Eco + Detectives = Summer camp fun!

What comes to mind when you think of the two words “Eco” and “Detective” together? Well, if you were one of the 106 campers who joined our second year of summer day camps, you would have firsthand anecdotes full of nature adventure, scientific discovery, place-based learning, and just plain old fun….

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SPES day campers pose in Stanley Park (Photo: Katie Slater)

Some children, while hiking through the forest, had the desire to explore new terrain. So we followed, one by one, walking only on nurse logs while learning about biodiversity and complexity as we went along.

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Pondering tidelines at Third Beach. (Photo: Katie Slater)

Some children, while playing at the beach’s intertidal zone, built structures right at the tide line and timed how long the forces of high tide would take to destroy their buildings.

Some children were so enthralled by the two baby eaglets near our main hang out, that every day they searched for new findings under the nest, whether it be the wings of a crow, or the feet of seagull! All the while they expanded their understanding of predator-prey relations through hands-on experiential approaches.

 

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A snail intrigues day campers in Stanley Park.  (Photo: Katie Slater)

All children were challenged to extend their curiosity for nature one step further each week. They came up with their own inquiry question and constructed a deeper understanding of it at their own cognitive level. The diversity of questions ranged from: do eagles fart; how do tidal waves affect hummingbird migration; what are the differences between Douglas squirrels and eastern grey squirrels; and, are horses born with braided hair? With such a range, you can imagine the amazing discussions.

It’s been fun. It’s been inspiring. It’s been exciting. We’ll see you next year for Spring Break daycamps in Stanley Park. 

 

By Dylan Rawlyk, School Programs Manager