• Jenn Tapler

First Day of Camp

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

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 on the Great Meadow 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. After splitting into two groups our campers headed back for the Children's Garden to begin their activities. Every day they will have the opportunity to dive deeper into two of our specialized content areas. Today our campers learned about Gardening and Wellness.


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. Some campers also had the opportunity to create a creature out of various plant material found in the Children's Garden, mainly crafted through sticks and twigs. During this time we wanted to familiarize all campers with the basic parts of plants while giving them an opportunity to see the garden that they will be spending a majority of their time.


In Wellness, campers spent some time in Garden Camp's very own Coyote Landing with the Art and Wellness Specialist, Spencer. Coyote Landing is a new field in the Children's Garden that was cleared for the sole purpose of being a meeting space for camp, named by our summer staff. In Coyote Landing, Spencer chatted with the children about some of their favorite meals before having them recreate them through art. Campers drew some of their favorite plant-based foods such as broccoli, apples, certain flowers and more. These creations will be turned into place mats that the campers can take home and use on their own. During this time we were allowing time for campers to think about how they fit into nature at large and the personal choices that they make when it comes to caring for themselves.


Many of our campers were surprised to have such nice weather for the first day of camp! The sun was shining all day long and kept us company as we made our way through the garden, leaving us seeking out cooler pockets of shade for a breather, like in the Redwood Grove or back in the Great Meadow under some of the trees we have there. Toward the end of the day we rejoined as a large group for snack and games. The Great Meadow has lots of space for little legs to run and even after our long day exploring, many of our campers were quick to join a game of tag!


Today's snack: cauliflower crackers and apples


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 explore any gardens today outside of the Children's Garden? Which garden? What did you learn about that space?


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

she/her


Garden Camp Director

Office: 415-661-1316 x404

jtapler@sfbg.org

ADDRESS & CONTACT

1199 9th Ave

San Francisco, CA 94122

Email: info@sfbg.org

Phone: (415) 661-1316

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San Francisco Botanical Garden is a public/private partnership between San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

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