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Trailblazers Summer Camp, August 2023

Our third and final week of Trailblazers for the summer of 2023 was a smash! Unlike last week’s extreme heat, this week we were treated to the perfect weather for exploring the Bethel Springs Elementary School Nature Trail. This final session of the summer was a half-day camp for students entering first through fifth grade. This beginner-level camp had a different theme each day for students to enjoy.

On Monday, students were acquainted with the expectations of Trailblazers. Then, we got out and enjoyed a nature walk on the BSES Nature Trail.

Tuesday was our birding day! Students learn how to use binoculars, including how to focus them along with tips and tricks to help them find birds. After that, we enjoyed a quick round of the migration game to learn about the perils of migration for birds.

On Wednesday, we decided to venture over to Peanut Pond, a private property just off our school campus! On our way to the pond, we stopped by the farm to visit the famous goat named Peanut. We also got to see some of the farm's horses! When we got to the pond, the grass was being cut so we had to abandon our plan and double back to school. Once we enjoyed snack, we then had an impromptu lesson about bluebirds. We even got to inspect the nests inside the bluebird boxes around our campus!

Thursday was creek day! We spent all day enjoying a walk in Naaman's Creek on the BSES Nature Trail. We found amphibians like Lead-backed Salamander and Green Frog. We also observed quite a few fish swimming around in the creek! This activity was not only a great way to cool off, but the students loved exploring this habitat.

Friday brought our return to Peanut Pond! Good thing we saved our return trip for this particular Friday morning because we ended up having an amazing experience. First, we had a family of Eastern Bluebirds perched on the brush pile for all to see. Then, we had a Green Heron fly across the pond and perch in the open. After the heron took off across the pond, an Osprey flew low over the pond and perched in a dead tree right in front of the group! We were so close that we were even able to get a group photo with the bird.

Overall, we had an amazing week to end the 10th anniversary of Trailblazers. We ended our session with a total of 34 species of birds. For more, check out our eBird Trip Report here.

Thank you once again to Trailblazers families for their continued support and for another amazing summer!

34 Species of Birds:

Canada Goose

Mourning Dove

Chimney Swift

Green Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture


Cooper's Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Eastern Kingbird

Red-eyed Vireo

Blue Jay

American Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Tree Swallow

Barn Swallow

White-breasted Nuthatch

House Wren

Carolina Wren

European Starling

Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

House Sparrow

House Finch

American Goldfinch

Chipping Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Common Yellowthroat

Northern Cardinal

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