From storms to tornadoes and earthquakes to volcanoes, campers learned about many amazing forces of nature that have shaped Colorado’s past and will be a part of its future.
Monday: Meteorologists in Training
To start off the week, campers learned some meteorologist skills and some storm basics. First, campers did an experiment to learn the answer to the age-old question, "why is the sky blue?" We put a flashlight up to a milk and water mixture to see how the liquid, just our our atmosphere scatters blue light that we see. Next, we learned more about storms, what their classifications mean, and how they work. We did an experiment with food coloring and shaving cream to make rainclouds and another with colored ice in cold and warm water to see the two "fronts" come together to make a storm! We also made tornadoes in soda bottles, and learned what to do to stay safe in a tornado.
We wrapped up our first day with exploring in the creek and investigating how different types of weather could affect the water and the plants and animals that live there.
Tuesday: Bringing the Heat
Despite being a very cool June day, our topic today was heat! Campers first learned the signs and dangers of hyperthermia and how to prevent it, then cooled off in the creek. Then, we made a drink koozie for our water bottles to help us remember to always stay hydrated! Next, we talked about how severe heat and lack of precipitation can lead to drought conditions- although again, dry weather has not been much of a concern so far this summer! Camper brainstormed how they use water daily, both directly and indirectly, and worked together to come up with a pledge on simple ways to conserve water in their lives. Another hot force of nature is fire! campers learned about how fires can be dangerous to ecosystems, but also how they can be beneficial, too! Campers became experts in fire ingredients as they learned the "fire triangle;" energy, oxygen, and fuel. Lastly, we played some fire games: fire safety charades, and wildfire containment tag.
Campers got to head out on an adventure of field day on Thursday! The theme of the day was floods! The group headed out to Confluence Park- the perfect place to learn about floods. The campers learned that Denver has a large history of flooding, the biggest being in 1965, which eventually lead to the start of The Greenway Foundation and SPREE after the South Platte became a trash dump! Campers reenacted the flood by rolling down the Mount Trashmore hill (where a lot of trash is sequestered that was taken out of the river). Then, we cooled down in the shade while we painted river scenes with watercolors.
We wrapped up our day with water games at the confluence and critter crawl at camp.
Friday: Amazing Underground
Friday's focus was on some of the amazing forces of nature that originate underground. First, we learned about volcanoes and some volcano science. Colorado has one volcano in the state, but it has not erupted in many thousand years. We also of course made our own mini volcanoes with vinegar and baking soda!
Next, campers investigated earthquakes. We acted out the different tectonic plates that cause earthquakes, and acted out actions to take on how to stay safe if you are in an earthquake. While not common or severe in Colorado, we still had fun learning about them! We then saved the best for last- geysers! Colorado has only one geyser, and it does not have a large eruption like more famous ones do. Our Leaders in Training had a blast leading the diet coke and mentos geyser eruption experiment!
Lastly, we wrapped up our week with a graduation to celebrate the campers all becoming experts on Colorado Forces of Nature!