Our campout involved taking these "city kids" out to expose them to camping skills they will build on in later trips in the seventh & eighth grades in preparation for a 10 day backpacking trip they are required to take in the August before their freshman year. Aside from learning campfire skills such as fire building and cooking over the fire, we have fun with activities such as orienteering, nature hikes, a short "solo" / journaling session, and of course fun games in a meadow. On this years trip, we benefited from the VERY early spring by getting to see a range of wildlife that we had not seen at this place in previous years.
Wolf Spider with Egg Case
At 9:30 PM as we headed back to our tents from my campfire reading of a short & spooky Stephen King story, we encountered this Copperhead snake just off the trail 15 feet from my tent. While clearly on alert and aware of us, the snake was not at all agressive ( and I was impressed that my young campers did not freakout in its presence. The ranch owners relocated it away from our camping area. These images ( taken with a flash) do not show how amazingly well camouflaged this snake was among the leaf litter. Even with flashlights shining on it, many people had trouble seeing it at first.
Overall we had a great trip and I am already looking forward to returning with next year's students to see what new critters we encounter!