As a counselor for the past two summers, I have worked on the nature program by leading cabin choice, ChooseIts!, and the Natural Wonders camp. Some of my best memories of camp come from leading these programs with campers who have a passion for the outdoors and an eagerness to learn more about the biology around them.
Two unique resources we had available this summer were live Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, and a collection of taxidermy animals that are native to Michigan. The collection included a bat, skunk, raccoon, groundhog, robin, screech owl, and a beaver. These resources were generously shared with Camp Westminster by the Detroit Children’s Museum and served as invaluable teaching tools throughout the summer.
Other activities included in the nature program were scavenger hunts, hikes to the stream that feeds Higgins Lake, and learning how to use a solar oven. Using a solar oven was such a great learning experience for campers! We cooked s’mores by using the ovens to heat up
marshmallows and chocolate. While our treats were heating up we learned about solar energy and different uses that the sun has. In addition to the solar oven activity, we made sun prints and sun dials. These activities were great tools for teaching campers about renewable resources and clean energy.
It is programs like these that teach today’s youth to care for God’s creation. The most rewarding part of my summer was being able to help campers connect to the environment around them. I strongly believe that discovering the intricacy and perfection of all living things is the simplest way to see that nature is a portrait of God’s work here on earth.
-Rachel, 2011 Summer Camp Counselor