Great Outdoor Camp Hostess


Wow! What a week of fun and inspiration it was as a Great Outdoor Camp hostess this July with 10 wonderful kids who were all fans of nature and having fun.

We kicked off the week by getting to know each other through games and team-building activities. It’s always nice to see a group of kids who don’t know each other to come together and become so supportive of one another!

The second day of camp was held at Winton Woods Riding Center, where we learned all about horses, horse care and maintenance and how to ride a horse. Day three continued our learning with a visit to Miami Whitewater Forest. We did a nature scavenger hunt on the trail and managed to find everything on the list – including a beaver lodge, ducks and birds singing. After lunch, we headed to the creek to search for fish, crayfish, butterflies and insect larvae. (The kids really enjoyed the challenges of catching crayfish!)

On the fourth day of camp, we faced challenges and worked on building team support at Winton Woods’ Adventure Outpost. That day I also faced one of my own biggest fears: heights. We started off the morning with rock climbing, and I was enjoying watching and encouraging the climbing campers when all of a sudden I was asked to join. I immediately responded with, “No way!” but after getting cheered on by campers screaming “Ms.Jenn! Ms. Jenn! Ms.Jenn!” I decided that I had to at least try for them. The climbing wall is definitely something that is much harder than it looks. You must use your upper and lower body strength to help pull yourself up. But with the support of my wonderful campers and the Adventure Outpost staff, I was able to reach the top. I couldn’t have been more proud of myself and the campers. What made my day most, though, was my buddy for the week. I got to see him face his own challenge and try his best at the wall, while still encouraging those around him with a “good job.”

Great Outdoor Camp_2013

That afternoon the campers and I played a few more games and then went canoeing. We saw a lot of great blue herons and also a few turtles. Canoeing is definitely an activity that requires teamwork, and they sure did a great job of it. As camp quickly came to a close, we finished out the week with learning how to golf, playing nature games and seeing a live animal program.

This week of camp was definitely one of my favorite memories of the summer, and I hope to do it again next year.

Jenn Wallace, Naturalist, Winton Woods