We were happy to see all our campers navigated their way to SPREE HQ last Friday for camp! Some campers admitted they used GPS devices to navigate to camp while others said they knew the way without any help. By the end of the day, all campers were more confident in their ability to read and use navigation tools like maps & compasses.
Our first activity we focused on an old tool of navigation- the compass! Compass tools have sophisticated over the centuries, but they all work because of the magnetic pull at the earth's poles. We experimented using a compass, practiced cardinal directions though a game of Compasball, and even attempted to make our own compasses using water, leaves & a sewing needle!
Our second activity was about reading and making maps. We first compared maps to determine the most important features that all maps should have: title, compass rose, scale, & a key. We found our South Platte River on a map of Colorado and traced it from its beginnings west of SPREE HQ, through its journey in and out of Colorado. We wrapped up this activity by making our own maps of SPREE HQ where we learned how maps of the same place can vary based on cartographer.
Though it was a little chilly, we still did critter crawl for our third activity. A favorite activity by both campers and teachers, we modified our critter hunt to keep our feet DRY! Teachers used a kick net to scoop macroinvertebrates from the River, and then carried them to land where campers could easily sort the critters without needing to get into the water. We found 8 crawdads despite the frigid water!
We wrapped up Mapping Our Way with a group introduction to geocaching. SPREE created a geocache that will be placed when the ground thaws. We used tablets to investigate other geocaches in the area, and found that our created SPREE geocache would be the only one at Johnson Habitat Park! We then played a game reviewing cardinal directions that also challenged campers to solve riddles.
What a fun day at SPREE HQ. We look forward to seeing you again down by the River!