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Greetings from summer camp! I apologize for not updating the last few weeks, but I promise that things have been just as busy and joyful as ever here on the farm. This week I had the chance to jump in to Tipi Camp and lead a choice activity. During choice activities campers are presented with a variety activities, all at different energy levels and involving different aspects of Hidden Villa.
Counselor Lemon led a magic potions activity where campers discovered different medicinal properties of herbs from the educational garden, created a magic potions booklet, and then as a group their very own medicinal salve. I was lucky to receive my own copy of their booklets filled with illustrations, descriptions, and recipes, all created by the campers themselves.
Counselor Eduardo, with the help of our outdoor equipment coordinator Kimi, led a very popular archery activity. There were nearly a dozen eager campers, all excited to learn the ways of the bow for the first time. From Kimi and Eduardo, campers learned how to safely fire a bow. This activity helps campers develop dexterity, spatial awareness, and hand-eye coordination. The campers later returned with the sense of pride and independence that comes with learning a new skill, especially one as challenging as archery.
The activity I led was creating nature mobiles. We started the activity by talking about what a mobile is, one camper said it was something that hangs above a baby's crib. I was surprised when another exclaimed it was a moving statue that hangs in the air and was originated by the artist Alexander Calder. The conversation grew as we talked about the different works of Calder, I described many of his larger works called stabiles, which can be found in many major cities around the world. The campers were familiar with the large, orange, geometric statues and were excited to create their own works.
Once we arrived in the forest we each created our own miniature mobiles, made completely from natural materials. We only collected materials we could find on the ground, making sure to respect the environment still living around us. We also collaborated by creating a larger mobile. We each chose one or two objects and worked as a group to create balance and movement in our mobile. We chose a spot to hang the mobile so that the rest of camp could enjoy our art work as they went out on hiking adventures. In the end we joined hands around our mobile and I encouraged each camper to share one thing they liked about their new friends or the art work we had created together. This simple act of appreciating and sharing created a bond between us that will last well past this summer.
I will leave you all with an recipe excerpt from my own magic potions booklet
Magic Salve Recipe
- 1. Magic Plants
- 2. Lanolin
- 3. Olive Oil
- 4. Bee's Wax
- Mix in a pot over low heat