Summer 2021 Watershed Expeditions at Home wrapped up the last week of July. This virtual camp took campers on a journey through their local watersheds where they learned how to become watershed stewards.
During the course of four weeks, campers participated in activities provided by their Camp in a Box, weekly Virtual Camp sessions with our instructors and Community Time, where they were able to connect with their peers.
Three of these Virtual Camp sessions featured special guest speakers who showed campers different ways of advocating for their watershed.
The first week started on July 5th and focused on having the campers explore their watershed. Camp in a Box Activities included a scavenger hunt, a botanical sun print and the supplies to build their own bird feeder. The mosquitos were out in full force for the start of the month which caused most campers to postpone their scavenger hunt.
During Virtual Camp, students were asked to share their names, grade, where they lived and what superpower they would like to have. Several of the campers picked superpowers that would help them communicate with their favorite animals.
After our introductions were made, campers greeted their first special guest and learned all about artist Libby Reuter of Watershed Cairns. Libby dropped in to give our campers a tour of her studio where she builds and designs cairn sculptures from repurposed glassware.
We got to see some of Libby's pieces both virtually in her studio and through pictures taken by Joshua Rowan, where Libby's cairns are placed in various locations within watersheds throughout the Mississippi-Missouri basin. Campers learned what goes into selecting a photo site and how Libby approaches creating these glass cairns either with a specific location in mind or, alternatively, on the fly with the sculpture parts she carries with her.
For Week 2, the Camp in a Box activities included materials for a local neighborhood cleanup, foil for boat building and a envelope with another camper's address for a Pen Pal letter.
The goal was to get campers to connect with their watershed and begin to explore ways that they can personally participate in its conservation.
Rachel Loomis offered campers a tour of the Living Lands & Waters trash barge where she and other dedicated trash warriors spend months at a time living in order to efficiently travel along the rivers that they clean.
Rachel joined us from the Ohio River and showed campers what a day onboard the barge looks like for its inhabitants. We even got to hear about and see some of their neatest trash treasures.
During Week 3, campers indulged their crafty side. Campers learned about how they can tell the story of their watershed through artistic expression and fun crafts!
Camp in a Box activities included paper for a trash comic strip, materials for a watercolor and nature rubbing art project and a sew a critter kit.
Artist Holly Hughes was our final special guest for this Summer's Watershed Expeditions at Home and the perfect guest to show our campers an artistic way of promoting the protection and stewardship of our watersheds.
Holly presented some of her repurposed trash art sculptures which feature interactive components and informational graphics about many different aspects of our watersheds. These visual stories demonstrated the negative impact of waste and litter on our waterways.
In the final week of Watershed Expeditions at Home, campers combined the skills and experiences from prior weeks in order to engage in the Watershed Project. Campers were expected to identify a problem within their watershed and create a response to this watershed issue. They could design a prototype machine, create an advertising campaign advocating for change or invent a program for their neighbors to participate in as a way to solve this watershed problem.
During the last Virtual Camp, campers shared their ideas for their Watershed Project and shared what they loved the most about Watershed Expeditions at Home.
To see more photos from the Summer 2021 Watershed Expeditions at Home program, check out our Flickr!