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  • Writer's pictureJenn Tapler

July 8th - 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 some of my day with all of your campers. 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.

This week our campers will spend their time learning all about the Amazing Adaptations that some of our plants in the Garden have. Our two big weekly goals for this theme include learning how changes in weather and climate effect plants, animals, and people, and also how learning how humans can support environmental health.

If you look at the weather from today you'd never be able to guess that the theme for our day was Seeking Sun. Even though the weather was cold and windy, campers had the ability to learn all about adaptations related to how much or how little sunlight a plant receives.

Campers will get to spend a little bit of every day with our Gardening and Ecology Content Specialist, AJ. Today with AJ they took some time talking about the depth of different roots. We learned that shallow roots collect rain and morning dew easily, while some roots dig deep into the ground to try and stay cool. We also spent a lot of time in the Succulent Garden! Did you know that succulents store moisture in their leaves to keep them from being sunburned? AJ walked our campers around to show them a few plants in our own garden which have sunburned tips! We also learned that succulents only produce one flower when it becomes time to flower because they're trying to conserve their resources!

Campers will also get to spend some time every day with Ingrid, our Art and Wellness Content Specialist. Today Ingrid and the kids made sun tea lemonade (which due to our weather they kept calling fog tea!) which included mint from our own garden, lemon, and honey. Delicious! This tasty drink definitely hits the spot on hot and sunny days. With Ingrid they also 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! Without the sun they were unable to make sunprints of their own, but hopefully later this week we still get to try. In the meantime campers were able to make their own bookmarks out of pressed flowers that they will get to take home later in the week.

When they weren't learning directly from our Content Specialists, campers were observing, journaling, doing yoga, playing games, and just enjoying their time in the Garden.

Your camper may have noticed a piano or two around the Garden today... what's that about? SFBG is about to host their annual Flower Piano event! The end of this week marks the beginning of that, so your campers will have a little bit of time with the pianos themselves.

What is Flower Piano? You can read all about the beautiful event here:

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!

-What did you learn about in the succulent garden today? What are some ways that you are like a plant?

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

-Did you try the fog tea lemonade? What did it taste like? How did it feel to drink something that you helped make?

Tomorrow we'll keep exploring together while continuing to think about all the Amazing Adaptations that we can find in the Garden. We had a great day with your campers and are excited for our first full week of Garden Camp!

See you tomorrow!

Jenn Tapler


Garden Camp Director

Office: 415-661-1316 x404

[email protected]

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