For two years, Lynches River EDC has hosted day camps for multiple age groups throughout the summer with each camp having a specific theme. This year’s theme for camp was Nature Detectives where campers get to explore nature and learn about the natural world. What better way for them to explore than on the Dargan Nature Preserve! We were lucky to host both camps participating in the Nature Detectives Camp and take them on a scavenger hunt to find a variety of organisms.
The first group to participate was the Flying Squirrels (K-2nd) on July 14th. The gas pipeline was the target habitat for the day due to recent rainfall events which created several ephemeral ponds. A few days prior to the trip, field assistants scouted the area and found a variety of frog species in a various sizes. We predicted that the students would have high chances of finding them again and we were right! Students found several frogs but they also saw a bird’s nest and other invertebrates including dragonflies, etc.
The second group to visit was the Black Bears (6-8th) on July 21st. We decided to walk to the creek to hunt for the items on the scavenger hunt. Once at the creek, we noticed high water levels at Swift Creek and observed a large portion of the floodplain under water. This created a great habitat for some organisms because of all the moisture. Students discovered many different types of organisms including a type of jelly fungus, a caterpillar, a slug, multiple spider species, and their favorite…an Eastern box turtle! This individual did not hide in its shell like most do which gave the students a good show as it tried to get away.
Each group did a wonderful job exploring and checking off items on their scavenger hunts! We are eager to see if these students become advocates for nature. I’d like to give a big thanks to Jennifer Majors, EDC Supervisor, the camp counselors, and the volunteers for letting the PDLT spend an hour with the students to show them the beauty of the preserve. We really enjoyed it!