Friday was the last day of this summer’s first session and we chose to spend it at Bluff Lake Nature Center. We set up our base at one of the Lake’s picnic tables atop the bluff that overlooked most of the Front Range (it was a beautiful view). From this view we were able to keep an eye on the Thunderstorms that were supposed to roll in by early afternoon. Our first song of the morning was “Peanut Butter Reeses Cup,” a cheer that helps to get everyone pumped up. Campers were then able to make requests for songs they wanted to hear one last time, and as per those requests we sang “Little Red Wagon” and “Bazooka Bubblegum.” Our big team building activity of the morning involved campers and a tarp; while standing on a tarp campers had to flip the tarp completely over without anyone falling off. The first attempt was pretty easy. Campers were definitely more challenged when they had to complete the same task with the tarp half its original size. We learned what happens when one camper feels left out and the group did well to reconsider their communication with one another.

After applying sunscreen we grabbed our water bottles and Sponge Bugs (the ones we made the day before) and headed down to explore the lake area. Campers enjoyed working on some of the riddles Zach had posed to them, such as Silly Sally and 4 is the Magic Number. We’ve got some smart campers! On the lake’s dock we saw Red Winged Black Birds, adult and young Geese, and a Great Blue Heron. We found a spot to test out our Sponge Bugs and found that most of them sank, which is a good defense for real water insects trying to hide from birds. We ate lunch and played with our prop box in the Lake’s large gazeebo.

Our afternoon activities included Dissecting Owl Pellets and Insect Catching. Each set of partners found some type of animal skull in their pellet. We got to see quite a few catterpillars who were in the midst of building their nests. After our snack of GORP and reapplying sunscreen we worked on our Cabin Shield. Campers decided what decorations to put on our shield (a large magnet) and learned that our shield will forever be a part of Altogether Outdoors history. For our closing debrief of the week campers discussed “the best thing that happened to them” and each got a colorful P-cord bracelet to remind them of their experiences. In the van we sang shortened versions of “Country Roads” and “Ghost Riders” and then sang “on Top of Spaghetti” for the ‘last’ time. What a great way to end the first week. **How lucky were we; the rain and tornado warnings waited until we were in the van on our way to Base Camp!

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