Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nature Camps week 5, and upcoming features!

Last week was another successful week of Nature camps, and we've got some photos to prove it!

In other news, we've been given the go-ahead to add some new features to the blog. Upcoming projects include a slideshow of camp and nature center photos, as well as a section for staff and volunteer biographies. If you have any ideas for other features you'd like to see on the blog, let us know in the comments below!

Checking out a creepy bug we found!

Our CSI investigators show off their finds.

A wheel bug, one of the largest true bugs in North America.

Dip-netting for critters in Catoctin Creek!

Our campers pose with their caterpillar creations!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Week 4: Survivor Camp!

We wrapped up one of our most popular camps last week, where campers learned tricks and traps to survive out in the wild. Our survivors had tons of fun, as evidenced by some of the photos we took.

One of our campers chasing Assistant Director Doug during
an intense game of Capture the Flag.

More Capture the Flag escapades.

Identifying skulls and scats. Eww!

Practicing archery under the guidance of
our resident archer, Counselor Megan!

Director Josh likes to add dramatic flair to his archery...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekend special: History of Catoctin Creek Park!

After another long week of camps, we decided to make a bit of a different blog post this week. One of our interns has been working on deciphering the history of the park's land, and here's what we've learned so far.

The land on which Catoctin Creek Park and Nature Center sits was originally the home of John and Sarah Ann Sanner, who established a farmstead on the land in the mid-19th century. In 1866, the property was purchased by Oliver and Hanson Boyer, and the land remained in the Boyer family until 1913. After the Boyers sold the property, the land changed hands many times until being purchased by the Frederick County Board of Commissioners in 1974.

The ruins found on the lands of Catoctin Creek Park are federally protected as part of Historic Site 18FR994, "The Spring Secured".

While our intern is still busy trying to find the land records of the park in the State archives, we were also able to get in contact with a relative of a family who lived there. She provided us with some wonderful historical photos, as shown below.

The ruins of this building can be seen on the right
as you drive up into the park!

Another angle of the ruins near the entrance. This building
appears to have been an ice house for storing milk and other
perishable items.

Cows, the primary product of the farmstead.

A view of the land.

As this photo tells us, the overflow parking area at the top
of the hill actually used to be an orchard for
growing fruits!

As we learn more, we will create a separate section in the blog for historical and archaeological information about the park. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nature Camp Week 3: That's a wrap!

Like the Luna moth caterpillar that our Eco-Adventure campers found Wednesday, week 3 of our nature camps has wrapped up! Photos of the Luna Moth caterpillar and its coccoon (as well as a video of our cockroach races) are coming soon, but here are some other photos from the week.

Getting ready for an intense cockroach race!

Our campers learned to make cockroach magnets!

Making some magnets.

Exhausted after a long day of nature camp adventures!

But being tired doesn't stop our campers from talking
about how much fun they're having at camp!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More photos from camp!

Several weeks along, still going strong! Here are some photos from the past week at Catoctin Creek Nature Center!

A beautiful Spicebush Silkmoth (Callosamia promethe) moth found perched on the
exterior of the nature center. Also known as a Promethea Moth.

Nature campers aren't just young naturalists,
they've also got some impressive artistic skills!

A goofy moment with our campers.

An example of one of our campers' awesome
painted salamander crafts!

Campers dissecting owl pellets to find animal
remains. I wonder what they found...