Videographer Billy and I drove up to 4-H Acres Monday morning to an empty camp… “What is going on?” we wondered before quickly remembering that a week of exciting new adventures and explorations was underway.

Primitive Pursuits branched out to natural areas all around Ithaca this week, expanding far beyond 4-H Acres.

The River Scouts specialty camp spent the whole week walking through miles of rivers and streams. Someone found what they guessed to be a turtle egg on Wednesday, a few minutes after spotting a huge snapping turtle sitting in on the creek bed. They started the week exploring Monkey Run natural area, from the winding riverbed to the top of the cliffs. Climbing to the top of the cliffs gave everyone a sweeping view of the river they had just traversed. They gathered increasingly large sticks and logs in a contest to see who could throw them off the edge the furthest, with only a few reaching the river far below.

The Advanced Forest Explorers lived up their name in their explorations of forested areas all around Ithaca. One day, they followed the Cayuga Inlet in Buttermilk Falls State Park, climbing downed trees and wading in the inlet. At the hilly South Hill Town Recreation Area, they came up with a game of who could run up and down an extremely steep hill the fastest, even roping in CIT Taviri for one race.

Forest Explorers and Field and Forest spent three days last week at the EcoVillage and surrounding land. On Friday they hiked around Coy Glen, playing games in the water, exploring the waterfalls and a huge tunnel beneath a road.

Friendships flourished at Ellis Hollow, where Sarah Chaffee reported two campers had declared themselves bff’s and even exchanged phone numbers so they could keep in touch.

The week was certainly never boring, with travel camps exploring new areas every day and campers and counselors getting to spend some time away from the familiarity of 4-H acres.

We look forward to our return to 4-H acres next week!