Dec 24, 2012
During this holiday season, make sure to welcome Christ the King into your lives at every opportunity.
This fall, we welcomed an aptly-named school into camp for an Outdoor Education trip:
Just about every morning we are greeted by a new sunrise that boldly proclaims God’s handiwork.
What are some of the ways that you welcome Christ the King into your life? Where do you see his handiwork at camp or home?
Mar 26, 2010
Two summers ago Camp Tecumseh planted a large area of native prairie grass and flowers. The prairie was doing well enough that Camp decide to do a burn. With Turkey, Kilimanjaro, and Llama standing by with buckets of water, the prairie burned just as planned.
What is the camp prairie used for?
A small section was left for one more year to allow for it to thicken a little more and to give the schools coming in the next couple of weeks a place to do the ‘Meadow Safari’ (part of the Discovering Nature program). Before it was settled, most of Indiana was forest. The Northwest corner of the state was the only area that prairies could be found covering large areas. Camp is also using this new prairie during ‘The Meadow’ trail in Earthship Journey and is also a great backdrop for parts of the Pioneer Heritage program. Another area in the Lake Village pioneer settlement has recently been designated for a second native prairie.
Managing prairies with prescribed burns has many benefits. Unburned prairies leave a mantle of dead and decaying vegetation. This stifles the growth of the prairie plants and deprives plants of space and light. The burn also helps release the nutrients in the dead vegetation so it can be used by the new growth. The blackened soil heats up fast by absorbing solar energy, thus stimulating speedy seed germination, sprouting and growth. Burning also helps in controlling shrubs that are invading into the prairie. Without burning, many of the prairies would eventually turn into forests.
Prairies are an important part of the ecosystem. Prairies have an abundance of plants, insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles, many of these found only in prairies. The grasses and forbs also provide seed and nectar for insects, butterflies, birds, and small mammals. But to get these benefits, fire must occur to restore the prairie. (http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/articles/prescribed.htm)
Feb 26, 2010
Camp Tecumseh has two pioneer settlements (River and Lake) on site that are used to host many schools participating in the Pioneer Heritage program. This is a hands on program that brings the Indiana History taught at school, to life as they experience what it might have been like in the year 1811.
During their trip students attend a session about Log Cabin Building. This session highlights the different kinds of buildings that pioneers built, giving ample supervised opportunity for students to have a go at using the tools that were used in the building process back then. Tools such as the draw knife to peel the bark off the fallen logs and the two person saw to cut to the desired length, are both favorites for them.
Time is also set aside to discuss Native American housing. Almost all students know about the Tipi (which Camp T has had on show for many years now), but a much smaller percentage of students know much about the Wigwam and how it differs. We have tried to educate about this through pictures in the past, but … you can do that in the classroom right? So to really educate about it and bring it alive, we all decided that we needed to build one for the students, so that they can actually experience the difference.
This being said, Keith “Kilimanjaro” Kalish and Luke “Llama” Ulrich have donned the pioneer clothes and sharpened the pioneer tools once again to try and make this idea into a reality for thousands of students this coming year. The first wigwam for the River Village settlement has been finished, with the Lake Village slotted to be done before our first group arrives in March.
Not only will this be an educational addition, but it will also serve as a functional shelter for the students should the weather turn south on us.
Tipi’s were mostly used by the native Americans of the great plains. The ease of construction and transportation made it perfect for their more nomadic lifestyle.
Wigwams were used as a more permanent type of housing, which suited the Indiana woodland environment more.
Feb 19, 2010
Wildlife is abundant year round at camp, but one of the best seasons to see a lot is the winter. The snow coupled with the absence of leaves on trees makes it (somewhat ironically) come to life for the observer.
The bird feeders are packed all day long with many different types of birds like Cardinals, Woodpeckers, Nuthatch’s, Blue Jays and the odd squirrel (not a bird) hogging the food. Bald Eagles are frequently seen fishing on the Tippecanoe from the back deck of River Lodge. White Tailed Deer can be seen in large numbers crossing main field and through the lake village loop.
Some of our favorites to see though are the River Otters who scurry and swim around the river banks from time to time. Many folks are surprised to hear that we see Otters around here, but they are doing really quite well in this area after their reintroduction to the Tippecanoe in the mid 90’s. Their slinky silhouette and playful behavior make them an unmistakable sight to see.
Being aware of and understanding the wildlife around us is the first step to living alongside it in a responsible manner. It’s a privilege for us to be able to teach people along these lines during their visit.
Hope you enjoy some of the pictures we’ve been able to get as we are out and about.
Jan 29, 2010
Wandering Albatross (Biggest bird on record)
Tom and Keith from the Outdoor Education staff have been hard at work this winter working on several projects, one of which is a new display for the Nature Center. The display shows silhouettes of several birds found in Indiana as well as the biggest and smallest birds on record. Each silhouette is placed at the perfect height for children and adults to stretch out their wings to compare them to the bird that would have a similar span. Next time you are at camp, check it out next to the bird viewing window.
Keith comparing himself to the Bald Eagle
Bee Hummingbird (Smallest bird on record)