GSAC 2 and Horse Camp- Day 4

**Have your camper pack a bathing suit and towel for the camp closing tomorrow afternoon. Campers will slide down the slip and slide**

It was a very wet Thursday at camp. That did not keep campers indoors!

The campers learned about seed dispersal. How do seeds travel?

What aspects of natural seed dispersal did your camper use for their creation? Did your camper’s seed travel down the waterfall or did it get stuck on a rock? 

How could your camper modify their design for better movement down the waterfall?

Campers continued working on their sustainable farms today. Which animals did your camper add to their farm?

These campers protected their farms from the rain with their umbrellas. What natural structures protect farms from severe weather?

The red and orange peppers went on a goat hike together.Do goats like to spend time in the rain?

What do goats like to eat on a walk?This group talked about “tree cookies” out of the rain. How old was the big tree when it was cut down? How old was the smaller tree?What else can your camper tell about the tree by looking at its rings?

Green science and horse campers enjoyed garden kitchen. They made asparagus boats in the morning and banana bread in the afternoon.

Why were dates added to the banana bread?

Morning: Asparagus Rafts

16 Thick asparagus spears
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
1 clove of garlic (minced)
Cooking spray
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
¼ tsp pepper
Dash of salt

Heat up the grill. Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and line up side by side, 3-4 asparagus spears, so that they are touching each other. Run skewer through the asparagus near the top and bottom. Combine soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Brush on top of asparagus rafts. Grill about 3 minutes on each side until crisp tender. Sprinkle sesame seeds and salt.

Afternoon: Date-Sweetened Banana Bread

2 tbsp ground flax seeds or chia seeds + 6tbsp water
2 cups gluten-free oat flour (or make your own by processing 2 cups of oats)
3 large, ripe, and spotty bananas, mashed
1 cup pitted medjool dates, packed
½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9×5″ bread pan with parchment paper. Mix flax seeds or chia seeds with the water, stir well and leave it aside till gooey, about 15 minutes. In a big bowl add the flour with baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and mix well. Using a food processor, blend together the dates and liquids until smooth. Add the mashed banana and flax seed mixture and stir till it’s combined. Add date and banana mixture to the dry mixture; stir until combined. Add in optional ingredients. Scoop/pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. If desired, take the fourth banana, slice it in half lengthwise, and press into the top of the bread, cut side facing up. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick runs clean. Let the bread cool down completely as it will be moist and hard to cut into when it’s still hot.

Both camps also enjoyed games in the pavilion while it rained.Horse campers made horse treats. They used oats and molasses to make a tasty snack for the horses.

This group practiced saddling a horse. First, campers put on the saddle blanket. Why is there a cutout at the front of the blanket?Then they put the saddle on top of the blanket. Why does the horse have a mask on her face? Did the instructor remove the mask before putting a bridle on the horse?Emergency dismounts are an important skill for safe riding. When would your camper use an emergency dismount?The camper leaned forward close to the horse’s neck.She pushed away from the horse as she landed.The horse enjoyed a grass treat after practicing dismounts.

Here are additional photos from today:

See you tomorrow for a great day of camp!



Posted in Summer Camp | Comments Off on GSAC 2 and Horse Camp- Day 4

GSAC 2 and Horse Camp- Day 3

We had a very fun and busy day at camp!

Meet the yellow peppers at green science camp! They loved the pond study today.

Campers learned about erosion using the erosion table. They designed 3 tracks for water to travel down to compare how different materials erode. Which materials were most resistant to water erosion?

The green peppers spent time in the garden looking for worms in the soil. Why do worms love to live in the garden? 

This group also discussed soil types. Here the campers are looking at sand. How do the particles fit together? How does water flow through sand?

The campers also looked at gravel and clay. How do gravel, clay, and sand particles differ? Does water flow through the different soil types in the same way?

The yellow peppers spent time in the garden as well. They weeded the plant beds to allow extra space for the produce. 

In the afternoon, campers explored the pond. They used nets and buckets to collect water with bugs and creatures.

Then the campers observed the water samples they collected. What did your camper find? 

This group found a turtle. Other groups found mayflies, crayfish, fish, and butterflies. 

Campers used pictures to determine species of critters in their buckets. 

The pepper groups continued working on their sustainable farm project. What does it mean to have a sustainable farm? What features did your camper add to their farm?

Different groups collected materials from different locations around the farm to create unique projects.

Both green science and horse campers worked together to do the animal chores this morning.

These horse camp girls milked one of the goats.

This group fed the rabbits. What do rabbits like to eat?

This group played with the goats in the pasture.
This group enjoyed quality time with the cows. What is a female cow called? What is her baby called? 

All campers on site also enjoyed snacks in garden kitchen today.

The homemade applesauce was serviced on a muffin with sunflower butter. 

Here are the recipes:

Watermelon Juice

Fresh lemon juice (optional)
Mint leaves (optional)

Blend watermelon in the blender. Strain the pureed watermelon if desired and add fresh lemon juice and mint leaves to taste.

