Water Camp: Monday

Welcome to Day 1 of Splish Splash Water Week! This week we will dive into the world of the pond to investigate the animals, bugs, and plants that call it home. Our campers will take part in fishing, canoeing, and pond dipping for macro-invertebrates. Additionally, we’ll learn about water conservation and water ecology. What happens to the rain that falls on MSU Tollgate Farm? How do the plants and animals impact our water? We will have to wait and see!

Animal Chores take place daily. Today, our Orange Peppers cared for the chickens. They went over a few safety procedures with Mr. Julian before entering the coop. Campers provided food and water for the chickens and collected eggs that had been laid. The eggs we collect are available for purchase in the large cooler next to the Activity Center!

Campers tried out some new designs during Tie Dye this week! We’re working on different methods to help our shirts stay vibrant and colorful. Typically, our staff washes the shirts prior to sending them home. This week, we’ve let the shirts dry in the sun and will send them home on Thursday. We recommend washing in cold water so they’re ready to be worn for Closing Celebration on Friday.

What happens when in rains at Tollgate? How much rain water is impacting our gardens? These are questions that we started to answer today during Garden Time. Pepper Groups used recycled plastic bottles to make rain gauges. We learned that rain gauges need to be able to hold the water, have a form of measurement (we measured and labeled the sides in inches), and be placed in an area that the rain would land. We’re expecting some rain this week so we’ll check back on our water levels during our visits to the garden.

During the morning visit to Garden Kitchen, campers made a Blackberry Mango Breakfast Shake. It was refreshing, filling and helped energize us for the rest of the day!

Blackberry Mango Breakfast Shake

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup mango juice
  • ¾ cup (one third of a standard block) silken tofu
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ cups frozen blackberries

Place ingredients in blender, juices first, and blend until smooth.

Our afternoon recipe was sent home on the recipe card today. It’s listed below as well!

Asparagus Rafts

  • 16 thick asparagus spears
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Heat grill or stovetop grill pan over medium high heat. Cut or snap off tough ends of asparagus and halve. Skewer 3-4 asparagus spears along the top and bottom. Combine soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Brush on asparagus rafts. Grill for about three minutes on each side or until crisp and tender. Top with sesame seeds.

We love having Wagon Rides on Monday so that our new campers get to see more of the camp! In addition to the usual nature sightings, a few groups spotted turkeys and foxes during their ride. This led to a conversation among some Yellow Peppers about the strength of different species (foxes and wolves) and which one would win in a battle. One camper thought they might have seen the elusive Bigfoot! We weren’t able to capture any pictures, so we’ll have to keep looking.

Our STEAM activity for the week is Boat Building. Campers will plan and design different models throughout the week to see what works best. During the first day, we saw some groups choosing to use natural materials to build their boats. They worked near the waterfall and stream so that they could test their boats as they worked.

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