Thursday was filled with birds, butterflies, and insects! In the morning, Nora and Justin prepared a fascinating presentation about visual recognition; campers were able to realize how much recognition has an impact on our day to day lives by reviewing corporate logos and linking them with their corresponding corporation. This then led to using visual recognition in nature, especially with activities like birding. While in the classroom, we reviewed different bird and butterfly types that we would be seeing later in the day, and listened to various bird songs and calls to prepare us for our birding adventure.
Dividing into two groups and hitting the paths, campers were able to use binoculars and scopes to get an up close look at the birds and butterflies at Indian Springs Metropark. The scopes allowed us to really zoom in on the birds-- it was just like what astronomers do with a telescope when reviewing the sky!
Meeting at the top of the highest hill at the park, Justin had a multitude of nets available for the campers to use so they could have their hand at insect hunting. Each camper was able to catch their own bugs in the prairie, store them in a box, and use our books to review what they caught. It was quite a scene to see more than twenty Eco-Challengers running through the paths with giant nets--but it looked like they were having a blast!
Earlier in the week, Jason made a promise to the campers that he would eat an insect if another camper did. Well, sitting on top of that hill, Jason had his first ever locust to the chants and cheers of all the Eco-Challengers. We have to give him props-- he kept his promise! However, we're not too sure if he liked the taste all that much. Afterwards, he said it was "a bit too crunchy for my taste". Ahh!
On the walk back to the classroom for lunch, some campers even came across another rattlesnake in the prairie; Justin said we have to come back and visit more, because he only ever sees them when we're on site. How cool!
After lunch, everyone headed to the fen pond to skim the water for different aquatic life. A few turtles were even caught! Taking the smaller organisms and insects to the laboratory in the Environmental Discovery Center, campers were able to use microscopes to study what they skimmed out of the water, but don't worry-- we returned the turtles to the water before hand!
I can't believe that tomorrow is our last day of 4-H Eco Challenge. This week has flown by! But tomorrow is a big day; in the morning, we have 'The Challenge'. So campers, be prepared and rest up-- you're going to need it!
Jason, prepping his locust for consumption: