Goats n' Gardens Week 7 Day 1

Hello everyone! Welcome to another great week at camp! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Em and I'm the Farm Dog here at Bowers. I have a job to do so you'll find me roaming around. Even if you don't see me, I always have my eye on you!

To start the week, all of our campers (who we call peppers) met under the tent. They got to meet their group leader and fellow group members and worked together to decorate their flag.

Camp Director Jordan joined all the peppers down at the tent where he taught everyone about C.A.R.E.S. which stands for cooperation, attitude, respect, empathy and safety. Throughout the week, campers will be rewarded with a badge when they exemplify these to other campers. Those who earn all five C.A.R.E.S. badges by the end of the week will receive a Perfect Pepper Award! How exciting!

Here at camp, we have a couple traditions and one of those is our daily flag ceremony. Each morning a pepper group will raise both the American and 4-H Flag and lead all the groups through the Pledge of Allegiance and our 4-H Pledge. This morning, our red peppers helped guide everyone through our routine.

Before starting the day's activities, we like to make sure our animals have three important things: food, water and a nice place to live. With so many different animals, the pepper groups worked together to complete all the chores. The green peppers helped out with the chickens, turkeys and quail while the orange peppers worked with the horses, ponies and pot belly pigs. The red peppers worked together in the lower barn to take care of the goats, sheep and calf and the yellow peppers joined in to help before taking care of the buck (male goat) and ram (male sheep).

I ventured down to the garden to see what our peppers were up to. Boy, were they eager to start work! Since our produce has been growing so well, the peppers were busy harvesting different fruits and vegetables. Some of their finds included lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash and raspberries!

During the week, our peppers are going to be making delicious recipes. Beforehand, they had to learn about the rules of Garden Kitchen and safety, such as hand washing and tool handling. Afterwards, they learned about the six different flavor profiles: sweet, salty, sour, spicy, bitter and umami (savory). Once they learned about the different flavors, they participated in a taste test and determined which food sample matched which profile.

The peppers continued to learn about plants after working out in the garden. They learned how plants grow, what they need to survive and the different environments they grow in. Some groups even ventured out to examine the different plants we have around the farm.

It's goat time! After all, our camp theme is Goats n' Gardens and what better way to start the week than visiting with our goats? Whether they went on a walk around the farm or spent time in the pens, the campers had a blast!

After a bunch of fun activities, the campers got to relax on a wagon ride around the farm and even saw some of our animals out on pasture. They also bonded with their group members, especially when they all sang different songs during their ride.

Another one of our traditions here at camp is tie dying shirts! Every Monday we break out the supplies and the campers go to work on their shirts! They had fun designing their own unique pattern and I can't wait to see how they turn out!

What a fantastic start to the week! I'm excited to see what activities the campers will to tomorrow!

See you soon!

-Em, the Farm Dog


P.S. On Friday at 3:30 we will have a Farm Show. Each pepper group will perform a skit with their fellow group members about something that they did or learned while at camp this week. Make sure you arrive early so you won't miss any of the performances!

Bloomfield Township, MI                          ksteketee@bloomfield.org                            (248) 341 . 6475  

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