Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve

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Can’t Wait Until the Next Adventure

2016 Summer Camp

It’s hard to believe that Adventure Camp is already over. The past eight weeks of discovery and exploration have gone by so fast and have been busy, fun, and full of adventure.

Through this summer experience, adventurers explored the many trails of Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve, investigated the plants and animals found in Adams County, and learned about environmental issues affecting our world today.

Each week of summer camp had an educational theme including water, animals, survival, and discovery. And, each week had a field trip to go along with the theme. For example, in our camp called Animal Planet, campers got to learn about North American animals at ZooAmerica in Hershey, PA.

One of the memories that I know I will hold on to for many years is during Mad Scientists Week. We performed an experiment where we put hundreds of rubber bands around a watermelon to see if the elastic compression would cause pressure build up inside and eventually explode. The kids and counselors spent an entire day, in between sessions, putting on rubber bands around a watermelon. It got to the point where we all started to doubt that anything would happen. By the end of the day, the watermelon started to ooze juice. The counselors then took over and put on another 100 rubber bands. Then, all of the sudden, the watermelon exploded! Watermelon pieces went everywhere! The adventurers thought that was the best experiment and even wanted to go home and try it again.

One of the most popular activities among the campers this summer was going to the creek. They can never get enough of finding as many macroinvertebrates as they can and then bringing it to Bug TV. Plus, the creek is a great place to cool off on a hot day! Creek exploration enabled adventurers to learn about which macroinvertebrates thrive in high quality water, and the importance of a healthy watershed.

The counselors have been fantastic, teaching the children all they know about their favorite environmental subjects. I don’t think words can express my thankfulness and gratefulness to them. The kids will always remember their cool, goofy counselors and all the knowledge that they shared, snuck right in with the fun.

I am a firm believer that children in this day and age need to experience the outdoors through exploration. Nature has so much to offer them. I was once a camper at Strawberry Hill when I was seven years old. In sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, I came to Strawberry Hill for field trips. That love of nature that I learned will stick with me for the rest of my life. I still find it hard to believe that just from that one camp, that I am now working and doing something I love for an organization that I hold near and dear to me.

This summer camp season was a success and is one to put on the books. Adventurers explored and learned about the nature that is around us. I can only hope that one day, they will use the knowledge that has been given to them to make this planet a healthier place to live. We look forward to seeing new faces at camp next summer, and hope you come and visit us at Strawberry Hill sometime soon.

Article by: Elizabeth Ryan

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