The Rural Resources’Farm Day Camp is a hands-on farming and food adventure that connects children of all ages with the natural world.
Nick Baumann, a teacher at Doak Elementary, opened the Gross! Camp session on June 2nd by introducing a pair of giant cockroaches to a lively group of 1st – 3rd grade students.
“When you touch them, remember they’re a bug,” Baumann admonished, placing them on a table with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. “You don’t want to squeeze them, or it might get reeeaaal gross!”
The children erupted into gasps and squeals of, “Eeewww!” and “Gross!”
Baumann introduced a variety of smelly, slithery, creepy-crawly critters throughout the day – snakes, insects, pigs and rats to name a few – with an unexpected bonus of a tiny, pink, hairless baby in the rats’ nest.
Baumann also produced a kitten. The children buried their fingers in its fur and hugged it to their chests, while he assured skeptics, who weren't convinced she qualified as gross, that “she has stinky gas.”
The week also included art, crafts, feeding farm animals, milking the cows, visiting the Rural Resources garden, playing games, climbing trees and exploring the cool, shaded creek during the afternoon heat.
The days were filled with lots of amazement, laughter and good-natured bantering between Baumann and his campers.
Although the sessions are pre-planned and structured, Baumann said one of the key principles to creating a positive experience for little campers is flexibility. He said he allows more time for activities they are enjoying or moves on to something else if they are losing interest.
Campers represented a number of area schools, as well as the home school community.
Watch for more Farm Day Camp adventure photos!