Walk on the wild side
By Charlie Rowell
The Walk on the Wild Side day camp provided a chance to learn about nature in different ways. The three-day camp ran from June 30th through July 2nd. Youngsters were face to face with snakes, made plaster casts, and walked through the canyon. Each activity incorporated nature in its theme.
On the first day, everyone was introduced to Seth Hanbury and his friend and partner, David Jones. Hanbury and Jones brought reptiles that ranged from the Green Anaconda to the Savannah Monitor to the Carnivorous Cayman (related to the crocodile). After learning about each reptile, the snakes were delicately passed around. Each of the kids that wanted to test their nerve was able to hold the Cayman and an albino Boa.
On the second day, camp was hosted by Nick Olson, Curator for the XIT Museum. Nick showed the kids how to mix plaster with water making a paste. Everyone chose between coyote, deer, yucca, and leaves to use as a mold for the plaster. The plaster was poured into molds. While waiting for the casts to dry, the kids were treated to a tour of the museum. The students also watched a video about playa lakes.
The last day of the Walk on the Wild Side day camp was spent on a nature walk. The walk began at the pavilion at Rita Blanca Lake. The participants walked through the canyon and back. Everyone came prepared with appropriate
footwear, water, bug spray, and a bag to carry treasures found along the walk. They also had to make plaster just in case they found prints. They picked up bugs along the way to look at when they got back. The kids were able to use two microscopes to look at what they had found. After walking and looking through the microscopes, there was one last thing to do. They played a game for goody bags before the parents arrived to pick them up.
For this reporter and camp participant, snake day was the best day of camp and holding snakes and touching other reptiles was amazing. The entire day camp experience was terrific and provided a good learning experience and something that any kid would enjoy doing. Seeing everything in the museum and getting a private tour was well worth going to camp. Walking through the canyon was the perfect end for camp and was just like a walk on the wild side.