Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer may be coming to a close, but the Nature Center is still open!

As the summer draws to a close, trees begin shedding their leaves, children go back to school, and things start to calm down and cool off. Even though we've wrapped up Eco-Adventure Camp and Nature Camp for the year, Catoctin Creek Nature Center still has plenty of opportunities to explore the natural world! See below for some of our upcoming programs, all of which will be held at Catoctin Creek Nature Center. Even if you don't want to sign up for a program, everyday visitors are always welcome!

The nature center is open Noon to 6 PM Tuesday through Friday, as well as Sunday. Saturday the nature center opens at 10 AM and closes at 6 PM. The nature center is closed on Mondays.
A big scary spider on the pavement!
Reminder: Catoctin Creek Nature Center will be CLOSED Sunday 9/4 and Monday 9/5 in observance of Labor Day weekend. We WILL be open Saturday 9/3 for normal hours.

Fall programs:

Apple Picking Time: 2-5 yrs, 1 day, $12
With the fall weather comes the apple harvest. Learn about this wonderful fruit and how it develops through its life cycle. Sing songs about apples and listen to a story about the Little House of Red. See if you can figure out what this story is talking about. We will end with an apple print painting project.
Wednesday 9/21, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Creek Chubs Club: 2-3 yrs, 1 day, $12
These programs are designed for little nature lovers! Your child will learn about the natural world through stories, live animals, nature walks, hands-on crafts, and games. Dress appropriately for outdoor activities.
Thursday 9/8, Tuesday 9/20, Thursday 10/6, and Tuesday 10/18. Each program runs from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.

A cool crawly snake spotted
in the creek! Possibly a garter
or ribbon snake.

Fall Festival for Preschoolers: 3-5 yrs, 1 day, $12
Come celebrate cooler days and leaves crunching beneath your feet! Catoctin Creek Nature Center welcomes fall with a fun Fall Festival. Come play some games, sing some songs and learn about the Fall Season. We will take a hike and make a craft using leaves we gathered on our hike.
Wednesday 9/28, 10:00 AM to Noon

Nature Tales Inside & Out: 3-5 yrs, 1 day, $12
Kids, bring your parents and a blanket to sit on as we venture into the woods or inside the nature center for story time! Afterwards we'll enjoy games, activities, and make a craft related to that day's featured story.
Wednesday 9/14 and Wednesday 10/12, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

For more upcoming programs, please pick up a copy of the Recreater, Frederick County's Parks and Recreation Magazine, found at any Frederick County Park or Recreation Center.

A yellow-leg flat millipede (apheloria tigana) found in the woods.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekend Special: Paracord Bracelet Instructions!

One of our most popular projects has been the fashioning of Paracord bracelets, under the tutelage of one of our knowledgeable counselors. Due to the wild success of this originally minor craft, we have decided to provide instructions for all to use to fashion their own super-strong bracelet. Simply follow the instructions and photos provided below! Paracord and buckles in various colors can be purchased at, or any other website which provides similar military-grade materials.

1. Supplies

-2 lengths of paracord, each approx. 5 feet long
-1 3/8” contoured plastic buckles
- lighter (butane is recommended due to its precise flame and quicker melt)
- scissors
-The internal cordage of the paracord can be removed
if you would like a thinner bracelet.

Once you choose the color you would like as the border color, insert it
through the top of one side of the clip and pull it through about 6 inches.


Insert the second color (this one will be the center color
of the bracelet) through the bottom of the clip and pull through 
the top about 6 inches.

Long strands should be on the outside, shorter strands will become the inside of the bracelet.
Take the long border strand color (yellow) and thread it under both the short middle strands, leaving a figure 4 loop. Place the strand over the long strand on the opposite side (blue).

Take the center color long strand (blue) and drape it across the middle stands, 
with the border strand inside its loop, then place it through the figure 4 loop
 of the border color (yellow).

This is what the first tightened knot
should look like.

Second knot: notice the colors are on opposite sides. This is important – 
you always want to start with the border color (yellow in picture) regardless of its position.

Wrap the long center color strand around the long border strand
and over the middle short strands, then place it through the loop
of the long border color strand.

Bracelet with the first 2 knots – continue the knots until the bracelet is
1 inch from fitting around your wrist.

Bracelet 1 inch from fitting around wrist.

Put the middle strands through the top of the other
half of the plastic clip.

Fold the strands toward the bottom of the bracelet
until they reach the knots.

Secure the strands with the next knot.

Underside view of the secure knot.

Continue knots until you reach the clip.

Underside view of finished knots.
Cut the long strands.

Cut the short strands.

Burn the outside ends. CAUTION – VERY HOT! (The bracelet material turns to 
molten plastic when it melts and has the potential to cause a serious burn)

Burn the inner ends. CAUTION – VERY HOT!

You're done!
Here's what the finished product should look like.

Enjoy your new Paracord Bracelet!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Adventures at Catoctin Creek: Nature Camp Week 6!

From tubing to crab soccer, swimming to activism projects, our campers have been busy at Catoctin Creek! Here are some highlights from the week.

One of our camp's unintended main attractions has been the crafting of Paracord bracelets, under the instruction of one of our wonderful counselors. While many campers have already had the opportunity to create a bracelet, we will shortly be creating a separate section on the blog with detailed instructions and photos to make your own Paracord bracelet!

A beautiful Dragon Hunter dragonfly, which preys
on other dragonfly species!


A few of our campers pose, showing how much fun
Catoctin Creek can be!

A wheelbug, related to the assassin bug, whose
bite can take months to heal.

Our campers hard at work pulling weeds from our irrigation
pool. Water from the parking lot drains into this ravine, nourishing
the trees we've planted there.

A good-natured game of crab soccer is a favorite way to end
a long day of swimming and hiking.

Campers are entranced by the wondrous Vietnamese
Walking Stick, which is capable of standing perfectly
still for up to four weeks!

Campers are super-excited for tubing in the creek!

Several tubers pose for the camera.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Register Now for Fall Programs!

The new Fall Recreater is available for you to view at  Programs at all of our locations including Catoctin Creek Park and Nature Center are included in this brochure.