Cobbled Streets and Cottonwood Institute ventured to Chatfield State Park to hike the Audubon trail and practice nature skills! Chatfield was beautiful with lots of cottonwood trees, birds, grasshoppers, and water for the group to adventure around.
We started off the day getting acquainted with the park and looking at the map. Earlier in the week, the group learned how to use a compass to complete a navigation course. These skills proved to be helpful when looking at our map and trails of Chatfield. The group decided to walk to both Muskrat Pondand Blackbird Pond to get the maximum amount of water exposure! On our hike, the group stopped at a great shady spot to avoid the summer heat, where partners worked together to do the activity “snapshot.” Each partner got to guide their blindfolded partner to their favorite nature snapshot in the area. The activity requires trust from their partners, relying on other senses, and opening their eyes up to a new space. These snapshot moments excited students to explore the water areas they saw. When looking we found several fish, which was exciting because we explored Garfield Lake Park all week near SWIC and saw only minnows. While watching the fish swim close to the shore, we discussed the different types of fish, how they were shaped, and what they ate.
The group continued on our hike catching grasshoppers along the way until we found the perfect sunken, open spot to discuss shelter building! The group learned about the different types of shelters and the difference between nature forts and survival shelters. We talked about how your shelter needs to be insulated, well-built, and weather/waterproof, and how to know the correct size. Students began collecting sticks to build their shelters and then we took a lunch break.
Our day went by quickly and before we knew it, it was time to head back to SWIC to finish out our awesome week together. We took time to reflect on the program and our favorite parts. Many students enjoyed catching grasshoppers, spending time outside, meeting new friends, and playing games together. It was a week full of insect exploration (both in the water and on land), discussions of what it means to “enjoy nature,” and much more.
Thank you Cobbled Streets for a fun, sun-filled week!