Green Science Adventure Camp-1: Day 1

We had an amazing first day of Green Science Adventure Camp! We made lots of new friends and can’t wait to continue exploring the farm with our campers!

We started the morning with a flag ceremony and a meet-and-greet with our pepper groups. There are four groups of campers, divided by age group. The Green Peppers are with Ms. Mandy, the Yellow Peppers with Ms. Erika, the Orange Peppers with Ms. Nicole, and the Red Peppers with Ms. Jenny.

Green Peppers break for lunch.

Green Peppers break for lunch.

We took a hayride this morning to tour the property and play some icebreaker games. We saw lots of birds and bugs in their natural habitat.  Our campers learned the difference between hay and straw (hay is green, moist, and fed to animals while straw is yellow, dry, and used for animal bedding).


Red and Orange Peppers during their wagon ride this morning!

Speaking of animals, we got to meet the goats during morning chores! The Orange Peppers got to milk our mother Toggenburg, Isabella. She delivered a set of triplets in early May, so she is producing a lot of milk! Our Orange Peppers were very brave and nearly everyone tried their hand at milking! While the Orange Peppers were busy taking care of Isabella, the Red Peppers fed the kid triplets their morning bottle. We learned the proper way to feed and carry the kids so that they feel safe and secure. The Yellow and Green Peppers fed and watered the chickens, ducks, and goose. Chores will be rotating through the different groups so that everyone has a chance to meet all of our farm animals throughout the week.


The Orange Peppers learned how to milk Isabella today!


The Orange Peppers meet our Toggenburg goats.


The Red Peppers took care of our goat kids – we have triplets!


Red Peppers bottle feeding the kids.

During the morning Garden Kitchen session, the campers learned about the importance of washing hands and kitchen safety. Then we picked fresh strawberries out of the garden and ate them right off the vine. YUM!


Orange Peppers hunting for strawberries.

After our lunch break, we did a scavenger hunt and found materials to make a model of a sustainable farm or garden. The campers got very creative! We will continue to work on these models during the week and adding to them as we learn more about farming and science.

Yellow Peppers work on their farm models.

Yellow Peppers work on their farm models.

Campers helped Ms. Pam bake granola in the Garden Kitchen this afternoon. Instead of using nuts in our version of the recipe, we used pumpkin and sunflower seeds.The pumpkin seeds were a big hit! You can find the full recipe at the end of this post.


Measuring maple syrup for granola.

Yellow Peppers making granola!

Yellow Peppers making granola!

We headed back out to the garden and did an activity focused on nutrition and plant health. Campers learned about what happens when weeds compete for the valuable resources in the soil, making it harder for other plants to get the nutrients they need to grow.

Yellow Peppers visit the Tollgate Children's Garden during a break.

Yellow Peppers visit the Tollgate Children’s Garden during a break.

Our pepper groups also started working on a skit that they will collectively perform for the rest of the campers and staff at the end of the week. There are some very creative ideas that have been tossed around, and we’re excited to see the final product on Friday!


Orange Peppers playing a name game and planning their skit.

All in all, today was a wonderful start to Green Science Adventure Camp! We are thrilled to welcome all of our campers and their families to MSU Tollgate Farm, and we look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

RedOrange group

Red and Orange Pepper Groups

Granola Recipe


9 ounces of all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
5 Tbs. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup buttermilk
3 Tbs. honey


  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Weight or lightly spoon flour into dry measure. Level with a knife. Gently whisk the dry ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse meal.
  4. Chill for 10 minutes.
  5. Combine buttermilk and honey with whisk. Add to dry ingredients, stirring until just moist.
  6. Turn out on to floured surface. Knead four times.
  7. Roll into 9×5 rectangle, fold in by thirds.
  8. Reroll into 9×5 rectangle, fold in by thirds.
  9. Reroll into 9×5 rectangle, fold in long ways by thirds.
  10. Gently pate to ¾ inch thick. Cut with 1 ¾ inch cutter.
  11. Place rounds one inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  12. Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool.
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