Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer Nature Camp Week Four

















I wasn't sure it was possible, but each week of summer nature camp just gets better. We spent most of the morning in the woods, with a few goals in mind. The first, to find and identify as many flowers as we could. The second, to find a good walking stick to decorate. The third, to gather nature treasures to adorn our walking sticks. And the fourth, to build a few fairy homes for the forest and flower fairies.

We found a long list of flowers, including St. John's wort, Queen Anne's Lace, tiger lilies, red clover, orange hawkweed, goldenrod, yellow hawkweed, yarrow, and bee balm. We were also lucky enough, as we wandered the woods, to see a monarch. I wish that wasn't so exciting, but sadly, it is. Walking sticks were found, and nature treasures collected. The fairy home building was a great success. The two older ones spent about 30 minutes creating the perfect homes, and the littlest one decided that collecting flowers to make fairy juice was a better idea. Who was I to argue.

Returning home with tired legs, they sat around the table outside drawing in their nature journals and enjoying smoothies. After lunch we gathered under the shade of the birch trees to create. First up, our walking sticks, which Justin so kindly ran the power sander over. Don't they look wonderful? They were so pleased with them. We then made some pine cone bird feeders for our feathered friends. Earlier in the day, before our walk in the woods, we had the honour of watching four eastern phoebes leave their next for the first time. It was magical, and left us all a little giddy. Although I had preplanned the feeders, the kids were excited to make them for our new feathered friends.

After an afternoon snack of popcorn, shared with the dogs, and the chickens, all went quiet. I peeked around the corner and found them all quietly drawing on the walkway. I tiptoed into the house, made a cup of tea, grabbed my knitting basket, and sat on the steps of the front porch, in awe at the focus and attention being given to their art. It was the perfect way to end our day.

Only one more summer nature camp day to go!

30 comments:

  1. Your nature camp sounds wonderful, my children would love it! We have made those sticks too but not painted them, we collected things on our walk and tied them to the stick with grass, we called them our journey sticks :)

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    1. Thanks, we are having a great time. I love that you called them your journey sticks :)

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  2. I love the walking sticks, what a great idea! Seems like a your camp is the camp to be at. So personalized and full of fun!

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    1. Thanks Karen! We are having a great time, and I have to admit I am a little sad that the last one is this week.

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  3. Fantastic! Love those walking sticks and fairy houses are my favorite. Wish I could send my kids to camp with you. :)

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    1. Thanks Andrea! I would love to have your kiddos in camp, that would be so much fun!

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  4. Such great fun for the little ones!

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    1. I am pretty sure they are having a great time, and the fact that they don't want to go home at the end of the day is a pretty good indication of that :)

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  5. They all look so intent on their work. You're doing a great job with this summer camp, Kim.

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    1. I wasn't sure how it would be, capturing their attention for crafts during the summer. But I think with the morning full of activity in the woods, and some free play, after lunch they are ready to chill for a bit. It has all worked out perfectly.

      Thank you Jennifer :)

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  6. Kim,
    Is this your first year doing a nature camp? It sounds incredible. I think having a flexible plan is wonderful--a latticework of structure, to allow for those excursions that the minds of children invariably take, once they are free and out in the wild. I'm sure all those children will remember their nature camp for a long, long time. :)

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    1. Yes it is Mia. It is something I have wanted to do for a few years, but just haven't stepped up to the plate. This year things kinda fell into place without even trying, so I went with it. We are having a great time, and yes, being flexible is so important, not only for them, but for me too...it keeps us all happy :)

      I hope so, I know I will. I am already planning for next summer.

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  7. Looks like the most magical camp ever. You've planned so many wonderful activities. I love the walking sticks :)

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  8. I think your camp is the best Kim and if I lived closer I would be tagging along too.
    One week today until Emerson leaves, but maybe we can borrow a few more of your ideas
    to do here. I love the idea of the walking sticks, I still have the one I made when I was 12!

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    1. Thank you Tracey, that is very kind of you to say. I would love to have you tag along :)

      I was thinking about you today, knowing the day your daughter, son in love, and Emerson leave was coming up. Soak up as much time as you can with your people Tracey, and enjoy this last week.

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  9. Simply magical! I do love the walking sticks.

    I remember making homes for the fairies in the garden when I was a little girl, very similar to the ones pictured. I would find acorn bowls and fill them with flowers and tiny berries for the fairies to eat. Reece and his friends looked so absorbed in the activities. So beautiful to see. :)

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    1. Thanks Leisa!

      It makes me so happy to see them so focused on the activities we are doing. They throw themselves in fully, and are really enjoying them. Last day tomorrow, which has me feeling a little sad.

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  10. I would love to know what their impressions of all this wonderfulness is. what will they take away from it years from now? The walking sticks are really cool! :)

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    1. I would too! Reece tells me he is having a great time, and the girls don't want to go home at the end of the day...I guess that means they are enjoying their time here :)

      Thanks, they really enjoyed making the walking sticks.

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  11. I love these nature camp updates. They really inspire me!

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    1. Thanks Jen. Only one more to go :(

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  12. Looks so fun! We've hit a bit of a lull in craft ideas, so the stick and feeders might be a few we work on soon. Thanks for the great ideas. :)

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    1. Thanks Carlin! Have fun!

      You are most welcome, always happy to share :)

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  13. I love all those activities - I am making notes and storing them up for our summer fun :-)

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    1. Thanks Aimee. I know you and your little miss would love them. Have fun!

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  14. Another beautiful day, I especially love those walking sticks, and how amazing to see the birds leaving their nest, always something very special to remember.

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    1. Thanks Sally! It was very cool to watch the birds leave. It was a surprise. I had called the kids over to see them, they were sitting up in the nest, and then all of a sudden one flew out. A few minutes later another, and then the last one. It was awesome!

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