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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.  Albert Einstein

Week Four of Summer Camp 2017!

Sarah Chaffee, July 24, 2017

Archer's Apprentice

This week Archer's Apprentice had a wonderful group of campers determined to learn the art of archery. They learned the correct posture for holding bows and how to be safe while shooting. Each day they practiced their skills and by the end of the week they were hitting targets as small as apples!

The young archers holding an arrow. Photo taken by Sarah Brown.

When they weren't practicing archery, the campers enjoyed using mud and charcoal to camouflage themselves to stalk other camps at 4-H Acres.

A camouflaged camper preparing for a scouting mission.

Base Camp

Green Frog Clan

This week the Green Frog Clan made their base camp at the Beaver Pond. There Oscar, one of their instructors, told them a story from his childhood that inspired the clan to make rafts made out of natural materials and sent them out onto the pond.

Oscar during Closing Circle with the Green Frog Clan.

On Friday the Green Frogs had an epic celebration with the Spring Peeper Clan where they worked together to build a pulley-system that held a large rock over a coconut. Then they built a fire underneath the rope holding the rock in the air and breathed the fire to life, causing the flames to burn the rope and allow the rock to fall and crack open the coconut.

Members of the Green Frog and Spring Peeper Clans celebrating after their pulley-system worked and the rock cracked open the coconut.

Spring Peeper Clan

The Spring Peeper Clan made their base camp in the mysterious Hemlock Forest at 4-H Acres. They enjoyed lots of crafting and each made their own walking stick.

Kat, a Spring Peeper instructor, helping a camper carve a walking stick.

One day they made the strenuous hike out to the Cliffs where they found a large rock that they carried all the way back to their base camp. This was the rock used for the pulley-system during their celebration with the Green Frog Clan on Friday.

A CIT making a member of the Spring Peeper Clan laugh during Opening Circle.

Tree Frog Clan

The Tree Frog Clan called the White Pine camp home for the week. This was a very imaginative group of campers who loved free-play and wading in the creek.

A member of the Tree Frogs putting on charcoal face paint in preparation for a game of Camouflage.

A camper hiding during Camouflage.

They each got to practice using a bow drill and learned how to build shelters. The Tree Frogs also practiced plant identification and had quite the collection of hickory nuts! They also loved listening to stories told by Monica, one of their instructors.

A camper building a shelter.

Monica, a Tree Frog Clan instructor, telling the campers a story.

Wood Frog Clan

The Wood Frog Clan had an amazing week of discovery and exploration. On Monday they learned how to build shelters using y-sticks, bark, leaves, pine needles and other materials.

A member of the Wood Frogs making a shelter.

Campers playing Bat and Moth.

They spent a whole day learning about different wild edibles and plant botany and then used their new plant knowledge to make sumac sun tea; a tasty treat they shared with the Tree Frog Clan. On Friday they were gifted bananas, marshmallows and chocolate chips from the elusive Water Spirit and they used these materials to make a delicious dessert!

Members of the Wood Frog Clan during their Closing Circle.

Bow Making

The Bow Making campers showed incredible strength, patience and determination this week, all necessary characteristics for the delicate process of bow making.

A camper working on his bow.

On Monday they began carving their bows from tall pieces of wood and worked on them each day, sanding and carving them to perfection. By Friday each camper had their own personal, handmade bow.

A young bow-maker showing intense determination while working on her bow.

Fox Camp

Fox Camp had an amazing week of camouflage, stalking, crafting and epic games at the Arnot Forest. They learned how to fox walk and the best natural materials to use to camouflage themselves in different environments. On Wednesday the campers got to sneak up on a engagement photo shoot for Darlene and Hermon, a lovely couple who are more commonly known as Zach and Ariana, two Fox Camp instructors.

Darlene (left) and Hermon (right) during their engagement photo session.

Later that night the campers got to test out their skills again when the instructors had a "Party Stock" around a fire. The campers had to get as close as possible without being seen. Throughout the week campers participated in blindfolded exercises to strengthen their other four senses- sound, smell, taste and touch. On Thursday they had a blindfolded spaghetti dinner.

Campers during their blindfolded spaghetti dinner. Photo taken by Sarah Brown.

