Friday, August 12, 2011

4-H Green Science Adventure Camp: Day 5!

Friday, Friday, Friday!

I am still in shock that this week is over! I have made 41 new friends, and had the best week of summer EVER!

I think all of the Peppers would agree-- we have done so many great things together. We have learned so much about science and nature, tried our hand at baking and cooking, explored the grounds of Tollgate Education Center via foot and wagon ride, experienced fishing in the on-site pond, studied all the different animals at Tollgate, and everything in between!

Although today was bittersweet, we definitely had our fair share of fun! In the morning, campers planted their own herb pots filled with four different types of basil: lime, lemon, thai, and sweet. Farmer Bill helped us all out, and took us out to the garden to teach us how to plant flowers using a seed tape.

In the Garden Kitchen, Peppers made their own peanut butter and strawberry jam. Ms. Robin showed us how healthy these treats can be, and each Pepper was able to take home their very own jar of jam! Everyone took a turn mashing the strawberries, measuring the ingredients, and blending the peanuts. Yum!

Inside the Upper Barn, campers were able to test their five senses by eating mysterious fruits and veggies. Without knowing what each treat was, campers had to describe what they were eating and make a hypothesis as to what it was. In the end, everyone found out that they ate mangos, orange bell peppers, squash, and purple peppers.

At lunch, the entire camp got together to enjoy some fire-roasted hot dogs and fruit kabobs. There was even fresh lemons and cherries for campers to make their own lemonade, which definitely quenched everyone's thirst. It was so nice to have everyone together on the last day-- there were plenty of laughs, and Pepper Groups alternated going on a wonderful hay ride with Tollgate Education Center Farm Laborer Ashley. She took us all around the fields, and up and down some hills that made it feel like we were on a roller coaster!

Luke helps out Ms. Robin in the kitchen by stirring the strawberry jam.

Evan examines his herb pot.

Each Pepper planted their own basil to take home!

Mr. Eric gets some assistance in the garden from Emily, Ella, and Evan.

As a reminder of their time at camp, and how much important it is to follow the Golden Rule, each camper got a 'PAY IT FORWARD' bracelet. The counselors got one, too!

Find out what Emily found in the shade of the Majestic Black Walnut Tree above!

Kayla and Haisley show off their beautiful smiles inside of the Upper Barn.

Christopher contemplates what food he is eating while participating in an activity in the Upper Barn.

Eloise and Britain pose in the Garden Kitchen.

I think Reese enjoyed the home made peanut butter!

As a mid-morning snack, campers made their own peanut butter and strawberry jam. They made enough to take a jar home with them, but we doubt it will stay on the shelf for long!

Neel, Kurt, and Luke relax in the sun.

Kamren, Evan, Lucy and Marissa say hello to Buddy!

It's an Orange Pepper group hug with Mr. Alan!

After lunch, all Peppers gathered in the Upper Barn, where a professional story teller got us all involved in her activity. Working together, each Pepper made noises to help tell the story-- I don't think I've ever had more fun during story time!

All of the campers were very excited for their skits that were performed for the entire camp. Sitting outside of the Upper Barn, each Pepper Group presented their skits, which ranged from sing-along songs to mini-stories, and the counselors even surprised everyone with their own gimmick! Each counselor (with the help of all the cheering Peppers) got covered in whipped cream while singing along to a goofy song. In fact, I can still see some of the cream behind Mr. Alan's ear right now-- but I'm not going to tell him!

Once the skits were completed, it was time to start wrapping up camp. Like I said before, it's very bittersweet; on one hand, I have made so many great friends, but on the other I'm sad to see that this week is over. We have all grown together so much over the past five days, but I know that we will all be seeing one another again soon!

Now that's one way to hitch a ride!

Roman roasted his own hot dog-- looks yummy!

Evan, Brooklyn, and Kennedy munch on their hot dogs and baby carrots at the all-camp cook out!

Reese munches on her fruit kabob.

Eloise and Ms. Alice having fun on the wagon ride!

Watch Jacob's enthusiasm on the wagon ride in the video above!

The counselors getting creamed!

Ms. Katie rubs in the whipped cream on Mr. Alan's shirt.

Below are the murals painted by each Pepper Group. They will be posted somewhere on Tollgate's property! Make sure you come by to visit and check them out first-hand!

The Green Peppers mural.

The Yellow Peppers mural.

The Orange Peppers mural.

The Red Peppers mural.

Strawberry Freezer Jam
4 lbs. of fresh strawberries
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 package freezer jam pectin

Potato masher
Storing container

Wash and hull strawberries
Crush berries with potato masher
Mix sugar and pectin and add to fruit
Stir until mixed well, and then for an additional 3 minutes
Let stand for 30 minutes to thicken, and then ladle into storing container (jars are preferred)

*store in fridge for one month, or in the freezer for one year*


So my lovely Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red Peppers-- I refuse to say goodbye. Instead, I will say this: SEE YOU NEXT SUMMER! (if not sooner!)

Smell ya later!



On behalf of everyone here at 4-H Green Science Adventure Camp, I would like to thank all of you for sending your children to our program! The feedback we have received has been very positive and I would like to thank all of the staff and volunteers who made this week of camp fun, energetic, and of course educational. Everyone involved with this program (counselors, activity leaders, and MSU Tollgate staff) have continuously told me how much they have enjoyed spending time with your children, and how rewarding this experience has been. 

As many of you know, this is our first camp here at the MSU Tollgate Education Center and we are looking forward to a variety of programming in the future. We will be keeping in touch with you in regards to these programs, and hope to see your involvement with MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Programs.
As always, please contact me with any questions or for more information regarding programming, and I look forward to seeing you all again soon!

All my best,

Alan Jaros
Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development Coordinator

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