Animal Excursion Week 5 Day 1

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Hello everyone! Today was an awesome day to kick off this week of camp! In case you don't know me, my name is Em (short for Ember). I'm the Farm Dog here at Bowers so you'll always see me wondering around and checking out what our campers are up to. I always have an eye on you, even if you can't see me!

What better way to kick-off the week than with a Pepper Party? Down at the tent, all the peppers gathered and met their fellow campers before working together to paint their group flag.

Speaking of working together, Camp Director Jordan taught all of our campers about C.A.R.E.S. which stands for cooperation, attitude, respect, empathy and safety. Campers are rewarded with a badge when they model these for other campers.

One of our traditions here at camp is our morning flag ceremony where we raise both the American and 4-H flag before saying the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H pledge. This morning, our blue peppers led all the campers through the flag ceremony before starting the day's activities.

After completing the flag ceremony, I trotted down to the barns and saw all the campers hard at work on their animal chores. The blue and red peppers tackled the lower barn with the goats, sheep and calf. The orange peppers took care of the food and water for our rabbits while the yellow peppers helped the horses, ponies and pot belly pigs. The green peppers worked in the poultry barn where they collected eggs and took care of the chickens, turkeys and quail.

With chores complete and all the animals taken care of, I headed to the garden to see what Garden Leader David had in store for our campers. They were hard at work mulching, pulling weeds and harvesting produce including zucchini, squash, arugula and potatoes.

After a busy day, the campers got to relax on a wagon ride around the farm. During their ride, campers were able to see some of the animals that are out on pasture including the horses and cows.

As I headed up to the building, I noticed campers down at the tent. Each pepper tie dyed their own shirt using a bunch of different colors and rubber bands for designs. I can't wait to see how these look on Friday when all the peppers wear them to camp!

Before diving into all the delicious recipes, campers learned about safety in the kitchen, including kitchen rules and proper hand washing. Afterwards, campers dived into their Garden Kitchen activity for the day, a six flavor taste test! Each pepper group learned about the different flavor profiles: sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter and umami (savory) before they identified which food belonged to which flavor profile.

When I'm out and about on the farm, I notice a lot of different nests, and our peppers do as well. Today, campers learned about nests, what animals make them and the purpose that they serve for those animals. The peppers even started brainstorming what materials they could gather to make a nest themselves and drawing what it could look like.

Even though animals can look similar, each animal is unique in their own way. Campers learned about the importance of descriptions and identification when they each received an apple and had to pick theirs out of the bunch using their drawing and what they remember. They also learned why farmers use ear tags to identify some of their animals before making up a code for their own ear tags.

When we're here at the farm, it's important to be safe around other campers and our animals. Today, campers learned about bacteria, how illness can spread and how to keep themselves and others safe and healthy. Afterwards, campers played "bacteria tag" to see just how easily it can spread and how vaccines or medication can help.

Since this week's them is Animal Excursion, our campers got to spend more time with some of the animals. Today, each pepper group got to hangout with our bunnies and the mother rabbit, Joan!

Boy, today sure was busy and I was ready for a nap. We had an awesome day full of fun activities and I can't wait for tomorrow!

See you then!

-Em, the Farm Dog

P.S. On Friday at 3:30 there will be a Farm Show and all of the pepper groups will perform a skit. Make sure you arrive early for pick up so that you don't miss any of the performances!

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Bowers School Farm
1219 E Square Lake Rd
Bloomfield  MI 48304
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