Exploring Culinary Delights, Creative Crafts, and Permaculture Marvels: Wrapping Up Our Thrilling Summer Camp Journey!Read Now
We wrapped up an exciting and bustling final week of camp! Our campers showcased their creativity as they finalized their group permaculture farm designs, indulged in culinary delights by baking banana bread and crafting chocolate truffles, expressed their artistic side by painting their own birdhouses, and even created fertilizers for the garden.
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In our Permaculture sessions this week, we delved into a review of our knowledge about pollinators and beneficial insects through engaging activities like an insect matching game and a spirited round of jeopardy. The competition was fierce, and it was evident that the students had truly mastered the material! We explored the art of designing for animals under Monica's guidance and discussed the permaculture tools used to cater to their needs. The highlight was the students' final permaculture farm designs, beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully crafted.
In our culinary endeavors this week, we embarked on a journey of flavor with homemade banana bread and delectable chocolate truffles.
In the D.I.Y. corner, we brought our creative visions to life by painting charming mini birdhouses. As a special touch, each camper selected a beneficial bug or pollinator to illustrate.
In the garden, students engaged in final observation drawings and notes, carefully replanted seedlings, and had the exciting opportunity to take one of their plants home. To nurture our garden, students ingeniously created their own fertilizers using eggshells, coffee grounds, and banana peels.
While a last-minute bus issue thwarted our plans for Thursday's field trip, we turned it into an enjoyable movie day followed by a delightful ice cream treat. We wrapped up our week with a refreshing outdoor session at Travers Park. This combined class allowed us to reflect on the incredible journey we've shared over the past few weeks. Looking back, it's truly astounding to see the multitude of projects and lessons we've accomplished in such a short span of time. The culmination of our efforts came as we harvested ripe tomatoes from the garden—a perfect conclusion to our fulfilling summer adventure!
From designing for animals, learning about the wonders of pollinators, eating chocolate truffles, and making handpainted birdhouses –– this week was one to remember. We spent time discussing the benefits of companion planting, understanding how to make natural fertilizer, and talking about the importance of insects in our ecosystems. Taking the skills they’ve learned within the last four weeks, each camper utilized worksheets to write out their final design ideas. Between planning, we managed to make banana bread and chocolate truffles (which yes… made a crazy, but fun mess). During D.I.Y time, we went to the garden to conduct our final observations of each camper's sprouts and the food we grew during five weeks. We were able to harvest tomatoes and revel in the beauty and hardwork that went into our garden space. The campers really impressed Emma and I with their knowledge of insects in the garden such as bees, dragonflies and wasps, while also identifying garden pests such as aphids. We couldn't be more proud!
As the week came to a close, the campers spent numerous hours finishing their final permaculture designs. Equipped with new and exciting tools, each camper demonstrated their creative abilities and shared amazing designs with their fellow campers. I was blown away by the presentations and the level of care and imagination that went into each design. The campers celebrated with cupcakes, mochi and juice to commemorate an amazing summer together. I will always cherish my time spent with this wonderful group of kids. Thank you for all you taught me!
Exploring Culinary Magic, DIY Crafts, and Pollinator Marvels: Unveiling Week Four Adventures at Our Summer CampRead Now
Week four of camp unfolded with an irresistible blend of busyness and excitement, enriching the campers' experiences and sparking their curiosity!
Culinary adventures took a flavorful turn as we delved deeper into the realm of preservation, shining a spotlight on the captivating art of fermentation. The week's highlight was the creation of Ginger bugs, a delightful concoction of chopped ginger, sugar, and water—a pivotal step in kickstarting the fermentation process to craft none other than ginger beer! A delectable twist came with crafting our own pizza dough, transforming it into delectable pizzas adorned with an array of vegetable and cheese toppings, crowned by the aromatic touch of freshly harvested basil from our own garden.
The DIY realm proved equally enchanting, as we ventured into the world of crafting with a touch of nature's charm. Campers seized the opportunity to pour their own beeswax candles, adorning them with delicate dried flowers. Another practical and nature-conscious endeavor saw us creating natural bug spray infused with essential oils, equipping our young participants with a powerful tool against pesky insects.
Permaculture studies embraced the vibrant world of pollinators, guided by the mesmerizing documentary "Hummingbirds." Campers were spellbound by the slow-motion spectacle of these captivating creatures, kindling insightful conversations about evolution and the intricate dance between flowers and their pollinator partners.
Our rooftop garden became a hub of exploration and engagement, where observations, watering rituals, and even a dash of harvesting unfolded. The pièce de résistance was the triumphant harvest of a colossal cucumber that had captured the campers' attention as it thrived and grew. Applying newfound knowledge about pollinators, the garden served as a canvas for our campers' creativity, inspiring discussions and drawings that celebrated the diverse pollinators visiting our green haven.
Midweek, we embarked on a remarkable journey to Governors Island, setting foot in the captivating realm of the Grow NYC Teaching Garden. Our ferry ride to the island was a joyous prelude to the enriching activities that awaited. The educators at Grow NYC guided us through a garden brimming with diversity, fostering a deep sense of connection as our campers recognized familiar elements mirroring our own garden. Harvesting carrots straight from the earth for a delectable snack and indulging in a sensory scavenger hunt were just a taste of the immersive experiences. Sheltered beneath a leafy pavilion, we unleashed our artistic prowess by creating vibrant collages and drawings using colorful plants and flowers harvested on-site.
As the week culminated with a trip to Travers Park, a sense of awe and anticipation hung in the air. With only one week remaining, we eagerly await the adventures that our final week together will unveil, embracing the memories we've woven and the knowledge we've gained along the way.
-Teacher Gina Piersanti