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  • Writer's pictureJenn Tapler

August 12th - First Day of Camp

Hello families!

My name's Jenn and I'm the Garden Camp Director. I had the pleasure of meeting many of you this morning during drop-off and this afternoon during pick-up, as well as the joy of spending my day with all of your campers. I had the ability to rotate between all groups and observe a little bit of everything that was going on in the Garden. Every day this week there will be a blog post discussing some of the things that your campers were able to do at camp today.

Our first day of Garden Camp was a filled day of exploring and learning together. The weather was great, the campers brought us joy and laughter, and together we embraced the beauty that the Garden has to offer us.

Our theme for the day was: I Am Nature and Nature Is Me. With this our goal was to learn what our campers already knew about nature and plants, discuss the benefits that plants bring us (such as food, shelter, oxygen), and talk about the choices that our campers are making in their everyday lives that impact their well-being.

We started off our day in the gallery courtyard discussing some rules that we hold throughout the Garden as a large group before splitting our campers into two smaller groups. Both are named after some of our favorite trees we have no the Great Meadow: the Walnuts and the Cedars.

Every day they will have the opportunity to dive deeper into two of our specialized content areas. In Gardening, campers had a chance to explore the Children's Garden with the help of our Gardening and Ecologist Specialist, AJ. With AJ we wanted to see what your campers already knew when it came to nature and how they use different places in nature for peace, play, and science. During this time AJ talked about the five different things that plants need to survive. Water, oxygen, sunlight, soil, and food or nutrients. We then challenged campers to think about plants in different areas of the world, such as the desert, or aquatic plants, and ask what they think those plants would need more or less of to thrive.

During Art and Wellness, campers read The Bluest of Blues by Anna Atkins in preparation for making sunprints. The book is about a botanist from the 1800s who discovered the process of sunprinting, almost like photography! After that they were able to make sunprints of their own. Does your camper remember anything about the process? To make a sun print, Ingrid had campers collect various leaves and flowers that they found nearby (all which were collected with garden permission). From there Ingrid used a special fabric that was brought in, trapping the nature between the fabric and some plexiglass, to create beautiful designs.

Questions For My Camper:

We would love for you to continue engaging with your camper now that the day has ended and preparing them for their time in the Garden tomorrow. Here are some questions that you could ask them to get the conversation started!

- Did you learn about any new plants today? Could you tell me some of the different parts of a plant?

-What was your favorite activity you did with your group? Why was that your favorite?

-Did you learn anything about sunprinting? Could you tell me what you did?

Tomorrow we'll have the opportunity to continue exploring the garden together while talking about our theme: Nature Alone.

We had a great first day of Garden Camp and are incredibly excited for the rest of the week. All of your campers bring wonderful energy to the Garden and it is such a joy to see them filling our space with laughter and curiosity.

See you tomorrow!

Jenn Tapler


Garden Camp Director

Office: 415-661-1316 x404

[email protected]

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