead of the creature

A very long and skinny creation from this camper!

And finally, each pepper group competed in the Farm Olympics! Each camper had to complete a series of obstacles, including crawling under tables, hula-hooping, and bowling. Every group managed to complete the course!

Going for the strike!

Army crawling under the picnic tables

There was also a wheelbarrow agility segment!

And now, I have some long-awaited pictures of the Winged Wonders camp during their trip to KBS!



A good egg

Winged Wonders crew 2018

Ms. Ellen says: Campers and leaders of Winged Wonders camp 2018  had a great outdoor adventure as they camped out under the stars and explored the world of birds in the forest, field, and lakes of the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary and the Kellogg Biological Station. Our adventures of Forest + Field, Nest Challenge, Flip, Flap Glide: What Makes A Bird A Dinosaur, Geeked about Beaks, and skit practice made up a fantastic trip. Thanks to our brave teen stewards and adult chaperones who gave their time to serve and learn as part of Winged Wonders 2018.  Happy birding!

Thanks to everyone who made this week such an awesome time, and gave me amazing material for my exposé. I think I can ultimately reveal that Tollgate Animal and Winged Wonder Camps were full of experiences that campers will remember long after they leave Tollgate.

Until next time, friends!

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