7th Grade Naturalist Program

 

Naturalist (noun) \nach*er*uh*list\: a person who studies plants and animals as they  live in nature  

Rose Rush Flower

Campers in this program will remain at the main camp for the week and will loosely follow the regular camp daily schedule. The Naturalist Program is offered to girls that  have just graduated 7th grade and it is held the last week of camp. This unique program is a transition from the usual 3rd through 6th grade camp schedule of swimming, crafts and  nature to an individualized and varied schedule, different from any other. 

Campers in the Naturalist Program will learn the Pine Sandhill ecosystem at Wekiva  Youth Camp and observe the various trees, plants and animals that inhabit there. The  program will demonstrate to the Naturalist campers how to appreciate nature and pass it  on to others in the form of interpretive programs. They will also learn the importance of  prescribed fire in the Pine Sandhill ecosystem and will learn how to write a simple burn  prescription. One morning the Naturalists will hike to Primitive to learn campfire safety  and roast hot dogs on the fire. The Pine Sandhill ecosystem will be observed by hiking,  writing and drawing in nature journals. Time permitting, how to plan a  backyard/schoolyard habitat will be discussed along with the advantage of native plants. 

Of course there will be a few fun crafts and swimming each day, in the Springs or the  pool. Hiking sticks and bracelets will be included as well as competitive games between  cabins. The Pavilion will be our main “habitat” for the week and the Naturalists have  been known to sleep there in hammocks for a night! 

As we all know, weather can be a factor in how much we accomplish each day and we  may have to adjust our schedule, but it will be a jam-packed, fun week. Naturalists will  be given a folder at the beginning of the week containing the program. These folders will  be taken home to continue enjoying nature on their own time. Please bring your water  bottles and your enthusiasm!