Afternoon: Applesauce

8-10 apples
1 tsp cinnamon
Juice of ½ a lemon
4 chopped dates
½ cup water

Peel and core the apples. Slice into bit size pieces. Place the apples and chopped dates into a heated pan. Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. Cook the apples to cook for approximately 30 minutes or until they are soft and mushy. Turn off the heat and either blend the apples with a hand blender or in a blender. Add the lemon juice and cinnamon and blend to a smooth puree. Pour the applesauce into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks.

Horse campers learned about tying ropes to lead horses today. Should your camper wrap a rope tightly around their hand to lead a horse?

The campers practiced their riding skills today in the corral. What did your camper practice?

For their craft, the campers made horse shoe stones. They started with a pie tin filled with cement. Then they added jewels, beads, and other decorations.

The stones will sit and dry over night. Then you can remove the pie tin for a garden stone. 

The farrier visited today to teach campers about horse shoes. How do you increase the size of a horse shoe? How do you make a horse shoe narrower?

The farrier also trimmed the horses’ hooves. Why is it important for a horse to have clipped hooves? Do all horses wear shoes? It is very important to feed horses a healthy diet. What do farmers feed horses to keep them healthy? What do horses enjoy as a treat? 

At the very end of the day, campers painted this horse. 

They used paint and this poster to identify parts of the horse. 

Here are additional photos:

Have a great evening!


Posted in Summer Camp, Uncategorized | Comments Off on GSAC 2 and Horse Camp- Day 3

GSAC 2 and Horse Camp- Day 2

Campers had a fun-filled day at Tollgate!

Here are some pictures from green science camp.

Meet the orange peppers! They enjoyed playing a pollinator game in the children’s garden. 

The campers learned about bees during the pollinator activity. How do bees collect pollen? How does this benefit the bee? How does it benefit the plant?

Why were velcro bands placed on the camper’s elbows or knees? What does this represent on the bee?

The campers collected pollen (ping pong balls) using their elbows and knees and deposited the pollen back at the hive. Does a bee have a difficult job? 

Before lunch, campers had the opportunity to hold the snake. Inigo is a corn snake that has lived his life in educational settings. 

What did Inigo feel like when your camper touched him? Was he slimy? After lunch, Inigo was fed his lunch. What did he eat?

Does a snake chew its food? How does he eat a mouse?

Does a snake have bones? How many bones does a snake have in its body?

In the afternoon, green science campers hiked in the forest. The yellow and orange peppers enjoyed time at a vernal pool.What is special about a vernal pool? What critters live here? Campers found several frog species in the vernal pool. 

This frog is missing its eye. How does it use other senses to find food and shelter?

These campers made bee hotels to house honey bees. What kind of shelter do bees prefer?

Both green science and horse camp combined for garden kitchen again today. In the morning, they created green smoothies.

In the afternoon, they made maple roasted sweet potatoes. 

Here are the recipes:

Morning: Green Smoothie

Chopped apple
Chopped pear
Small piece of ginger
Dash of vanilla extract
Rice milk

Blend together!

Afternoon: Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces and place on baking sheet with parchment paper. Add remainder of ingredients except the lemon juice and toss until everything is coated. Roast until the potatoes are tender and turning brown in some spots, about 25 minutes, stirring halfway. Pour over the lemon juice and serve.

Here are some photos from horse camp! Meet the 4 groups! Their favorite activity today was riding horses.

Campers learned about horse markings today. Can your camper identify colors and markings on the horse they rode during riding time?

Campers observed a leader saddling the horse. Campers will practice this later in the week.

This camper took her pulse. How many times does a human heart beat per minute at rest?

How many times does a horse heart beat per minute? 

The campers and horse ran around the corral to increase their pulse. Did the horse or human have a greater increase in heart rate?

Campers practiced riding around the corral today. What skills did your camper practice?

At the end of the day, campers brushed the horse and released her into the pasture for the evening. 

What a great day! Here are additional photos:

Enjoy your evening!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on GSAC 2 and Horse Camp- Day 2

GSAC 2 and Horse Camp- Day 1

Welcome to Green Science Adventure Camp and Horse Camp!

Each morning, both camps gather together to say the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H pledge.

Campers can practice the 4-H pledge at home:

I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking, my HEART to greater loyalty, my HANDS to larger service, and my HEALTH to better living. For my club, my community, my country, and my world.

There are 8 groups on site this week- 4 green science groups and 4 horse camp groups. Each group rotates through activities throughout the day and sometimes the 2 camps do activities together.

Meet the green science red pepper group. They love to tie-dye!

All of the groups took turns making tie-dye t-shirts.

Some of the groups finished tie-dye early and played with the parachute. 

All of the groups also helped with animal chores. A pasture chicken got out of the coup and the campers held hands in a circle to help herd her back into the coup. Was this successful? What could have been done to make this task easier?