Some of these activities also tested their navigation. On Wednesday afternoon blindfolded campers lined up at the edge of a field and tried to walk straight across. After a few minutes they took off their blindfolds and were surprised to find that many of them had veered to the left or right and had not gone directly across.

A camper during a game of silent blindfolded tag.

A camper camouflaging himself in a pile of leaves near a dead tree.

Growing Wild

The campers of Growing Wild had another adventurous week filled with stories, song and lots of laughter at 4-H Acres.

A camper and Sierra, a Growing Wild instructor, having a laugh by the fire.

They enjoyed going on exploration missions up the creek and even found a secret camp! On Friday they made a fire and enjoyed a sweet marshmallow and graham cracker treat.

A camper enjoying her marshmallow and graham cracker.

Hunter Gatherer

Acorn Clan

The Acorn Clan made their camp in the Hemlock Forest at the Ellis Hollow Natural Area. There they made fires and coal-burned spoons while listening to stories told by their instructors.

A member of the Acorn Clan enjoying the view from his sit spot.

They loved playing in the creek and spent lots of time making dams and collecting clay that they used to make small bowls. The Acorn Clan also made their own tea from harvested hemlock needles, mint and yarrow.

The Acorn Clan playing in the creek at the Ellis Hollow Natural Area.

Hickory Clan

This clan made Fallen Tree Camp their home for the week. They learned stalking techniques, built fires, enjoyed free-play in the creek and even made their own tea!

A camper practicing stone-drilling.

The Hickory Clan loved to play games with Forest Fire, Freeze Tag and Mama Goose being some of their favorites. On Friday the clan stalked the elusive "Pinegator" and caught him using their awesome throwing stick skills. Then they had a feast!

Campers playing a running game with Hani, one of the Hickory Clan instructors.

Walnut Clan

Members of the Walnut Clan spent the week learning about atalattles, an ancient hunting tool first used by Native Americans. They proved themselves to be dedicated and focused crafters when they each got to make their own atalattles harvested from the trees around them. By the end of week they were able to throw darts using their handmade hunting tools!

Will, a Walnut Clan instructor, helping a camper with his atalattle.

Campers practicing their throwing stick skills.

The Walnut Clan also enjoyed practicing their camouflage and stalking skills and playing games with other clans. On Friday they made nettle dumplings by the creek and enjoyed their last day together.

A member of the Walnut Clan sawing off a piece of wood she used to make her atalattle.

Campers working together to build a fire during lunch.

Luna's Fire

The girls of Luna's Fire began the week as strangers but left as close friends. They made Raccoon Motel their home for the week and spent the night there on Thursday, sleeping together under a tarp. That night they made their dinner using the cob oven, becoming the first group at Primitive Pursuits to ever use it!

The girls of Luna's Fire at their camp at Raccoon Motel.

The girls of Luna's Fire became the "Mudwomen" and paid daily visits to one of their favorite spots at 4-H Acres- the mud pit. On Friday they learned how to use mud and charcoal to camouflage themselves and got to stalk up on another group, who had no idea they were there.

Alex, an instructor, helping a camper camouflage her face.

A Mudwoman during her visit to the mud pit.

During their Closing Circle they each collected a special piece of nature from their sit spots and made a final altar in the middle of their circle. Each girl lit a candle and discussed what they learned from the week and what dreams they had for the future.

The Closing Circle for Luna's Fire.

A camper holding her lit candle during Closing Circle.

River Scouts

The River Scouts had an adventurous week exploring and navigating through different waterways around Ithaca. They visited Lick Brook where they enjoyed wading in the water and searching for aquatic critters.

Two River Scouts admiring the view along the Cayuga Waterfront Trail.

When they weren't in creeks, streams or rivers, they were putting their crafting skills to the test by making small bowls out of clay, fairy villages and snorkels out of Japanese knotweed. The River Scouts also made a steam pit where they cooked delicious sweet corn. On Thursday the group went canoeing and even had an epic canoe race!

Campers embarking on their canoe adventure.

Thanks for reading! We're excited for another adventurous week of camp here at Primitive Pursuits!

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Need a trail guide?

We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

Get In Touch

Don't miss a beat, add yourself to our list to get all the latest details.