Eco-Warriors Camp: Thursday

Welcome to Day 4 of Eco-Warriors Camp! Tomorrow is our field trip day, making today our last real day on the farm. It was full excitement as we were finally able to share our carnival games with the whole camp!

We made our final visit to Garden Kitchen this morning! Campers made Gazpacho, to be eaten in the afternoon so that it had time to chill. Since this snack was for later, they quickly put together a fruit parfait to eat for morning snack.

Gazpacho 

  • 1 pound ripe roma tomatoes, halved and cored
  • 1 small (1/2 lb) cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • ½ medium green bell pepper, cored
  • ¼ small red onion, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 slice of white bread, soaked, crusts removed

Directions: Combine all ingredients together in a blender or food processor.  Puree for 1 min, or until the soup reaches your desired consistency.  Taste and season with extra salt, pepper and/or cumin if needed. Refrigerate in a sealed container for 4 hours, or until completely chilled. Serve cold, topped with your desired garnishes.

During Garden Time, campers helped with a bit of weeding and watering. When they were done, they put together Newspaper Pots. They molded recycled newspapers around glass jars to help shape the newspaper into a flower pot. Once everything was taped up, the newspaper was removed from the jar. Now, soil and seeds could be added to the newspaper pots! Campers will bring these home to be planted where they please. The newspaper will decompose and new flowers or vegetables will grow!

This Green Pepper had a great attitude when another camper lost their seeds. She offered to share some of hers to help cheer them up!

Today was the day for our STEAM Carnival! Campers put together games that were both aesthetically pleasing and functional in order to attract players. Campers set up their games in the pavilion and each group had an opportunity to present their game before opening them up to be played. It was wonderful to have all of the Pepper Groups in one place, working and playing together.

By the end of the carnival, our Gazpacho was ready to be eaten! As campers sat around picnic table under the pavilion, EduLeaders helped to serve their snack outdoors. We had a bit of time before reflection and pick-up, so we were able to play a few rounds of Capture the Flag with all of the Pepper Groups!

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Eco-Warriors Camp: Wednesday

Welcome back to Day 3 of Eco-Warriors Camp! Our activities today were motivated by our goal to make positive contributions to the ecosystems around us and prevent the addition of more waste to our environment.

By Day 3, we’ve become experts at doing the animal chores!

After a discussion about some of the adverse effects of erosion, EduLeaders led campers in making Pollinator Seed Bombs. The idea is that the seed bombs can be dropped in places that have experienced erosion. The seeds from the seed bombs will take root and minimize erosion that is happening where we drop them. Campers combined clay, dirt, water and seeds to create their seed bombs. This is just one solution to this issue that was very easy for our campers to carryout!

Between activities we often have time for a few of our favorite camp games like Fruit Basket and Owls and Mice.

This Pepper is pretending to be a mouse hiding from the owls!

Pepper Groups helped out the bees today by heading to the Edu Garden and Hand Pollinating! They acted like insects by touching pollen from one plant and transferring it to others. The Yellow Peppers were pretty interested in the fact that the center of different flowers look and feel different from one another.

Our Pizza Garden has grown so much since the beginning of summer!

Tomorrow, campers will finally get to share their Carnival Games! All week campers have explored the importance of functionality and aesthetics in engineering design. Small groups and individuals brainstormed games to make based on those they’ve played and seen before. Everyone has shown such creativity and ingenuity this week!

Today, we made further efforts to minimize our Ecological Footprint. Single-use plastic, like the wrap used to cover food, is pretty wasteful. We thought up a way to minimize our plastic use by making Wax Cling Wraps. Campers took squares of cloth, dipped them in wax and let them hang dry. The wax helps the cloth to hold the shape of the container it’s covering. Everyone was able to take one home!

Garden Kitchen

Blueberry Energy Bites

  • 1 cup  dry oats
  • ¼ cup  sun butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup  dried or fresh blueberry
  • ¼ teaspoon  cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon  vanilla
  • salt, optional

Directions: Mix oats, sun butter and honey in a large bowl. Add dried blueberries, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt and mix to combine. Place bowl in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, or until the mixture has solidified. Mold mixture into bite-sized balls.

Mini Zucchini Pizzas

  • 3 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 c. marinara or pizza sauce
  • 1/3 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 c. mini pepperoni
  • Dried oregano, for sprinkling

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 °F. Place zucchini on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake until slightly tender, 5 minutes. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over each slice, then top with mozzarella and mini pepperoni. Sprinkle with dried oregano and bake until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted, 10 minutes.

A few reminders!

  1. Tie dye shirts will be sent home Thursday afternoon. They have dried in the sun but have not been washed yet. We recommend washing alone in cold water.
  2. Campers should come in long pants and closed toe shoes for the field trip on Friday. These are safety precautions from the facilities we are visiting. 
  3. Join us at 3:30pm on Friday for our Closing Celebration! Campers will prepare a song to share with families. We will still have After-Care for those who are enrolled.
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Eco-Warriors Camp: Tuesday

Welcome to Day 2 of Eco-Warriors Camp! In our quest to be Eco-Warriors, we will consider our impact on the environment, repurpose old materials, give back to our environment by potting new plants and use ingredients from our own garden for our Garden Kitchen snacks.

It was a great day for fishing! Although it sometimes feels as though our fish are getting better at snatching our bait and swimming off, we still had quite a few catches.