This group fed the layer chickens in the tractor coup. How many eggs did the campers collect today? How often does a chicken lay an egg? (every 26 hours).

This group cleaned out the water trough in the goat pen. Why is it important for our animals to have clean water? 

These boys helped muck out the barn. They brought the old bedding from the goat pen to the compost pile. What decomposers will help turn this dirty bedding into fertile soil?

The green science campers went canoeing in the afternoon!

Staff gave a brief explanation of paddling before campers loaded into boats on the water.

The campers waited to unload the boats at the end of the activity.

These teen volunteers helped campers canoe all afternoon.

Horse campers learned how to groom a horse today. This brush is called a curry comb. The campers learned to move this comb in a circular motion across the horse’s hair. This loosens dirt and other material caught in its hair. 

This hard brush is used after the curry comb to brush off all of the loosened dirt and debris. Campers flicked their wrist with the brush in the direction of the hair.

Campers braided the horse’s tail and mane. Why is the horse’s tail important? Why do some riders braid the horse’s tail while others do not?

The horse campers practiced riding skills today. What did your camper learn?

All campers participated in garden kitchen today. In the morning, they made chocolate shakes. In the afternoon, they made tacos.

Here are the recipes:

Morning: Chocolate Shake

2 cups rice milk
2 frozen bananas
4 dates
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Afternoon: Quinoa Taco Mix

2 tbsp olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 ½ cups cooked black beans, mashed
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp soy sauce

To make the filling, warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until the onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno, quinoa, and garlic and cook for another minute. Sprinkle in the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika and stir until everything is coated, then cook for another minute. Fold in the mashed black beans, lime juice, and soy sauce, and cook for another minute while lightly stirring. Remove from heat and assemble in a lettuce leaf or corn tortilla with desired toppings (such as pico de gallo, avocado, onion, lime, etc.)

Here is the lost and found items collected this summer. Does it belong to your camper? Please come pick it up!

Here are additional photos from today:

Have a great night!

Posted in Summer Camp | Comments Off on GSAC 2 and Horse Camp- Day 1

Animal Camp Week 2- Day 5

Hello campers and families!

Sorry for not writing a blog post yesterday. The internet went down on the farm.

Friday was so much fun!

Meet the blue peppers! They loved gardening this week!

Meet the red peppers! They loved building nests at the pond! 

Meet the orange peppers! They loved hiking in the woods!

Meet the yellow peppers! They loved playing games in the children’s garden!

Meet the green peppers! They loved singing songs on the wagon ride!

Campers enjoyed horse back riding Thursday and Friday. Each group took a turn in the corral with the horses.

Are horses ruminants? How can you tell?

This horse was running around on a lead rope.  After running, the horse had an increased pulse. The blue peppers took her pulse using a stethoscope. 

How many times does the average horse heart beat per minute?

How do you measure horses? With hands! A hand is approximately 4 inches. This horse is approximately 15 hands tall from hoof to withers (shoulder).

Who puts shoes on a horse? Why is it important for a horse to have horse shoes?

Horses like to roll in the dirt as much as a clean dog.

The teen volunteers led “fishy story.” The story tells of a fish traveling down a river contaminated with fertilizer, oil from a parking lot, trash, and other pollutants.

How did the fish feel in a polluted habitat?

The pepper groups enjoyed a wagon ride in the afternoon!

The campers learned “repeat after me” songs.

The campers built the nests all week for STEM. Then this afternoon they dropped an egg in the nest to see if the egg would survive a fall. 

Did your camper’s egg survive the drop? What materials made durable nests? What materials were more likely to break an egg when dropped?

In garden kitchen, campers made ricotta cheese with tomato/basil sauce and spider oat bites.

The green pepper group picked tomatoes in the garden. The campers washed the produce before using it in the kitchen.

Here are the recipes:

Morning: Homemade Ricotta

4 cups of whole milk
1 cup of heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
2 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice

Line strainer with a couple of damp paper towel or cheesecloth and set inside of a large bowl. In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, milk, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vinegar or lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes, then pour into the strainer and let drain for 20 minutes.

Afternoon: Assemble homemade ricotta on bread slices with tomato sauce and basil.

Tomato Sauce

3 tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 onion
½ cup fresh basil leaves

Heat oil on a medium saucepan. Add the onion, and cook over moderate heat until it is translucent 5-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the tomatoes with their juice. Season with salt and pepper and add basil. Cook for about 20-30 minutes and adjust seasonings if desired.

Optional step: pass the sauce through a blender or food processor. To serve, reheat gently.

Spider Oat Bites

1 cup oats
2/3 cup coconut flakes
½ cup nut butter/sunflower seed butter
½ cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ/bran
½ cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Stir all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever sizes you would like. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week. Makes 20-25 balls.

Here are additional photos from the week:

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Summer Camp | Comments Off on Animal Camp Week 2- Day 5