by Dan White, Teva (Nature) Instructorknots Did you know that an ant can carry 50 times its body weight?  If that proportion held, a 200 pound camp counselor would be able to lift two Honda Odyssey’s (~9000 lbs) with an extra 1000 pounds to spare!  While the outdoor education staff cannot match such a feat, we can raise the campers’ knowledge about ants and other insects.

We have also practiced tree identification by learning how to recognize alternating vs. opposite branching; simple vs. complex leaves; round vs. flat leaf stems; and more!  The campers particularly like Ramah’s red maples and birch trees.  I have been pleasantly surprised by how focused they can get when trying to identify a tree and astonished at the level of maturity as they work to come to a consensus.

We’ve learned about tying knots and fire building has also been educational.  The Solelim and Bogrim team hot chocolateclasses thought starting a fire with magnifying glasses would take little focus; 20 minutes later, they were perplexed.  “How do you do this? Teach us!”  With a little direction and some magnesium blocks, ten minutes later both classes had strong fires roaring.  The Solelim class elected to stay a few extra minutes to help clean up and got to make their own hot chocolate—some of the best I ever had!