Camp Beech Grove 2015
During this first year, Camp Beech Grove had six 1-week all day sessions for June 1 to July 10, 2015. The staff and volunteers were fabulous and the great reason for our success. We also had a child:counselor ratio of around 3:1 or 4:1.
We begin the morning with a sacred story (from Mark 4), told and then acted out differently each day. It was followed by lots of singing. After a snack, the campers have a hands-on nature lesson followed by a walk in the preserve to take the learning outside. We talked about habitats and went outside to see who lives in the woods and where. We taught several kinds of trees and then went on a walk to identify them. Many were excited to learn the names of the trees. We would observe wiggling worms inside and then go outside to dig some up. On Thursdays, they’d go outside to learn about pollinators and their habitats by discovering what plants we had introduced back into the nature preserve and others that are growing there on their own. They really enjoyed being outdoors in the gardens or walking in the forest or digging in the dirt or looking under logs.
On several Fridays, we took the church bus to a local woods, walked to a creek where we played in the creek. The kids loved it! Sometimes we would walk down to our creek in the preserve. There were newly planted native plants there. We chose to let the young plants grow for a year or two before we spend much time at our own creek.
Scattered through the week, we did crafts like bug hotels, stained glass butterflies and rain sticks. We also had two outside playtimes, one playground where they could play games, draw with chalk, or shoot baskets. The other playground with slides and a tire swing and climbing structures, they called “the park” for all the shade offered by large trees. At the end of the day, we had yoga twice a week. Every day we closed with a time to share our thanks and concerns and then prayed together.