Summer Science Camp #1

Last week was NMWC’s first Summer Science Camp of the year! This camp was generously sponsored by Owl Peak Farm in La Madera and brought in campers from La Madera, El Rito, Ojo Caliente, and Española. Students met at Bode’s General Store each morning, and we headed up to Abiquiu Lake for a day of fun in the sun!

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First things first: we learned how to use compasses to guide our adventures
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Hiking around the lake

 

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Exploring the rocky areas around the lake

On Monday after our hike, we learned about buoyancy.

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Before heading into the water we got an expert water safety talk from our local USACE rangers
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Each camper was fitted with a life jacket. Students got to wear these jackets for the entire week thanks to Abiquiu Lake’s Life Jacket Loaner Program.
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Each day we worked on our knot skills

On Tuesday we expanded our knowledge of buoyancy by building model boats.

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Designing and building model boats
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Each camper designed his/her own boat

 

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Each design was different
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Testing out boats on the lake. They all float!

Building model boats and learning why they float helps us understand why our canoes float.

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It takes teamwork to get our boats to the lake!
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A short tutorial on paddling
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Taking the canoes out for the first time!
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Paddling around the lake
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A quick swim after canoeing

On Wednesday we headed up into the Santa Fe National Forest to explore a slightly different ecosystem and learn about where our water comes from.

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Hiking into a gorgeous meadow
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Learning how to sketch flowers so that they can be identified later using a book

On our mountain adventure we learned some basic survival skills and used our newfound knowledge of knots to build emergency shelters from ponchos.

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Testing an emergency shelter
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Some of the emergency shelters were pretty intricate!

On Thursday we headed back to Abiquiu Lake for a canoeing excursion and a picnic lunch on an island.

 

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The whole gang, courtesy of one of our camp moms. Thanks, Valerie!

 

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After this big day of exploring and playing in the lake, we headed to our group shelter for our Thursday night camp out. The campers put their tents up all by themselves (for the most part).

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Tent assembly

Right after we put up our tents, a dark line of clouds approached.

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Playing chess, unperturbed by the approaching storm
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Watching the storm approach

Fortunately, the storm missed us, and the campers were happy spending a little time playing chess before dinner.

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Roasting marshmellows for s’mores

On Friday we headed back to the lake for a half day of swimming and playing in the water before it was time to go home.

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Returning our life jackets to USACE

We had an absolutely fantastic week with these great kids, and I think everybody learned a lot about science and about New Mexico’s precious water resources. We can’t wait for our next camp!

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