It's Camp-Out Time!! (Session 7, August 6)

By Sandy Schenck

Whoo-hoo!!  It’s camp-out time, and we’re excited!  The day started off with a bang, with a camp favorite for breakfast—biscuits!  yummy with jelly and/or with sausage (or, with both, if you do open-faced biscuit sandwiches and put jelly on one half and sausage on the other!) (and there’s also veggie sausage available), and oatmeal, and there’s always fresh fruit, yogurt, and the cereal bar (an automatic dispenser with four different kinds of cereal) available.  Hmm, we do like breakfast here!

After our satisfying meal, campers and staff set out on mentor hikes.  They had a terrific morning, spying lots of intriguing things.  We think there has been a population explosion of salamanders in the area, since our Uncle’s Falls polarbears again saw tons of them.  Many campers went into the Salamander Cave, and some even explored what we call the Salamander Womb, a smaller sort of tunnel-cave, that you slip and slide and twist your way through, coming out near the waterfall and seeing some salamanders along the way.  Our visitors to the Balds also had interesting hikes; one group talked about the woolly adelgid and the damage it’s doing to hemlock trees.  That led to a conversation about invasive species.  They also spent some time just sitting—a fantastic way, actually, to observe fascinating creatures.  They saw centipedes, green spiders, yellow ants—all sorts of good stuff.  Our Reasonover Creek group visited the massive beaver dam that’s near that site—we’ve been watching it grow, in a boggy sort of area, for the past couple of years.  Quite an impressive feat of engineering!  They also saw lots and lots of butterflies—so today, their group learned a lot about beavers and butterflies.  Another group, visiting the Hemlock field, practiced their stalking skills, moving as silently through the woods as they could.  They were rewarded by first hearing and then seeing a woodpecker, high up in a tree, busy getting his own breakfast for the day.  Then they headed down to the Green River, where they caught lots of bugs and lots of crawfish.

All in all, a great morning! and then we were on to camp-out cool.  After lunch, campers and staff returned to cabins for a rest hour and to finish packing up. Then we all met in the East Field, where groups got their food, and then they all set out for their respective camp-out sites.  They are out and about right now, roasting marshmallows for s’mores and telling stories around campfires.  Tomorrow, we’ll let you know some of the highlights of their adventure!

We’ve posted pictures—check here!