Nature at Camp
It is impossible to be at camp and not get caught up in its beauty. A driving mission of camp, is to inspire the next generation to do better at taking care of our environment than we are doing now. And it all starts by growing a compassion and understanding for nature. Walk through the woods. Sit by a pond and listen to the frogs. Lay in a hammock and watch the birds. Often, our young campers are surprised to learn that some of their favorite camp activities can fit so neatly into a specific field of science. Reading the list of our nature themed activities and we think you will see what we mean!
Look below for a list of our nature related courses and classes.
Put on your boots, grab your collection nets and let's go explore the wonders of a pond! We have many ponds around camp that campers explore. Over the week, campers will get to explore all of these thriving ecosystems and see how different they all are! Be prepared to get wet, muddy and have loads of fun!
Introduction to the Ponds - Camp has five ponds to explore. Campers will visit all 5 ponds and talk about the diversity between them all. They end at Heron pond, the largest pond where the classes main pavilion is located.
Water Scopes - The opposite of a periscope, this device allows you to see below the waters surface. Campers will use scopes to view the creatures and plants living in the ponds. Then, using materials found around the house, campers can build a scope of their own!
Mini Aquariums - Campers take a look at the creatures of our ponds up close using nets and small aquariums. We also call this activity "Adopt an Aquatic Invertebrate". Because we respect the integrity of the pond, the campers return the creatures and plants back to the pond at the end of the class.
Microscopic Life - There is so much more living in a pond than what can be seen with the eye! We break out the microscopes in this class to take a look at life living in the ponds that we can't see.
Frog ID and Catching - We have seven different kinds of frogs and one kind of toad that frequents our ponds. Spring peepers and American Bull Frogs can be heard all summer long at camp, but the coolest things to do is find one!
Botany is the study of plants including their physical shape and genetic makeup. At camp, we're surrounded by acres of beautiful landscape with trees and plants that campers learn to identify. The study of plants branches far out to cover things as deep as identifying trees by their bark! Or even plants by the shape, color, and of their leaves and stems.
Tree ID - To someone who may not be observant, trees look the same. But did you know that even Oak trees have variations that make their leaf shape, bark striation, and bark color all different!? Campers take time to learn the different trees in our woods. Learning them will even earn campers a Tree ID bead.
Wild Edibles - Also covered in Survival Skills, knowing what plants are edible in our woods may be helpful some day! You can even make tea from Sassafras leaves! Campers learn all the plants that they could eat in our woods and even go on a Blackberry hike if they're in season.
Edibles for Animals - What an animal can and will eat differs than what we can and will eat! This class will teach you what you can pick and feed to our pasture animals, wallabies and tortoises.
Flower ID - We have so many beautiful wildflowers at camp. From Queen Anne's lace to Black-eyed Susan, campers can see the variety of the colorful flowers with hikes along our trails. In this class, campers will also learn about the anatomy of flowers and how important flowers are to bees.
Campers will learn about field biology as they learn about, track and observe wildlife native to camp. At the end of the week, the campers in this course take a knowledge test to see how much they've learned. If they pass, they'll receive the hardest earning bead here at camp, the Jr. Naturalist Bead! This is the ideal course for anyone interested in conservation and/or wildlife biology.
Animal Tracks and Signs - Tracks, scat, and trails tell a story of who has been near by. Campers will learn to be observant of their surrounding as they notice common animal tracking methods.
Bird Identification - Birds are one of the most commonly overlooked animals in our daily lives. When you start to listen and look up, birds are more prevalent that we may realize! Campers will learn to identify common birds of Missouri by sight and by sound.
Reptiles and Amphibians - Campers will explore the trails and ponds of camp to keep an eye out for snakes, lizards, frogs, turtles and salamanders. Identifying the different types of amphibians by sight and sound; knowing the common snakes of Missouri; and identifying the common turtles in our area is key to mastering this class.
Tree Hike - Every good naturalist knows their trees! This botany based class teaches campers how to identify the different trees around them on a hike. Unlike regular tree identification, campers will also talk about how trees effect our ecosystem and the trees around them.
Common Plants and their uses - Knowing the right plant will help you build a fire, feed yourself, and even treat an injury in a survival situation. The combination of botany and survival skills helps to round out a Junior Naturalists skill set!
Additional Nature Classes
If you are fascinated by the earth and what it's made of, then these are the classes for you. These classes make up even more nature and science based fun at Cub Creek!
The Fossil Pit - Dig in the fossil pit and uncover signs of ancient life. Campers who spend time in the fossil pit learn about the fossilization process and get to take home their findings!
Gemstone Quarry - Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Iron Pyrite, Citrine, and geodes are just some the treasure found at our quarry! Campers learn about the chemical make up and properties of their findings while digging to find something to take home!
Rock Hunt - Geology on the go! You'd be surprised to see some of the awesome rocks campers have found around camp! This is a great time to start or add to your own collection.
Did you think that was it? We have plenty of other classes and courses offered in science, adventure, arts & crafts, nature and even more! Click the button to your right to explore more.