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Trailblazers High Adventure Summer Camp, June 2023

The summer of 2023 started off on a high note for Trailblazers! This year, we are offering three week of summer camp. All of our weeks focus on connecting students with nature through learning how to identify birds, collecting citizen science data, and developing positive trail etiquette practices. Although each session focuses on these goals, none of our three weeks are the same!

Trailblazers High Adventure Summer Camp is our most action-packed and challenging week for students! Of all the summer programs, the High Adventure session features the longest days with the most adventurous field trips. We spent five days together traveling all over the Delaware Valley on foot, by bus, and even on water!

Our first day of camp began with brief introductions before we ventured onto the Bethel Springs Elementary School Nature Trail! Our day started with some great animal action: First, we saw a Bald Eagle flyover! Then, we saw a pair of hawks fighting over a dead snake that they dropped in front of school!

After a morning of practicing birding and outdoor etiquette, we hopped on the school bus after lunch to visit the Concord Elementary School Nature Trail. After a brief hike, the students did a creek walk through Webb Creek, which served as a way to beat the heat as well as how to safely walk through a creek!

Tuesday's field trip was an all-day excursion to Nolde State Forest in Reading, Pennsylvania. Upon arrival, the students found a baby Red-eyed Vireo in the picnic grove right next to the school bus! The morning began with a hike around the forest, where we ran into awesome birds like Scarlet Tanager, Northern Parula, and Ovenbird. We even found a Slimy Salamander when passing by one of the creeks. Our afternoon was spent at Painted Turtle Pond to observe all the different turtles there, but that activity was cut short due to fast-moving thunderstorms that were approaching.

Wednesday's field trip was another all-day adventure! This time, we visited St. Peter's Village; a quaint company town in the northern outskirts of Chester County. This location is known for its amazing collection of boulders that are spread throughout French Creek.

After a morning hike, the students enjoyed cooling off in the creek as they enjoyed some safe climbing. Parts of the creek make nice pools for swimming. One section even has a rock that has been worn into a slide! This part of the creek also had quite a few reptiles (a few different snakes and a turtle!)

Thursday's field trip is our most adventurous: the canoe trip down the Brandywine River! The 12 canoes were put in at Corcoran's Bridge near ChesLen Preseve, and we spent our day paddling down the river.