Our first activity really tackled the questions in Chompers’ mission. What do beavers do in winter? It turns out that they adapt to cold weather, and hunker down in their lodges constructed in beaver ponds. Beavers don’t migrate, and they don’t hibernate! Beavers are incredible engineers that build their beaver ponds to just freeze on top, but to leave flowing water beneath. We learned this first hand by becoming beavers and creating a beaver pond from sticks and plant material- just like beavers!
During our second activity, Critter Crawl, we like to head down to the River, get in, and try to catch the critters that live in the water! Just because the water is cold, doesn’t mean the animals that dwell in it can escape! Our macroinvertebrates in the river are tough survivors. Our challenge today was to catch as many cold crawdads in the water as possible. Crawdads get harder to catch as the seasons get colder, because like beaver they adapt to cold water. Crawdads move into deeper water, or even underground to avoid cold weather. Our skilled critter crawlers weren’t phased by changing weather, and we ended up catching lots of small macroinvertebrates and even 13 crawdads!
If Monday wasn’t cold enough, Tuesday sure was! After waking up to about 2 inches of snow, brave campers made it to SPREE HQ for a day of warming up, snowy fun, and a special treat. Something that SPREE teachers are great at is adapting lessons on the fly. This includes when lessons need to be adapted for the weather. Our SPREE teachers came to camp with as much fun energy as campers, and we started our day with a camp snowball fight & creating a Chompers snow beaver (picture above!).
Fish tend to live “normally” during the winter as they can find food along the waters’ bottom. In fact, fish are so active that humans may even poke holes in the ice and go ice fishing! We channeled our inner fisher people as we created fun ice fishing crafts with catchable fish! Of course this “magic” was helped by magnetism as we attached magnets to our crafted fish and attempted to catch them with paperclip fishing poles.
We skipped critter crawl on Tuesday but replaced it with an awesome snow craft… a snow fort! We learned that heat can also be trapped by snow, and that snow forts or igloos is how some humans have survived winter throughout history. We warmed up even more by enjoying hot coco in our snow fort to wrap up our day.
We had such a blast during our Under the Ice School Break Camp. This may be our last camp day of 2020, but you can be sure it isn’t the last of SPREE! Check out our newest program, Learning SPREE to provide fun during winter break, or curate your own fun using resources on our Just for Kids website page.
No matter the way you join in the fun, we can’t wait until we can see you next!