Week 5 was an exciting week because all of the camps were at different locations.

I went to Ellis Hollow for the first time and it was a bit chilly in the morning. There were five groups playing with balls and sitting in circles waiting for the morning to get started.

Ben (one of our photojournalists) observed Forest Explorers learning about edible plants and how they can be used in the case of an emergency. They then went on a hike and found some raspberries, wood sorrel, and grape leaves. They also learned about the Mayfly and the different stages of Mayfly growth.

During their opening circle, Forest Explorers learned each others’ names and pronouns. I was amazed at how they were so aware of their own pronouns and each others’ pronouns.

Advanced Wildcrafting built a bridge in the morning and then in the afternoon, they were making their own utensils out of wood. Pathfinders were building a shelter all day; they were very proud of the shelter they built and showed Ben the inside. First Village played by the creek, waded in the water, and sculpted things out of clay.

In the middle of the week, I visited Eco Village in the West Hill Area with Ben, and we stayed with the Gender Creative group for a while. They introduced us to their camp, which had several tents and structures. There was a rope swing, a campfire, and a wooden path that they had built. They informed us that they had been communicating with a troll named Brook and that they were leaving gifts for her and doing favors for her. In return, she left them an onion, that they fried and ate. They sometimes left requests for certain foods in exchange for notes and tips about survival.

We watched them complete the fire challenge, in which the more experienced campers instructed the less experienced campers in building a fire blindfolded. This exercise taught them teamwork, patience, communication, and leadership. Later that day, they used the fire they built, to brew some tea.

I enjoyed watching the Gender Creative camp work with each other because there were only a handful of campers, but that allowed them to all really get to know each other and work as a team with their instructors.

The River explorers walked downriver to Fall Creek and explored the river ecosystem. After lunch, they enjoyed a fire and listened to a story. The River Explorers kayaked from CCE to Stewart Park.

It was beautiful to see the campers enjoying different environments in Ithaca and learning how to make food, how to build structures, and how to work with each other on various activities.

Week 6 is around the corner and we are so excited for the fun and excitement.

Be sure to check out our Instagram and Tiktok @primitive_pursuits to see more videos and photos of the campers having fun!