We dedicated week eight to our fury friends the mammals

It is week eight here at Primitive Pursuits and this week the warm blooded animals come out to play. Mammals are the focus this week and camps had our furry friends in their minds and hearts during many of the activities this week. 

Forest Village had a mystery mammal every day this week. On the day I caught up with them it was the beaver. Sarah passed around a beaver skull and a super soft beaver pelt. Given the large front teeth and the soft pelt the campers made short work of the mystery before heading out to the beaver pond to try and catch a glimpse of this unique mammal and see their habitat at 4H acres. Additionally, Forest Village made a clay print trap with bird seed and clay. When they came back the next morning mice, chipmunks and a rabbit had all visited the bait they had put out according to the clay bed they laid around it showing their prints. 

The Purple Finches also went on a wander around 4H looking for deer tracks on a rainy day. They were able to find tracks out by crow camp where they reviewed deer behavior with Instructor Blue. Elliot and Blue each shared with the campers the deer behavior of shedding when a deer loses its antlers for the season and the way they rub off velvet on trees. Since it isn’t winter and tracking mammals is more difficult, Instructor Elliot read the group a book in the woods about winter tracking and described the tracks of mammals one might find in the winter at 4H. 

Enchanted Forest successfully finds the hidden treasure of the Evil Queen allowing them to get their powers back and defeat her and her subjects. Photo: Ben Bookout 

A camper enjoys the warpth of a beaver pelt, the mystery animal for Thursday at Forest Village. Photo: Ben Bookout

Wolf and deer was a popular game this week. The game, based on what can happen with overpopulation, pits one lone wolf against a group of deer and as the wolf tags deer with a towel ball their population increases until there are no more deer left. I found many groups playing this game. The “hank” “hank” of the deer ringing through the woods is a sure sign the game is underway. Another game that was popular during mammal week was werewolf. This game encourages campers to gather firewood as times are called out and day passes to night, the werewolf is revealed and spreads their powers. Campers try to gather enough firewood to win before they all become werewolves. 

The week concluded with a renaissance festival put on by the Enchanted Forest camp. There was a dodgeball game, staffs, spears and wands for sale, a flower stand, face painting, music on request from Instructor Rey and a staff and wand factory. The whole thing was run on hickory nut commerce so there was plenty of money to go around. The festival concluded with an original play about the adventures of the Enchanted Forest camp and their quest to vanquish the Evil Queen and her subjects Peanut Butter and Riddle. 

Mammal week ended on a high note with the whole camp coming together for the festival. Each camp took away a little knowledge about our warm blooded friends at 4H and some even became rich in hickory nuts. 


Camper Ava collects flowers for her flower stand later in the day at the rennaisance festival help by Enchanted Forest camp. Photo: Lydia Brandt

Instructor Blue demonstrates the way a buck rubs the velvet off its antlers. Photo: Ben Bookout