Berkeley Forest School

Summer Camp: Week of July 13

By Heather Taylor

What a blast we've been having this week exploring out to all the edges of the park's North, South, East, and West sides! Place names have become ever-more important as we look for landmarks we can remember. Crab Island is on the NW corner of the park, and a fun place to climb boulders, investigate animals, explore seaweed, and toss rocks into the bay. One crazy adventure was after examining a map of the park and then going to the South end. We came to a boat launch! Kids on the shore floated sticks out, played with dead crabs and live isopods, and threw rocks into the bay. Kids came in ones or twos onto the pier with me where we figured out what made the pier float, looked at how boats were made, felt how the waves and wind caused the pier to bob, and how our bodies told us whether we felt safe. One of the boat captains asked what we were doing, pointed to his boat, and told us we could crawl all over it if we wanted. Three of the kids took the offer up and sat on top for photo ops. That was really neat! Today we visited Seaweed Cove, on the NE side of the park, discovering little lagoons under the rocks, climbing boulders, looking at birds and repeating their calls, attempting to build bridges onto islands whose names couldn't get decided upon, and throwing rocks into the bay (is this a theme, here?). Other places that have been named are Hedgehog Hill (due to the now poky nature of the mown grasses) and Z's Rock, which is part of Hedgehog Hill and named after its discoverer and prime user.

The big kids had a fairly sizable adventure this afternoon as they decided to take on the pirate camp near us. They plotted, cached weapons, did reconnaissance, selected roles, and practiced hand signals and stealth. The suspense was palpable! Many took sticks home to work on as weapons in case the pirates return tomorrow. Ultimately no one was brave enough to launch an attack and on our way back to our meet-up spot one pondered, "What if they're nice?" So many questions to consider...

What further adventures await?

Out by Crab Island

Boat Sittin'

All the wonderful things to do at Seaweed Cove!

3rd Aug, 2015

Heather Taylor is an experienced outdoor educator and California Master Teacher. She can be found in the Berkeley Forest School's preschool and camp programs.

All text and photographs copyright Berkeley Forest School. Illustrations copyright Steven Noble.
Any unauthorized use is prohibited.