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Welcome to Adventure Camp!

What do our adventure campers get up to during their week at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve and Interpretive Center? Here’s the rundown on this educational experience immersed in nature. 

Day one of Adventure Camp’s theme is Exploration and Discovery. This first day of camp is filled with science models, a tracks and scat activity, education on the preserve the camp is taking place on, a rainbow walk, scavenger hunt and nature-based arts and crafts. Campers also learn the Leave No Trace Principles including being respectful, kind and curious when exploring wildlands. Of course, like every other day of Adventure Camp, our young explorers begin and end the day with free play at Grape Day Park. 

On the second day we dive into plants, pollinators and more! The campers start their day with a fruit and veggie activity, followed by a plant exploration around the Interpretive Center. To dive deeper into the foliage of Elfin Forest, campers then go on a plant and pollinator hike to identify native plants including buckwheat, laurel sumac, coast live oak, wild cucumber, lemonade berry and California sagebrush. Campers wrap up the second day with a relay race, a lesson on butterflies and moths from Marvin the Moth Man and more educational arts and crafts. 

Amazing animal adaptations are our focus every hump day. Skulls of prey and predator animals are examined by the campers in order to draw them in their journals and learn the structural difference between the two. After this activity, we move on to beak identification of various birds and how their specific beak helps them survive in the wild. Hold on to your feathers, because the next lesson of the day is all about about wingspan! Campers measure their own wingspan and compare it to native birds, while learning about these species’ adaptations, how they fly, what food they eat and their survival instincts. Next, we head into the forest to identify animals found on Elfin Forest wildlife totems displayed along the trails. The day comes to a close with an animal themed story time, design your own animal activity, a visit from a live bird and animal ambassador and owl pellet dissections. 

A wonderful way to spend your Thursday is learning about the wonders of watersheds. The campers start their day by heading to the beach by the creek to test the water quality using a pH test and the measurement of oxygen levels, water temperature and water turbidity. While still at the beach, campers do a trout activity with three different kinds of sediment to understand how aquatic life is influenced by land-based activities. Back at the Interpretive Center, it is time for the day’s main event; the watershed model! Camper’s create a watershed and use food coloring and other objects to mimic what happens to pesticides and other pollutants when it rains and these harmful chemicals disperse into our local bodies of water. A look at aquatic insects under the microscope, story time and an arts and crafts project where campers build their own watershed out of model magic are the ending activities of this wild and wet day. 

The final day of Adventure Camp revolves around pollution and the solution. Campers spend the day doing a trash timeline of how long it takes materials to break down in the environment, a recycle relay race, litter clean-up hike along the trails of Elfin Forest, a leaf relay race and lesson on where leaves go when they get washed into the creek, creekside story time, visit from an animal ambassador and a turtle, final evaluation and more arts and crafts. 

This camp may only be five days long, but it is packed with education, exploration, and fun filled memories with your fellow campers. If your future camper wants to experience the beauty of Elfin Forest and learn how to be a responsible environmental steward, sign them up today!