NMSU Extension Agent Suzanne Cole teamed up with ACC Coordinator Anita Moss to create Mora’s first Wildlife Camp. We have been working on this project for about a month, and with the help of volunteers and parent assistants, the camp was a success, despite the storm that hit Coyote Creek State Park.
First, Pat Walch, a New Mexico State Parks staff member, engaged the children to dig a bit deeper into the life of an owl. With props and creative lessons, Pat showed us how to identify different species of predator birds. A favorite activity for the kids was to dissect an owl pellet where they found different types of bones of the owl’s prey. After an interactive and educational time, Pat took the smallest kids on a walk through the park, where she explained with visuals the importance of humans taking care of nature.
While the little children went on a walk with Pat, Paulina took the older kids on a wildlife charades adventure, where they acted out various wild animals for the other kids to guess which animal they were. They had a blast, and after talking about facts of each wild animal they portrayed, we played Limbo: before going under the broomstick, each kid had to act out or make an animal sound. They loved the challenge!
After a healthy, filling lunch provided by local restaurant Hatcha’s, volunteers and coordinators set up a set of stations around the tables, where the kids interacted with animal pelts, animal “superpowers,” animal habitats, and the various foods animals eat.
The children then moved into groups, where one group played animal bingo, using a board with various animal tracks to identify which animals they belonged to. While this group was playing bingo, the older kids created their own “Bug Hotels,” getting in touch with nature while creating safe environments for insects.
The last activity of the camp was “Riddle Scavenger Hunt,” where the children had to go around the park and look for riddles leading them to the next clue. At the end, they all got surprises for finding their clues.
Huge thank you to everyone involved in Wildlife Camp: we appreciate the parents who stayed to help and all of the volunteers who spent hours on this project. We can’t wait for next year’s adventure!
Author Paulina Alarcon