It was staring to smell like fall in Garden Kitchen this morning! Campers helped Miss Emma make Ginger Apple Compote served with crackers. The kitchen was filled with the warm scents of cinnamon, ginger and apple.

Ginger Apple Compote

  • 2 cups chopped apple
  • 4 Medjool dates (⅓ cup pitted and diced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ to ½ cup of water

Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until apple has broken down and the compote is thick (about 20 minutes). If the compote is too thick to stir, add a tablespoon or two of water at a time. Store compote in an airtight container for up to five days and use on yogurt, pancakes, or oatmeal.

Latkes

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ shallot, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)

Directions: Drain excess water from potatoes. Combine all ingredients. Heat oil in tall-sided skillet over medium high heat, until hot but not smoking. Drop mixture by the spoonful into oil. Flip when the sides of latkes brown (about five minutes). Drain on parchment paper on a wire rack. Serve with plain Greek yogurt, sour cream or applesauce.

Our campers enjoyed Garden Time Yoga this week! After decorating a flower pot and planting seeds of their choosing, they learned a few poses and breathing techniques. This added a little extra relaxation and mindfulness to our day. Thank you to our visiting yoga instructors and garden volunteers!

As Eco-Warriors, we must consider our impact on the environment. In and activity called Fishy Story, our EduLeaders walk campers through common pollution scenarios. Each group starts with a fish tank filled with clean water and a pretend fish. The EduLeader begins to tell a story about the fish, but every so often, a different pollutant is added to the water. As campers listen, they’re responsible for adding the pollutants to the water. They add materials to represent oil, fertilizer, human and animal waste, trash, and more. By the end of the story the water is dark, murky and filled with junk! Campers notice that this is not a healthy environment for animals, nor did they want to drink from it. They were able to sift large items out of the water but had a difficult time separating items that had dissolved into the water. This demonstration helps us understand why prevention of pollution can be better than attempting to clean up after damage has been done.

A few reminders!

  1. Tie dye shirts will be sent home Thursday afternoon. They have dried in the sun but have not been washed yet. We recommend washing alone in cold water.
  2. Campers should come in long pants and closed toe shoes for the field trip on Friday. These are safety precautions from the facilities we are visiting. 
  3. Join us at 3:30pm on Friday for our Closing Celebration! Campers will prepare a song to share with families. We will still have After-Care for those who are enrolled.
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Advanced Eco-Challenge: Part 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of the Advanced Eco-Challenge updates! Today, Eco-Challenge worked on putting the finishing touches on their ROVs. 

We worked on assembling our control box kits by soldering switches and terminals.  

We also spray painted our ROVs to make them colorful and easy to find in the water.

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Eco-Warriers Camp: Monday

Welcome to Day 1 of Eco-Warriors Camp! Eco-Warriors is perfect for those who like to tinker, engineer, craft, and change the way we think about trash! The week will include calculating our eco footprint, exploring pros and cons of renewable energy, repurposing items in our makerspace, and taking a field trip to the Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority.

One of our daily priorities is to take care of our Animal Chores in the morning. Each week, campers learn to care for chickens, sheep, goats and ducks. Today, Yellow Peppers fed the chickens and collected the eggs. When they were done, they had time to try picking up and holding the chickens. Green Peppers made their way to the goats and experienced their first day of milking.

Each day campers will make two visits to Garden Kitchen, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Our two recipes today are Feel the Beet Smoothies and Garlic Parmesan Broccoli Rice.

Feel the Beet Smoothie

  • 1 cup  unsweetened rice milk
  • 1 cup  frozen raspberry
  • ½ cup  beet, cooked and sliced
  • 1 cup  beet greens, chopped
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • ¼ cup  quinoa flakes or oats

In a blender, combine the almond milk, raspberries, beets, beet greens, banana, and quinoa flakes. Blend until smooth.

Garlic Parmesan Broccoli Rice

  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon  cooking oil, of preference, or water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon  salt
  • ½ teaspoon  pepper
  • 2 tablespoons  grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Directions: In a food processor, pulse the broccoli florets and stems until they reach your desired “rice” consistency. In a pan over medium heat, add oil and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add riced broccoli, salt, and pepper, and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Add Parmesan and stir to combine. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Part of the fun of attending camp on a farm is getting to go on tractor-pulled Wagon Rides! Miss Alyssa drove us around the perimeter of Tollgate to show us more of the gardens, fields and woods that we will be visiting this week!

We made our Tie Dye shirts to wear on Friday! **They will be sent home on Thursday. They have not been washed, just dried in the sun. We recommend washing alone in cold water and air-drying.**

As Eco-Warriors and Super Heroes, one of our goals is to minimize our Eco Footprint. One of the ways we’re doing this is recycling old t-shirts and making them into Tote Bags to be used for produce, groceries and any other everyday needs. Pepper Groups showed great attitudes when they were asked to share their scissors and even offered to help one another when cutting was difficult!

Our STEAM Challenge this week is to create Carnival Games out of up-cycled materials. This challenge is allowing campers to share their creativity, collaborate with others, and engineer a new product with repurposing in mind. We’re looking forward to finishing our games and sharing them with other Pepper Groups on Thursday.

A few reminders!

  1. Campers should come in long pants and closed toe shoes for the field trip on Friday. These are safety precautions from the facilities we are visiting.
  2. Join us at 3:30pm on Friday for our Closing Celebration! Campers will prepare a song to share with families. We will still have After-Care for those who are enrolled.
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