Today was our last first day of Conservation Kids! We were all together today so the campers can get introduced to the overarching ideas of this week. We started the morning with a get-to-know-you game! This allowed the campers the meet one another, so they felt comfortable in our large group. After we introduced the campers to each of the counselors and counselors-in-training, Miss Jenifer gave a presentation on Turtle 101. She taught the campers about each species of turtle and how they eat, travel, behave, and more! We wanted to get the kids moving a little, so we then walked over to the exhibit hall. While we were there, Miss Nicole taught the campers more about each species of sea turtle we have in this area and the campers were able to visualize their size differences. We then headed back to the education room for a conservation lesson plan from Miss Vanessa. She explained how to be a responsible fisher and how to rescue a sea turtle if they are accidentally hooked. We could hear tummies grumbling, so we knew it was lunch time. After lunch, we gave the campers some time on the playground to release energy before we went inside again. The next activity is a camp favorite: whale blubber! As explained by Miss Savannah, the campers were able to run their own scientific experiment to test how “blubber” impacts temperature. After we cleaned up the mess of blubber and assessed our findings (we found that the addition of blubber made us able to withstand cold temperatures longer!), we split up. The older group was able to go into the hospital for a private tour, while the younger groups played a “shark hunt” game to learn about predator-prey relationships. Then it was crafting time! Every camper decorated their own “shell” for a “show-and-shell” activity to show the beauty of turtle shells and explore their artistic side. At the end of the day, all of the groups came together one more time to listen to our visitors from Manatee Lagoon. The “manatee masters” taught our campers about the importance of learning about every marine animal and how they work together in the ecosystem. Overall, the campers had a great first day of camp!

We are all excited for what is to come! The Loggerheads are hoping the rain lets up for their field trip tomorrow. The Greens have their sustainable living day, and the Leatherbacks have their debris-free seas! This week should be an great, education-filled week!

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