For the third day of wild winter camp, we began by merging our three pepper groups together into one group – the rainbow peppers! We started the day by reciting the 4-H pledge and then traveled to the Activity Center to get settled in for the day.
We then went to the Animal Barn to visit our farm friends and feed the chickens. Our animal caretakers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new baby goats (kids) and lambs any day now. After giving the farm animals some attention, we headed back to the activity center for our morning garden kitchen.
We had a hearty breakfast of multigrain pancakes with chocolate chips and Tollgate Maple Syrup. Pancakes are a favorite treat for the campers so it was fun to revisit this as a snack. After garden kitchen, off to the forest we went to check out different animal nests in the forest and look for animal tracks.
There were a lot of campers interested in building a shelter with the sticks they found in the sugar bush forest. We incorporated this as our STEM shelter building project which will be carried out through the rest of the week. The theme for today’s was debris shelters, using natural materials to build shelters resembling nests and dens. During this time, campers also enjoyed exploring the forest area and discovering new places.
Following lunchtime up in the barn, the busy afternoon was kicked off with garden kitchen where the campers put their culinary skills to work making Sweet Potato Hash. After some time warming up and enjoying the delicious snack, it was time to go out and get some fresh air so we went to visit the animal barn again. The goats, ewes and chickens welcomed our company. Many of the campers took turns catching the chickens. We also took this opportunity to talk about interesting winter adaptations of chickens and other birds that don’t migrate.
We had an afternoon craft activity of making miniature bird feeders by using pine cones, vegetable shortening, and bird seed. This bird feeder will be perfect to set outside your home on the branch of a tree and observe some bird friends that will come visit for a meal! With fewer food resources available to wildlife in the wintertime, this is a great way to aid bird survival in suburban environments.
To finish off the day, a fun and interactive migration game was played to help campers understand what animals migrate and what kind of risks they might encounter along the migration route. The campers got to simulate an animal traveling through a life-size board game to see how easy or difficult it may be for them to make it to their wintering grounds.
Today’s activities revolved around the theme of ‘Birds in Winter’, and the kids had plentiful opportunities to learn about birds that live in and around the farm and explore their lifestyle together. We look forward to more fun to be had on our final two days of camp, diving into the topics of ‘People in Winter’ and ‘Winter on the Farm’!