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Crow’s Nest Camp Week Five

August 12, 2015

By Daniel Barringer  Photos by Pete Smyrl & Aubrey Smith

Our final week of camp was our largest ever and this oldest group of campers explored places well beyond the boundaries of Crow’s Nest Preserve. Our goal with the seventh and eighth grade camps is to introduce them to our other Natural Lands Trust preserves so that they can see how Crow’s Nest fits into the larger conservation picture.

So after practicing kayaking (and T-rescues) on Scott’s Run Lake at French Creek State Park, we kayak on the Schuylkill River where we can observe water quality in the same watershed as Crow’s Nest and where Natural Lands Trust has an island preserve, Andruss Island.

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The older campers also do a service project to give back to the camp that many of them have attended for years. This week we added stepping stones leading up to a footbridge and rolled away rotting log sections in the stump playground and replaced them with fresh ones that had been generated by our hazard tree management program. Others cleared an area where a fairy village will be built by younger campers, and worked on ideas for directional signs for the network of trails in the play area.

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We took a field trip to Fulshaw Craeg Preserve so that campers could see another Natural Lands Trust preserve and climb on the rocks, play in the stream, and hike there.

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And the campers also made a field trip to St. Peter’s Village to explore the rocks and swim in French Creek there.

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It’s been a great summer and we are grateful for all the wonderful kids who have attended. I am also thankful for the staff and volunteer counselors: our Educator Molly Smyrl who leads the camp, Aubrey Smith, Cody Hudgens, Emily Smulowitz, Eloise Smyrl and Pete Smyrl. After a break we’ll be back with our fall kids’ programs.

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