Campers celebrated our Michigan winter with gusto on our first day of Tollgate Farm Wild Winter Break Camp. The morning began with flag ceremony which includes the flag raising, the pledge of allegiance, and the 4-H pledge.
Next, we took a wagon ride to the forest to explore our CARES contract and the ideas that lay the foundation for how we care for the farm and each other at camp.
During a visit to Ms. Darby, in the greenhouse, we each made a mini-greenhouse through a project called ‘winter sowing.’
Animal chores was definitely a highlight for many of the campers. Caring for our cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, and rabbits, campers checked to make sure the animals were displaying normal behavior and by feeding them. From harvesting eggs from the chicken coop to giving Colton, our youngest steer, milk were exciting and memorable experiences for all. The blue peppers were thrilled to find a hen in the barn laying on 15 eggs!
We made bird feeders to help care for our resident songbirds in the cold of winter.
Campers set out sardines in an effort to capture some animal tracks and explored the Tollgate forest in winter, including a visit to our partially frozen vernal pool!
Later, campers worked with science and engineering practices to design and build sleds from cardboard, feed bags, and tape. Sledding ensued with lots of fun discoveries about which material provided the most speed.
A pinnacle moment for many campers, garden kitchen included pumpkin pancakes with Tollgate maple syrup and, combing Italian and Greek cuisines, pizza hummus!