Red Planet Survival Camp: Monday

Welcome to Red Planet Survival Camp! Our campers have just landed on Mars, the Red Planet. This week will be spent exploring and learning about shelter, first aid and surviving in an unfamiliar setting.

Campers took a break from their visit to Mars to take care of their morning animal chores. Although some of our usual animals are visiting a fair, Pepper Groups were still able to care for the those that stayed behind. The Purple Peppers practiced chicken handling and became familiar with the ins and outs of the chicken coop.

Miss Emma is our Garden Kitchen guide! After taking a few moments to introduce campers to the kitchen safety expectations, she got them started on part 1 of a 2 part snack! Pepper Groups began work on a delicious Strawberry and Mango Jam. Tomorrow, it will be ready for eating. During afternoon Garden Kitchen time, campers made Roasted Curry Cauliflower. Perfect treats for our Red Planet theme!

Strawberry and Mango Jam Recipe

  • 1 cup Strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup Mango, chopped
  • 2 Tsp Lime Juice
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar


Add all ingredients to a non-reactive sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and boiling over. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Blend with an immersion blender to your desired consistency. (I like leaving some little chunks). Return to the stove and boil for another 3-5 minutes. Jam will form drops when dripped from a spoon instead of a steady stream. It will thicken more as it cools. Store in refrigerator.

     Roasted Curry Cauliflower

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 ℉ and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Quarter and core cauliflower, slice each piece into ½ inch pieces. Place cauliflower on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Toss to distribute ingredients and coat cauliflower in oil. Sprinkle cauliflower with curry powder and toss until well blended. Bake until golden, about 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle the cauliflower with cilantro before serving.

After spending some time tending to the gardens, Pepper Groups took a break and learned some of our favorite camp games! Many of the groups played Owl and Mice. The ‘mice’ have to strategically move quickly and quietly through the garden without being seen by the ‘owl’.

Monday at Tollgate means tie dye! Every camper was able to wrap up and rubber band their shirts in a pattern of their choosing and dunk them into a dye or two! These shirts will be worn on Friday so that campers can show them off during the end of the week celebration.

Throughout the week campers will learn about LNT: Leave No Trace. Today, they became familiar with criteria for survival. Campers were able to recognize things like food, water, shelter and first aid. Their job was to take a few mystery items from a backpack and figure out how they could use it as a tool for one of those categories.

Peppers put their balancing skills to the test as they practiced slack-lining! When their turn was over, they worked on fishing skills to be used later this week when we head over to the pond.

Since we’ve landed on Mars, we must practice first aid skills so that we know how to help one another if there’s ever an emergency! Campers went over a few basics such as using a splint, slings, wrapping hands/wrists and more.

Part of our survival guide lessons taught us that we need shelter to protect us! Pepper groups went to the woods to try out their shelter building skills. This will be a project that campers work on throughout the week. They’ll be able to try new things and make changes as they go.

“This fort has so much potential!”

A statement from a camper who noticed that her group had a good start but realized there was more that she wanted to try and add to her shelter.
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