Geology, birds, butterflies, cartography, stream ecology, primitive pottery interspersed with arts, crafts and hands-on activities filled our week. Thirteen kids joined BRDC at Matthews State Forest Pavilion for Discovery Day Camp.
On Monday, we learned about types of rocks and the rock cycle, minerals and crystals. Using play-dogh and sugar, the kids created examples of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks and crystals from sugar. Later in the day, they examined a local map and then created a treasure map and found the hidden treasure from their maps.
The interns from Matthews State Forest took the kids on a hike around the property on Tuesday finding leaves to create a "Book of Trees". They put their hands into the Mystery Box and tried to identify the objects found inside. We later found seeds, nuts and fruits of trees and played games.
Wednesday was primitive cultures and tracks and signs. They created pinch, coil and slab pots out of clay and later expressed their artistic talents painting these creations. We played a game focused around information gathered from tracks and then created tracks of animals of the Blue Ridge. In the afternoon, we hiked to find tracks of animals and made casts of these tracks.
Thursday continued our adventures with birds and butterflies. After basic binocular use, we explored the Forest for as many species of birds as we could find. They found fifteen species of birds! After collecting materials that would be used for nests, the kids built nests and played games such as Migration, Bird Beak and had paper airplane contests. These games emphasized adaptations, basic needs, and physics of bird flight. During the afternoon, we caught Silver-spotted skippers and Common buckeye butterflies.
Friday was a day of playing and exploring in a creek. After scouring the bottom and rocks for aquatic insects, crawfish and fishes, they spent the remainder of the day splashing around. What a great week of discovery and sharing. A special thank you goes out to Matthews State Forest for allowing us to utilize this great property to explore, discover and share the wonders of the Blue Ridge!