Animal Tracking is the method and way of tracking an animal used most by hunters and scientists. And as novice scientists, students are allowed to discuss what clues and stories are left behind by the animals that inhabit Camp Jolt. After exploring the difference between sign and print tracking, answering what a niche is, and what sorts of organisms are most commonly found here, students are encouraged to search for their own animal track and scientifically record their findings!
What is an insect? A spider? What are their adaptations? Why do insects undergo metamorphosis anyways? Those are just some of the questions that we explore in this class. Whether it be with our insect display cases or specimens found in the forest, students get an up-close and personal experience with these exciting creatures. After identifying and discussing insect body parts (exoskeleton, antennas, wings etc.) students move to catch insects out in the forest; we look under logs, rocks, in the leaves, and up in the trees!
After a hike to one of our many natural fossil beds on camp, students are led in a discussion about fossils. Focusing on life from the Cretaceous Era, we go over how fossils are made, and the different types. Then the students are handed field guides and are given the opportunity to hunt for fossils! Their journal page has a place for them to record data from the fossils that they find, such as sketches, measurements, types, and the identification of several fossils. (This class pairs well with the Hike to the Monkey Bridge, as there is a great fossil site out there.)
How are reptiles and amphibians different? How are they the same? These are some of the questions that we explore in this class. We focus on concepts such as adaptations generally and how they apply to Herps. Other concepts include; their roles in the food web, ecto and endothermic ("Cold" and "Warm" blooded) and a comparison to mammals. After instruction on proper methods of collection (students are to leave all snakes for an instructor to assess), students head out to find their own specimen. We provide an ID guide, a long stick to move rocks and logs at a distance, and collection containers. In the spring and fall, we find frogs, toads, lizards, and earth snakes. The best time for this class is in the nonwinter months. However, we do have two captive reptiles, a ball python and a bearded dragon, that we can show students should your group decide to learn about Herps in the winter.
The Ins and Outs of Trees
Students draw the parts of a tree and discuss their importance. They are given tree sections to discover the tree's age and learn about it’s past. After covering concepts such as photosynthesis and autotroph, we ask students to consider renewable resources. Are trees renewable? What about forest ecosystems? Students list as many examples of renewable resources as they can think of. After learning about the characteristics of conifer and deciduous trees students are given six different trees to identify and learn about.
Students learn the basics of map reading using a compass while completing various courses, designed exclusively for All Saints by the president of the North Texas Orienteering Association (NTOA). Beginner to advanced sessions available.
Our ORT program allows our instructors to speak to our efforts to reduce food waste. This initiative allows us to not only reduce food waste, but will allow the students to be more conscious of their eating habits as well.
Owls are an important part of the Cross Timbers food web. Students learn about owls, their adaptations and role in the food web. Included in this course is a discussion of nocturnal vs. diurnal animals, raptors and food web concepts such as producer and consumers. A key feature to this class is the owl pellet dissection, where students are allowed to discover first hand what owls eat and how. Usually in groups of 2 or 3 students break down the pellets and try to identify the prey using bones, fur and feathers as clues. This doubles as a great introduction to anatomy as students learn about mandibles, ribs, femurs and rodent or bird skulls. This class pairs very well with the Blackland Prairie Raptors presentation. Key concepts include; Raptors, food web, primary producers, etc.
The Backland Raptor Center Presentation lets kids get up close with some of the local birds of prey. The presenters are very knowledgeable and have an enthusiasm that makes kids want to learn.
* This course has an extra fee associated with it.
No Journal Page
During Soils students learn about organic and inorganic matter, the rock cycle and decomposers. Emphasis is placed on soil creation through weathering and decomposition. Students learn about worms through our worm bin or explore the woods in search of their own decomposers. Throughout their hikes instructors point out examples of weathering, erosion and deposition while bring those concepts back to soil and its origins.
Waders in the Wetlands
What is a wetland? Why are wetlands important? These are just some of the questions that we explore in our Waders class. Students learn about wetland ecology, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and biological pollution indicators.
After a short discussion and explanation, students enter the lake using waders or rubber boots. Using nets and their hands students find and collect as many wetland specimens as they can! After, during our identification time,
we discuss our findings and what that tells us about pollution levels in Lake Texoma.
What is the weather? How are clouds made? What causes tornadoes? These are just a few of the questions that we try to answer in this class. We also play a game that goes in-depth into the water cycle, where the students take a short trip as drops of water. Then students are taught about cloud formation and the different types. Later we head outside to use several tools and guides to measure the current temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, rainfall, wind speed, and identify the cloud cover and types.
Is Lake Texoma a healthy lake? This is precisely the question that students are led to discover in this class by using a variety of different tools and tests. From the dock or the shoreline, students collect water samples to test the quality of Lake Texoma. They test the dissolved oxygen to see if there is enough oxygen in the lake for fish to breathe and plants to grow. They learn why the pH and alkalinity of the lake are important, and test the lake to see if the lake falls within safe levels of each. They are also given a Secchi disk to measure the turbidity of the lake, and asked how that might impact the health of the lake. And last, but not least, we test the salinity of the lake. Is it a freshwater lake? Brackish or salt water? Join this class to find out!