Crow’s Nest: Home of the Giant Minnow (Camp Week Two)

July 17, 2011

“I’ve got a giant minnow here!” cries ring out through the Pine Creek valley.

First and second graders descended upon Crow’s Nest last week for morning or afternoon sessions of camp.

With these young campers our goal is to get them comfortable outside in nature and get them to know well just one part of the preserve. So in addition to playing games in the barn we traveled by haywagon each day to the remote campsite along the banks of Pine Creek. We began with some role-playing of the creatures that inhabit the preserve:

A crayfish above, and a bat below:

And then out to the creek, where kids looked for fish and macroinvertebrates, built a small dam, or just splashed in “the deep part.”

And then there was the nature’s defenses arcade in the upstairs of the barn, that the 5th and 6th graders had created. This week’s kids got to play with these games too.

Featured below is the vulture vomit launch, where kids created a goopy “vomit” (secret formula) and then used a slingshot to cast it out of a giant vulture’s mouth. (Vultures will vomit when frightened, perhaps as much to lighten the load of the meal they last gorged on to better be able to fly, or even so that a potential predator will feed on this recently-acquired food instead of on the vulture—but it is far more interesting to consider it (and act it out) as a projectile.) Here’s what you see from the front:

And the reverse angle:

The astute will recognize the stairs, originally built for loading hayrides that later has been used as a platform by contra dance callers, here repurposed for the vulture vomit game. We’ll clean up the barn before the next contra dance.