Hi, it's Em (short for Ember)! I'm the Farm Dog here at Bowers. You won't see dogs at the farm except for me. I have a job to do!
I’m in a chipper mood and excited today was the first day of Farm Camp ! Boy, there sure was a lot of you. How do you remember everyone’s names? I just know mine is Em. Anyway, I’m out working hard during the day which is why you won’t see me much, but trust me, I always have an eye on you!
We kicked off the day with a Pepper Party! Campers went with their pepper group and decorated a flag that goes on their wagon.
Once they were done painting and coloring their flag, the peppers got an introduction to C.A.R.E.S., which stands for cooperation, attitude, respect, empathy and safety, which are key aspects of camp.
After hanging both the American and 4-H flag, all campers said the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H Pledge. And with that, the first day's activities began!
The mornings are always the busiest, since there is so much to do! One of the most important jobs is taking care of the animals. Each pepper group had different animal chores that their group had to do.
The green peppers were responsible for the poultry barn. They helped give the chickens, turkeys and quail food and water and also collected their eggs. The yellow peppers helped with feeding the rabbits and refilling their water. Orange peppers fed the barn cats, ponies and horses and our pot belly pigs, Happy and Barney. Red peppers did chores in the lower barn where they helped clean the stalls, milk the goats and feed the goats and sheep.
There was lots to do when the peppers ventured out into the garden. From harvesting beans to pulling weeds and helping David, the garden leader, put up posts, our peppers sure were busy!
After working hard in the garden, our campers made their way to garden kitchen. Ashley, our garden kitchen leader, taught our campers the importance of safety in the kitchen. Peppers also learned about the six different flavor profiles: sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter and umami (savory). Once the peppers learned each profile they had a taste test where they sampled different foods and guessed which one was which.
Our peppers also got to enjoy other activities today, including a wagon ride where they got to see the gardens and pasture where our animals roam. Peppers also got creative when they tie dyed their camp shirts.
We taught our campers more about animals during STEM NEST and "That's my apple." During STEM NEST, peppers learned the importance of nests, what animals build nests and what animals use to make nests. Afterwards, they got a chance to draw their own nest and brainstorm materials they think would make a good nest.
"That's my apple" helped our peppers understand the importance of descriptions and identifications. After all the apples were mixed up, they were tasked with finding their apple out of the bunch. This helped them understand why farmers use ear tags and other methods to help find and identify their animals.
At the end the day, peppers were able to reflect on the activities they did and get ready for tomorrow's fun.
Today was incredibly busy and tired me out so I definitely needed a nap! But, I sure had a great time and hope everyone else did too. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings! See you all soon!