On our second day of Earth Week, we talked about botany. When we started the session, no camper in the group had heard of “botany” before, but I hope that by now they can all tell you it’s the study of plants!

We started the day off by talking about indigenous plants of Wisconsin. We learned that “indigenous” is another word for “native”. We talked about why the kinds of plants that grow in Hawaii don’t grown in Wisconsin: plants are very picky about the¬†conditions they grow in, and some plants that do well in hot, sunny, humid climates, wouldn’t fare well where the winters are long and cold. We learned about the state flower (the wood violet) and the state tree (the sugar maple). Then, we tested our botanical knowledge with a botany scavenger hunt. The campers were divided up into four teams, and they took pictures of different plant features that they were able to find right in Legion Park! We had no idea that Legion Park was so diverse! See some photos below for examples of what we found on our scavenger hunt.

simpleserratededgeleaf

A simple serrated edge leaf

Variegated (two-toned) leaves

Variegated (two-toned) leaves

Koen checking out some composite flowers

Koen checking out some composite flowers

...And even a frog!

…And even a frog!

Once we were done with the scavenger hunt, we had some free time and headed back to the Community Building to hang out in the A/C! The kids were greeted with quite the botanical treat: dirt cups! We gave each camper a cup of pudding and they added their own “dirt” (crushed Oreos) on the top, as well as some gooey (gummy) worms. Mmmmm!

Creating and enjoying the dirt cups

Creating and enjoying the dirt cups

After snack, we hung out downstairs and played a game called “Flower Flip”. Everyone had a few flower cards, and there was one stack of description cards per group. The description cards were turned over one at a time, and any flower card matching the description was flipped upside down. For example, if the description card said “bell-shaped”, the kids had to look for flowers that were bell-shaped. Flowers like lily of the valley or a foxglove would get flipped over. The goal of the game was to turn over all of your flower cards. Campers used their observation skills to figure out which of their flowers matched the description.

Jayce playing Flower Flip

Jayce waiting to flip his last flower

Tomorrow we head to the Aldo Leopold Nature Center to learn more about the environment and nature! Please be at the Community Building by 1:00pm so we can leave as soon as possible. Don’t forget to wear your tie-dye!!

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