Nature's Engineers: Monday-Friday

Nature's Engineers: Monday-Friday

Welcome to our first ever Nature's Engineers Summer Camp. We look forward to a week of fun STEAM activities as we learn about engineers in nature.


Happy Monday! We kicked off this beautiful Monday with the Yellow Pepper group leading us through flag ceremony. We learned about working together, sharing jobs, and supporting our community. Great job Yellow Peppers!

Then it was off to chores. The yellow peppers got to hangout with the chickens and then the Green peppers went to hangout with the rabbits.

Then off to our wagon ride! We saw some deer in the back hay field! 

Then time to head over to the garden to harvest some veggies. We snacked on beans, tomatoes, and carrots! Lots of yumms all around! 

Next it was time to tie dye. Many campers could not wait to see their t shirt design before they left, looking forward to seeing them all on Friday!

After lunch we had a special guest Mr. Clay talk all about bees, one of Tollgates favorite Nature Engineers. After his fun presentation and tasty honey snack we got to become bee's and learn about pollination. 

Now that we are bee experts we took the bee shape of choice, the hexagon, to the test and built marshmallow toothpick towers incorporating a hexagon to all our structures. 

Today went by so fast! Can't wait to have more fun tomorrow! 


Nature's Water Engineers. Beavers, Dams, and Bridges! 

Kicked off the morning with the green peppers hosting the flag ceremony! Awesome work green peppers! 

After flag ceremony it was time for chores. Yellow peppers got to milk a goat and hangout with the bunnies and the Green peppers got to hangout with the chickens! 

After chores we headed to the garden to engineer a Scarecrow with Ms. Nancy. We wanted to keep our corn safe from the birds and I think both scarecrows are going to do an amazing job! We even snuck some garden snacks while we were out there. 

Then it was time to learn about beavers and dams. We went for a pond/dam walk, discussed the pros and cons of dams, and then constructed and tested our own. I think overall all the dams were really effective at their job! 

Bonus excitement was the CSA compost truck stopped by for a visit and we all got to witness a large dump of compost get dropped off. This compost will supply the fruits and vegetables growing on the farm with the nutrition they need to grow big and strong. 

After lunch we worked on our STEAM project of building a hurricane proof house. Lots of good ideas coming to life. Can't wait to see the finished product Friday! 

Next, we headed over to the pond for casting practice. We learned about the Tollgate way of casting lines and we look forward to all the campers fishing tomorrow! 

After casting practice it was time to head to the forest for a bridge hunt. We found some amazing bridges, natural and man made, however the mosquitoes were out and ready for blood so we needed to move fast! 

Such a fun/busy day today! See you all tomorrow! 


Happy Wednesday! Today we started the day with the Yellow peppers hosting flag ceremony. After flag it was time to do some chores and a few special visits to the other animals we necessary!

Today was a lot about eggs and how incredibly fragile yet incredible strong they are. We talked about their shape, their uses, and how that shape is used all over the engineering world. From a team building teeter totter activity to trying to break an egg with our elbow pit to seeing how much weight a single egg can bare (which is a lot) we went all into the engineering of eggs! 

Then we wanted to learn about Pully Systems. The simple machine Pulley is used all over from the flag pull we raise everyday to the cranes that build sky scrappers, Pulleys are highly useful! We were able to lift a load that weighed 84lbs up to the top of a tree branch with significantly less effort than it would take to pull without a pully. Although it was still really heavy it was cool to talk and learn about the science of the pulley together. 

After lunch it was time to visit the pond for fishing. We had talked about how humans engineer dams to create reservoir that are great for fishing in the summer-- so that's exactly what we did. The campers did great practicing the Tollgate method of casting and were able to catch quite a few fish before the storm blew in. 

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