Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A week at Coastal Explorers camp

Making discoveries on the beach
The campers started their first day at camp by meeting everyone and learning about the various habitats of Fort Worden. They then participated in two fun learning activities, one outside activity where they tried to find all the hidden unnatural items on the un-nature trail and another where they identified natural objects from the Natural History Exhibit. The afternoon was spent on the beach where campers participated in a scavenger hunt and later made beach art.

Hidden pond exploration
On Tuesday the campers went to the Marine Exhibit where they learned about the four different types of marine invertebrates as well as the animals in the touch tanks. They also got to feed some of the animals! In the second half of the day, we explored a hidden pond and a lagoon in Fort Worden.

Boating on the Martha J
On Wednesday we started the day with a learning activity about marine mammals. Campers learned about what classifies a marine mammal and about how blubber protects some marine mammals in very cold water. In the afternoon the campers split into three groups to go on a boat to test the salinity levels and temperature of the water. They also collected and observed plankton samples. The captain of the boat made every group their own bull kelp horn which the campers got to blow for the rest of the day. While off the boat the campers pulled Scotch Broom, an invasive plant species that is harmful to the Fort Worden habitats, and picked up trash on the beach.

Building bugs
On Thursday morning the campers observed and identified different insects through microscopes. They then used this knowledge to build their own bugs out of egg cartons and pipe cleaners! Thursday afternoon had more fun forest activities! After we walked to the beginning of the trail we started a really cool learning activity called Each Two Teach Two. Campers got in pairs and went down the trail two at a time. They then received a letter about a certain tree or plant that could be found on the trail and were responsible for teaching the next group to come down the trail. We finished the day with a nature hike and the walk back to the Natural History Exhibit.

Beach fun
On our last day, we got to go down to the tide pools! Before we started we learned about beach etiquette. The campers then collected different creatures that they found under rocks and in the pools and observed them. After snack we walked further down the beach to look at the different layers of the bluff. When we got back to the Marine Science Center the campers got to go into the Natural History Exhibit to learn more about the layers of the bluffs after having their own experience. In the afternoon we split up into five groups to build sand creatures on the beach.

Personal Notes: I had previously been a camper for multiple years and it was a really cool experience to do the camp as a counselor. I learned a lot about responsibility and now understand how much hard work every counselor and staff member puts into each day at camp. I would definitely recommend being a counselor to every camper. Thank you to all the campers! I hope you come back next year.

HAYDEN RINN is a seventeen-year-old volunteer summer camp counselor at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for volunteering, Hayden! It looks like a fabulous week of learning, discovery, stewardship, and fun!


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