Water Camp + Horse Camp: Day Three

Day three of freedom

Party in the animal barn!

The chicks love me

Happy hump day! It’s the middle of Horse and Water Camp, and those peppers sure were busy today! I saw all of it as I made my way throughout the entire farm. I might not have been crazy fast, but for my situation, I think I covered some pretty good ground.

The day started off with something special right here where my tank is! Before Garden Kitchen in the Activity Center, the campers all got a chance to make cards for some kids in Marshalltown, Iowa who have been affected by the recent tornado. I’m really proud of the empathy and compassion that our peppers showed.

Even a small gesture can mean a lot

Sending love <3

A camper and her card

After that, the campers went on a really beautiful morning hike to revisit their rain puddles from Monday. Although most of the water dried up, the peppers had a great time waking up with a little exercise!

Building friendships with stewards

No water in this hole, but there appears to be a few peppers…

And then it was time for one of my favorite activities in all of water camp: fishing! I stayed nice and safe on the dock (because even I am tempted by the occasional worm) where I could see all the great catches. Those fish sure were biting today!

A yellow pepper makes the catch!

Saying hi to a new friend before we release him back into the pond!

Making a wish for a fish

After that, the campers were ready for some food! We paused for lunch before launching back into some awesome activities. First up: boat building! Today, peppers got some additional materials, such as egg cartons and aluminum foil, to add to their boats. Those extra materials really upped the ante.

Egg carton boats for the win!

Ready to set sail

From a sketch on paper to a real boat!

After that, it was time for something BRAND NEW to Tollgate. It was called “Hydro Lab,” and basically, the peppers used some fancy tools to measure stats on the pond such as temperature, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen. Mr. Mike was there to help us out, and the campers really had a good time determining whether or not the pond was a suitable home for different kinds of fish. Check out the Limno Loan site for more information about the Hydro Lab Program!

Dunking the hydro lab, which is from the Great Lakes National Program!

Our pond is showing some pretty good stats

The hydro lab in all its glory

Getting a second opinion

As much as I was fascinated by the hydro lab, I was getting very hot out on the dock by the pond. The solution? A trip to Mr. Mister!

Some much-needed H2O

Then, campers did a fun, interactive lesson about watersheds! They got to use spray bottles for rain and food coloring for pollution, and then see where the water goes based on the landscape and gravity forces.

The water also had to navigate around dirt and rocks

Looks like some pretty dirty water…not anything I’d want in my tank!

Make it rain

We also made some scrumptious snacks in Garden Kitchen today– see the bottom of this post for that!

As always, more snapshots from my time enjoying some fresh air (oh, and your campers too) can be found by clicking here. 

I meandered out to the horse arena again this morning. I couldn’t believe my turtle eyes when I saw what they were learning! Campers were trotting, walking over the bridge, and backing up the horse!

Stopping on the bridge

Her instructor gave her helpful hints to learn a new skill

Up and over!

Practicing circles

As you know, I’m a pretty brave turtle- I explore Tollgate every day! I was a little scared as I went out to investigate the next activity. The campers were holding a thermometer and stethoscope standing next to a horse. I hope I’m not next to get a check-up!

The horse’s temperature should be approximately 100*

They heard healthy heart and gut sounds

Then they learned about horse bones. They compared the horse leg to the human arm/leg. I wonder if horse bones are similar to turtle bones.

They put the bone puzzle together

The skeletal system is so interesting!

I was very excited when I saw bright colors across the arena after lunch. The campers continued to learn horse parts (withers, fetlock joint, cannon, crest, and more). Then they finger painted on Max and Jade.

She painted the withers

She painted the hoof

Good cooperation campers! Big Max is beautiful!

Max needed a bath

A new person was at camp this afternoon. She came with big nail clippers, pliers, and a hammer. She introduced herself as the farrier- the person who gives horses “pedicures.” How fun is that? The campers observed her trimming Friday’s hoofs and learned about healthy hoof care. Then they practiced nailing horse shoes into a piece of wood. Woo, that was hard work!

Trimming Friday’s hoof

Sizing a horse shoe with pliers

Nailing horse shoes into a board

After being in the sun, it was time for an activity in the shade. Two groups of campers competed in a game of farm pictionary.

I wonder what she had to draw

I heard lots of good guesses

As you can see, the campers had a spectacular Wednesday at Horse Camp. Here are more photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ym64nnDy2jzg4Pzt7

I love that everyone comes together for Garden Kitchen. Check out today’s festivities!

Big bean bite!

Assembling the caprese salad

Easy to make, yummy to eat!

Making the green beans into fancy green beans with just a few ingredients

Wednesday water fun!

Lots of five-star reviews on these recipes!

We also had a great teambuilding session with our stewards and SIT’s that really allowed them to work together and talk about how to make camp an even better experience for all.

Building a stronger team 🙂

Looks like fun!

So there you go, day three of my time away from tank. If it looks like it was tons of fun, that’s because it was. See you tomorrow!


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