Survival Camp: Day One

Dear Diary,

It’s me, Coltrane the turtle. I’ve decided to use my observation skills to document each day of Survival Camp in this online diary. I’ll start this entry off with a photo of myself.

Yours truly

Camp is back after a week off, and I, for one, am stoked. The campers split into their usual pepper groups:  The green peppers (6), the yellow peppers (6-7), the orange peppers (7-9), the red peppers (8-9), and the purple peppers (10-11).

The peppers started off the day with some animal chores (I’m always glad when the campers do the animal chores because it means I don’t need to get involved).

This camper was a pro, and scooped up the chicken right away

All smiles for chickens

Next up was a camp staple: Tie-dye. The campers all got to choose whatever colors they wanted to make a unique tie-dye Tollgate shirt!

Hard at work on their shirts

The finished product

Next, the campers got to learn about LNT, or “Leave No Trace.” Today, we talked about what we need to survive if we happened to get lost. The peppers discussed the importance of water, fire, and shelter. Luckily for me, I have all I need right here in the Activity Center!

Ranking our most immediate needs

Ms. Claire doesn’t need to teach ME the importance of water!

After that, everyone took a quick break for some lunch. But the day was far from being over, Diary. Next, the campers got to walk into the woods and start building shelters using Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math skills. They will be adding to them all week.

One group’s shelter beginnings

A balancing act

Good cooperation!

Now, this is when things get really interesting. The campers started walking across a tightrope-type object called a slackline. It honestly looked pretty fun, although if speed is a factor, I don’t know if I’d be great at it…

This camper has some skill!

A smile for slackline success

A vice-like grip

They also got a chance to practice their fishing skills during this time.

Real fishing is later in the week!

Practice makes perfect

Then, the peppers learned a bit about first-aid, specifically, how to wrap and carry someone who can’t walk and may be suffering from hypothermia.

Practicing the burrito wrap!

A good friend always offers (head) support

A delicate transfer of our bundled-up camper

Finally, Diary, was Garden Kitchen– another Tollgate classic. The morning’s recipe was for some yummy-looking pancakes, and then in the afternoon, the campers cooked up some carrot top pesto. I had no idea the tops of carrots were even edible!

Purple peppers make pancakes


Using a salad spinner for the pesto

A medium review, but at least he gave it a try!

Make the recipes at home!

Today’s festivities

And finally, I will round out today’s diary entry with a crowd favorite: Coltrane’s Captured Moments:

This camper is getting burrito-wrapped!

My close personal friend Raoul the Owl

Now Diary, don’t think these are all the photos I took. I was all over the place snapping pics! Check out all of my wonderful snapshots in this Google Folder.

Also, for real-time updates, follow the Tollgate Instagram @msutollgatefarm

That’s it for today, Diary. I’ll write again tomorrow– promise!


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