With the onset of summer vacation, Heartland Farm welcomed 20 area children to its annual Peace Camp. This year’s theme at the five-day day camp is the four elements of earth, air, fire and water.
Monday, the focus was on earth, and campers planted bean seeds, made clay pots (to be fired on Thursday) and made “sit-upons” in four colors of tan, silver, red and blue.
Tuesday, air was the theme. Campers played the “get-out-the-energy” game, practiced breathing exercises in the pavilion space, and one group went on a bird and butterfly walk while another group made pinwheels.
Wednesday was fire day, with activities focusing on solar energy, campfire, photosyntheses and energy games. The kids baked cookies in the solar oven for their afternoon snack, and Ariel, the resident master gardener, taught cheese making.
Thursday, water play helped cool the kids down as temperatures began to creep up. Jean Aycock, educator at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, visited the campers to show some water creatures and also teach natural dyeing. Swimming games in the afternoon culminated with a rain game.
Today, the campers will review all four elements and pull them all together when they transfer their bean sprouts to the pots they made. Aycock will return and teach flower pounding. She’ll bring more creatures too, to lead up to the afternoon “web of life” activity.