D.I.R.T. Outdoor Exploration Camp
learn by doing and grow
In our final session,
we looked up
close at our local
We got to learn about soil, insects, plants, fungi, and animals to better understand our connection to the place we live.
Activities included disc golf, field trips to various habitats, plant collection and identification, insect and animal identification, introduction to soil development and soil life, along with activities and education based on participants' interests.
We continued to practice stewardship principles by leaving spaces better than we found them and by deepening our understanding of the ways in which we can improve local ecosystems for all the life that inhabits them.
At Direct Involvement Recreation Teaching, we believe that one of the best ways to learn how to do something is to do it, physically. It is in that spirit we are embarking on the creation of the free D.I.R.T. Outdoor Exploration Camp. This program was designed as a collaborative learning process that invites each participant to share their unique contributions and culture to the program.
Our intention is to include kids aged 11+ to engage in intersecting activities relating to the focus areas of the camp while creating and maintaining a safe space for all kids to express their unique selves. The spaces the camp is in, primarily, are a 30 acre riparian area and an arboretum, both of which are ripe with opportunity for ecological observation and student-led experimentation.
The Skyrman Arboretum, having an array of mature shrubs and trees native to the Pacific Northwestern Region, is our home base to learn and practice stewardship skills. We also use this space to support propagation and restoration work along Bear Creek, coming to be known as the Upton Creekside Park.
We learned skills related to
streamside and ecological restoration
learning about our local environment (plants, animals, soil, issues, and ways we can improve it)
making art inspired by our natural surroundings
building communication skills
incorporating activities and learning opportunities based on what the individuals in the group are interested in learning.
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Our Areas of Focus
Hands-on stewardship knowledge and skills aimed at improving our watershed, including identification of local biota, stream water quality improvement, plant propagation, etc.
Outlets for creativity will be regular. Using a variety of media and art forms, we will gain inspiration from what we sense around us.
The spaces the camp will be in, primarily, are a 30 acre riparian area and an arboretum, both of which are ripe with opportunity for ecological observation and student-led experimentation.
Social and emotional learning through community building circles, mindfulness practices, and focus on healthy communication and relationships.
The emphasis on stewardship will extend beyond land stewardship, to include a focus on personal, interpersonal, and community health.