How did seven weeks of summer camp pass us by so quickly? It's hard to believe that our Water Wonders program this week at Camp C.R.E.A.T.E. is our last learning adventure for the season. It has been such an excellent experience having so many campers join us for seven different themes that had them learning, working together, and making friends throughout our program. All of our staff feels so fortunate to be a part of such a fun-filled, educational experience, as it is just as much fun teaching and getting to know all of your children all summer long. Playing and exploring in the water during our Water Wonders program was an excellent way to wrap up our summer of learning!
On our first day of program, campers spent their time on site at Cascades Academy learning introductory information about our weekly theme. Campers ran about our school fields as water droplets as they learned about the water cycle, and our guest educator for the week Dr. Eklund had campers constructing stream tables outside to help them investigate river formations throughout different landscapes. During our afternoon tinker time, which allows campers to rotate throughout different stations, our staff taught our camp hydrologists a more elaborate version of the water cycle through a special bracelet making activity, in which beads represented different parts of the cycle, and helped campers explore buoyancy through a fun tin foil boat challenge. Our first day got us prepared for the rest of our week's adventures and teachings!
For our first field trip, our crew made their way out to the megalithic structure that is the round butte dam and toured throughout its fish hatchery. We felt like "V.I.P.'s" as we entered the special gate leading down to the dam! We were so thankful for the guidance of Hank, who worked at the hatchery, as his knowledge and the information he shared was exciting to both the campers and staff. We learned about the life cycle of a fish and saw special areas of the hatchery, such as the incubation room where they store fish eggs and troughs where they have fishes in different stages of their life. We were able to feed the fish, and some of the fish, like the sockeye and chinook salmon, were as long as four feet! Seeing all of the fish and the features of the dam was extremely fascinating.
On Wednesday, we journeyed out a little past Sisters to the Camp Sherman and Suttle Lake area to explore some of Central Oregon's rivers and lakes. Our crew walked the quarter mile down a pathway near Camp Sherman to the headwaters of the Metolius River. This area was a unique juxtaposition to the section of the Metolius River we saw last year at Water Wonders camp when our group visited Wizard Falls hatchery. A big section of our day was spent having fun and exploring Scout Lake where campers examined critters on the edge of the water with Dr. Eklund and jumped off the floating logs with Curtis and Joshua.
On Thursday, tadpoles and frogs were the big topic of the day as we headed up to Todd Lake. If you have never been up to this lake before, there are sections of it that look black due to all of the tadpoles and frogs in the water! Our camp hydrologists were wading in the waters examining all of the amphibians and their habitats with our collection of nets, microscopes, and tubs. This lake is the perfect place to explore and look at different animals, and the views of Broken Top are always magnificent!
Our last day of camp took us out to the amazing waterfall that is Tumalo Falls. It never ceases to amaze me how close such a beautiful waterfall is to downtown Bend. We hiked up to all of the viewing areas and took in all of its features, sounds, and more. It was such a great way to wrap up our whole week of learning. We are so fortunate to have had such amazing campers participate in our programs throughout the summer, and we want have much gratitude to all of you for enrolling your children in our program. We have had such a fantastic season together with campers who are eager to learn and explore all week long. I am saddened that this week ends our program for the year, but I look forward to all of the great adventures that await us next summer!
Until then, keep exploring, learning, collaborating making, adventuring, and creating!