Why is water important?
Where does water go when you flush it down the toilet?
What can you do to conserve water?
We end the week with a very important topic-water! How much clean water do we have on earth to share with humans, animals, agriculture...? How do plants use water? How is water transported to our homes and how much is wasted by leaky pipes? Fun activities touch on these questions and much more....
The day begins with journaling and a farm nature walk. Along the way, campers encounter evidence or indicators that animals use and call the farm home. Today is about understanding the importance of open space, natural resources and waste management.
Americans throw away approximately 250 million tons of trash/year. That is 500,000,000,000 pounds of garbage! Yikes! How we dispose of our waste or garbage has an impact on our land. Campers learn to differentiate between trash, recycling and compost and continue weighing and charting their own camp waste. Worm composting or vermicomposting is an easy way to reduce some of our waste bound for a landfill and everyone is excited to build their personal worm bin to take home.
UC HAREC began hosting 4-H Sustainable You! Summer Camp in 2014. Since then, the education staff has trained other UC Research and Extension Center (RECS) staff to deliver this curriculum created by Dr. Roslyn Brain of Utah State University. Similar Sustainable You! Summer camps are in progress at Desert REC in Imperial County and Hopeland REC in Mendocino County.
Sustainable You! interactive activities are based around the five major areas of sustainability: land, air, water, food, energy and aim to develop an appreciation and respect for our natural environment. Each day, campers learn simple actions they can implement to lessen their impact on the environment. And while these are serious topics, it's summer….so it's all about having fun while learning.
2019 Sustainable You! Summer Camp Staff:
Kelsey Hammond, Environmental Specialist, City of Ventura
Alli Rowe, Education Specialist, UC Cooperative Extension-Ventura County
Ben Zeko, Jr. leader, Student-Foothill Technology High School
Gwyn Vanoni, Education Specialist, UC HAREC
Annabel Faris, Program Coordinator, UC HAREC
Susana Bruzzone-Miller, YFC Program Manager, UC HAREC
We are excited to welcome our 31 campers that include, for the first time, youth from Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Paula, Piru and Fillmore.
Day 1: Air
Why is clean air important?
What pollutes our air?
How can you improve the air you breathe?.....all good questions our campers pondered today. But first day camp tradition calls for getting acquainted with each other while tie dying camp shirts.
- Author: Susana C. Bruzzone-Miller, RDN
Education Specialists representing state wide Research and Extension Centers System (RECS) sites gathered February 15-16 at Hansen. This second annual meeting was an opportunity to meet new staff, share best practices, and participate in professional development.
Lisa Fisher, RECS Director, sponsored and kicked off the meeting with a welcome and overview of the ANR strategic plan. Guest speaker, Dr. Steven Worker, 4-H Youth Development Advisor—Marin County, led a hands-on workshop focusing on inquiry based learning and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education for youth. Additionally, Worker introduced methods of using Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in non-formal science education settings, relating methods REC educators can use in their outreach work.
Dr. Sabrina Drill, Natural Resources Advisor—UCCE-Ventura County, provided an overview of the California Naturalist Program and discussed the program as potential partner for REC outreach.
Farm Smart Manager, Stacey Wills and 4-H Representative, Shanna Abatti from Desert REC rounded out the two-day meeting with a Sustainable You! Summer Camp train-the trainer. Sustainable You!, developed by Dr. Roslyn Brain of Utah State University, teaches youth the basic concepts of natural resource conservation. The program has been part of the educational offerings at HAREC and Desert REC since 2013 and 2012 respectively, and will be implemented at Hopland REC in summer 2017.
- Author: Susana C. Bruzzone-Miller, RDN
Rio School District, in Oxnard, is a welcomed new partner. This year, Rio added the 4-H Sustainable You! Summer Camp curriculum to their district-wide Summer Science Camp that serves over 200 students K-6th grade and runs for the next three weeks. The district understands the importance of STEM education and fully funds the camp that is offered free of charge to students who register and submit an essay to qualify for a coveted spot. It's a no nonsense, attendance mandatory opportunity; structured with plenty of learning and lots of fun! The full day camp, operated at Rio del Mar School, provides a nutritious lunch and snacks to all participants.
Last May, HAREC educators conducted a 4-H Sustainable You! Summer Camp curriculum train-the-trainer and will support Rio Science Camp by loaning Sustainable You! activity kits. This exciting program helps youth understand what it means to be sustainable and features interactive activities based around the five major areas of sustainability: land, air, food, energy, and water. Gena Mathwin, is the energetic teacher extending the program to over sixty 5th and 6th graders. On August 11th, Rio campers will round out the Sustainable You! experience with a visit to HAREC and further study of our local food system.
We caught up with the campers on the second day of "Land" and learning about recycling food waste into healthy soil using worm composting.