Victoria and Anna went to a three-day Survivor day camp hosted by the Prairie Ecology Bus Center this week. They had so much fun!
The kids learned how to use a compass, build shelter, start a fire without matches (this was a real struggle!) and more. They made some new friends and had a really wonderful time. Every night when they came home they were so excited it was hard to keep up with the happy stream of stories that bubbled out of both of them nonstop.
On the last day, Jack and I went with them to take some pictures from the background and explore the site for ourselves. I see what all the fuss was about! It’s a magical place with fun, dedicated staff and the love of nature, learning and the environment just comes naturally as soon as you set foot at the place.
Since we’re members, it was only $25 for three days for each child. AND they got to take part in the “Who wants to be a scientist?” program Wednesday night for free (which was another fantastic and fun activity I’ll have to share!). You can’t beat that with a stick! 🙂
Here’s some pictures….
Getting ready to head out with her compass
The girls with a new wonderful friend
The recap before the final knot-tying test (Annalee set a 1.15 second record for her figure 8 knot!)
Anna shows me a cattail and what parts you can eat, and how (this one isn’t a good one!)
Jack discovers the first fort out behind the group (the woods are filled with kid-built forts!)
Watching the lessons from the fort
Anna’s group heads off for their last adventure
Victoria’s group prepares to embark on theirs
Jack heads off to explore the woods
It was a perfect June day, about 75 degrees and sunny with a breeze!
We found this massive tree that was almost entirely hollow at the base, with plants growing out of it
But it still stretched out tall towards the sky and was full of green branches
Jack held my hand and pulled me along exitedly. He loved exploring the site!
An old abandoned barn added character
This doesn’t capture it, but the air was filled with floating cottonwood seeds. They look like big dandelion seeds and we sometimes say they’re fairies. We caught them and made wishes and blew them away again. They’re very hard to catch! Especially in pictures, apparently. Told you they were fairies. 😉
We found Victoria deep in the woods
Jack tromped down and asked if he could help
Victoria was gathering sticks to add to the shelter
So Jack happily went looking for some to add!
Victoria also cleared out any of this invasive weed (garlic mustard weed?) if she found it, which all the kids were taught to do to help the forest
Wandering on, we found Annalee
We kept going and found this little stream
Shhhh! Sleeping fairies
Jack discovered this lovely pond when we came to the clearing and lay on the ground with his head right between this stinging nettle! He escaped unscathed, but I got some on my legs in helping him out. The plant didn’t stand a chance against the magic of the day and the stinging barely registered though!
Heading back into the woods to find our way back
We found this cool animal den at the base of a tree
And then my batteries died for all the parts where we got lost in the woods! Guess we should have taken a class! But it’s a tiny wood and we knew to get back on a path and we’d be fine. One surreal element was the lowing from nearby cows! One does not expect to hear moos when one is tromping through a magical forest. Or maybe one does, because it is magical after all….
<insert imaginary pictures of wandering lots more, then insert pictures of me, Jack, Daddy and Alex going off to town for fun at the park, ice cream treats and more. I have those photos but this is getting reallllllllly ridiculously long!>
When we came back to get the girls at the end of the day, there was more exploring to be done! And more fun!
There were giant furry dogs to meet (the other was even more giant and more furry… I think it was part bison!)
These four girls built this fabulous fort themselves on Day one! Doesn’t it rock? The staff said it was the best fort. It was! It also looks better than half the shelters I’ve seen after two days’ work on the real Survivor show. 😉 They’re sitting on the log “couch.”
Thousands of fairies slacking on some leaves
Apparently they’re scavengers (sorry! couldn’t resist!)
Victoria and a friend in the shelter their group built today
With a raccoon skull mounted by the door to warn away evil spirits (and raccoons)
Following Anna to her shelter
Hers even had big leaf carpeting
The girls showed me evidence of spit bugs and explained about them (I’m not sure if that’s what they’re called! I was photographing more than listening!)
Victoria and her new friend have exchanged emails, phone numbers and webkinz handles! They really hit it off!
Heading back from a magical day
We love all of the programs and people at PEBC. If you have anything like this is your area, I highly recommend seeing what they have to offer!