Programs

EcoCamp Adventures

Tired of virtual learning with school? Join us for EcoCamp Adventures- with summertime fun, during the school year!

We are here for you and your students, to help you connect with nature despite all of today's mayhem!

Our EcoCamp Adventure kits are designed to give your student a fun and unique hands-on experience with science and nature topics. Each Adventure Kit includes 3 indoor and 3 outdoor activities, student and caregiver guides, and all the supplies you’ll need to explore and experiment. Use the kit as an engaging after-school activity, to supplement your student’s virtual learning, or a way to learn something new and explore outdoors together on weekends! REGISTER TODAY

Each kit includes:

  • Student workbook with 3 indoor and 3 outdoor activities
  • Supplies for activities (e.g. magnifying lens, test tubes, puffy paint)
  • 2 optional virtual meeting2 with Pickering educators
  • 1 self-guided activity at Pickering Creek, borrowing Pickering equipment prepared just for you
  • Caregiver guide with leading questions
  • Optional caregiver virtual orientation meeting
  • An EcoCamp drawstring bag to keep your supplies organized
  • Access to our Community Science database to add your findings at Pickering Creek
  • The ability to reserve your spot for exploring  Pickering through google docs, allowing you the safety and comfort of social distancing and the use of equipment cleaned and sanitized just for you and your family
     

Weekly Pickering Creek Explorations

For each Adventure Kit purchased, you and your student are invited to choose one self-guided activity to participate in at Pickering

Creek. Activities will rotate weekly, see here for dates and activities. If you can’t decide which one looks the most fun, additional weeks are just an additional $5 each and can be added on during registration.

Equipment and directions will be set up in the Welcome Center on site. Participating families can sign up for 2-hour slots to reserve sanitized equipment and ensure social distancing.

Participate in our community science project! Help us keep track of the wildlife and habitats at Pickering Creek by entering your results into a Google Sheets database. Did you find the same things as other EcoCamp Adventurers?
 

Sample Weekly Activities:

Wetlands Dip Netting
Put your boots on and wade into our freshwater wetlands to see what you can find! Are you fast enough to catch a leaping frog? Use dip nets to catch tadpoles, water beetles, mosquito fish, and dragonfly larvae in the water, and check the ID sheets to see what you caught! Then search for raccoon and fox tracks in the mud, see if you’re fast enough to catch a Leopard frog, and keep an eye on the skies for Osprey and Bald Eagles hunting for fish.

Meadow Sweep Netting
Sweep the meadows for butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers, and more! The Milkweed and other native plants growing in our meadows provide habitat for a smorgasbord of insects, and provide perfect shelter for bunnies, foxes, snakes, and more! Don’t forget to use your binoculars to check trees along the edge of the meadows, where raptors such as Red-tailed Hawks and Barred Owls like to perch while looking for a tasty treat to snatch!

Forest Log Flipping
Fallen logs may look dead, but they are teeming with life! Take a hike and see what you can find hiding under longs, rocks, and fallen branches. Wriggly worms, giant horned beetles, and juicy grubs are just the tip of the iceberg. Use our bug boxes to magnify your finds, and figure out what everything is with the ID sheets.

Treasure Hunt
How well do you know the trails and habitats at Pickering Creek? Look for clues through the wetlands, forests, and meadows, and decipher them to see if you can figure out where they lead. Use your binoculars and bug boxes to observe wildlife along the way!

Weekly Virtual Meetings

EcoCamp Adventurers will have the option to join 2 of our Wednesday virtual meetings from 4-5PM, where we’ll play games as a group, share what cool wildlife we’ve seen, do wildlife draw-alongs, and have the chance to ask questions. For each kit purchased, choose two virtual meetings to attend. Students can also post pictures of what they find while exploring in the EcoCamp Adventures Google Photos album. This tool gives students a chance to see what other Adventurers are up to, and a way to ask Pickering Creek educators questions!

Sprout kits are targeted towards K-3rd grade
Sapling kits are targeted towards 4th-7th grade students.
 

Upcoming Dates and Themes (themes will rotate monthly)

Ecosystem Extravaganza 
Registration: 9/11 – 9/27
Kits available for Pickup: 10/2
Optional Parent Orientation: 9/30 @ 5-6pm (will be recorded for those not able to attend)
REGISTER TODAY

How many food webs can you find? What makes a healthy ecosystem? Learn how everything in a habitat is connected! Figure out the biodiversity of local forests, wetlands, and meadows, play games to learn how ecosystems can be more resilient, and make an ecosystem in a bottle. Sprouts (K-3rd) will focus on different types of wildlife, food chains, and crafts, while Saplings (4th-7th) will calculate biodiversity and learn how an ecosystem can be more resilient.

Topics: Ecosystems, habitats, biodiversity, resilience, food webs, flow of energy

Standards: This theme aligns with science curriculum covered in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th grade in Talbot County.
 

Colors in Nature
Registration: 9/28 – 10/11
Kits available for Pickup: 10/16/20
Optional Parent Orientation: 10/21 @ 5-6pm (will be recorded for those not able to attend)
Registration Coming soon!

Roses are red and violets are blue, but did you know that there aren’t any truly blue plants or animals in nature? Find out why we see some colors more often in the natural world, do some experiments to make your own colors, and see how many colors you can find! Fall is the perfect time to look for a rainbow of colors, and to learn why the leaves are changing! Sprouts (K-3rd) will explore colors with crafts and exploration, while Saplings (4th-7th) will deepen their understanding of how we see colors and the chemistry behind colors.

Topics: Colors, light and wavelengths, adaptations, seasonal changes, what plants need to survive

Standards: This theme aligns with science curriculum covered in 1st, 2nd, & 3rd grade in Talbot County.

   
What parents are saying about EcoCamp From Home, our hands-on camp from home experience that premiered this summer!

“We can’t describe how much we loved camp. Chickadee, Sassafras and Monarch were all wonderful. Can’t wait to try more activities with Pickering Creek!”

“Thank you! We felt that this was an exceptionally helpful experience and greatly appreciated all the hard work that went into planning both on-site as well as at home activities. Very well done!”

 

Campers’ favorite parts: “Storytime, treasure hunts, hands on activities!”

Campers’ least favorite parts: “The weekend’s when there was no Pickering Creek.”

            

Questions?

Registration for the first round of kits opens on Friday, September 11th. Email Sammi Ocher at samara.ocher@audubon.org with any questions about EcoCamp Adventures

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