Thursday, July 9, 2015

First week in Quincy

Hello friends!

At the end of my first week at Blacks Creek in Quincy,  I have many memorable moments to share! To start, here we are on our very first day, representing Save the Harbor/Save the Bay! I felt so lucky to have my team ready to go, especially with extra help from Ahmed, who is returning for his fifth summer, and certainly knows the ropes!
Go team! Daynaja took the photo, I'm here with Ahmed, Danny and Abdi in the blue shirts. 

If you were wondering where the adventure starts, for a lot of kids, it is right here- reaching over the side of a bucket. Especially for timid kids, being able to crouch next to a pal to touch a crab or some minnows is an opportunity to break the ice.  I learned this week that all of the kids find a way to share these moments of awe with others. Sometimes they shout "yuck!" or "cool!" or  "can we eat it?" or "can I name him Frederick?" But, other times, they just quietly ask us what the animals do, or what they're made of. Once they reach into the bucket, they've broken the surface tension, and wonder begins to spread!

Playing with minnows and crabs

We even have some campers using their own touch tanks, filling them with shrimp, minnows, crabs and seaweed!
I am in blue in the background clasping my hands to my face, wishing I had my own personal touch-tank to bring to Blacks Creek, of course! Lots of cool seaweed in this tank!

We usually play sports in the afternoon, and some kids get tired of kickball, or simply don't want to play. We take a group of these kids into the shade and bring pens, paper, and our guidebook. This week, we found moon jellyfish in the book and in the water, so we started talking about things we may not have seen yet, but that live in Boston's harbor. We looked up creatures in the guidebook and decided to combine them into sea monsters! One girl put a starfish on the body of four green crabs and named it a "crabfish." Below is the creation process from beginning to end!
Step 1: Find a buddy, a notepad, and the guidebook. Talk about what you saw in the water, what you could have seen in the water, and what sea monster or combination of species you wish were real. Use extra imagination!
Step 2: Celebrate! Here are two of our adventurers, brother and sister, posing together after drawing their favorite creatures from the guidebook. Celebrating with a sibling is always fun!
Step 3: Tah-dah! You now have a masterpiece. This is the one featured above with the artist, and it has kelp, squid, hermit crabs, razor clams and a big, scary, lion's mane jellyfish on it!  

That's it for this week, I'm looking forward to drawing more sea monsters next week! I think the crab trap will provide ample inspiration for future artwork!

Carolyn House

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