Do you or your family enjoy the outdoors but want a full five sense exploration hike that ends in a sweet treat? Then come join us for a Discovery Hike through the woods of the Summit Bechtel Reserve to learn about the awesome ecosystems we have here.
Hike begins at Delta Pavilion.
Walk towards the lakes. At the fork, initially turn left into the woods before the board walk. Activity 1- Find Your Buddy
· Students pair up. One student gets blindfolded
· Seeing student guides blindfolded student to a tree to examine with as many senses as they choose besides looking at it.
· Seeing student guides blindfolded student away from tree
· Blindfolded student takes off blindfold and finds tree they were shown
· Instructor introduces theme of hike which of discovery of the five senses and of nature
Hike back up hill towards the lakes. Walk through aquatics area and past the beach. At the back of the lake there is a bridge over a stream. Stop on bridge.
Activity 2- Deer Ears
· Students create a circle with their backs to the middle, cupping their hands around their ears
· Instructor explains the hands help catch more sound. Allows students to explore cupping versus no cupping of ears
· A moment of silence to hear and listen to nature
· Instructor asks students what they all heard, and begins writing down submissions
· Items are written down into four categories: consumers, producers, decomposers, and abiotic, but without labels.
· Students are asked to guess what the names of each category are
· Discussion of how each part interacts with each other
· “An ecosystem is a place where living and non-living things come together and interact”
Continue on trail. Stop at open area where primitive campsites once were.
Activity 3- Camouflage
· Students line up facing away from instructor
· Instructor places multiple pieces of yarn of different colors
· Students turn around and are asked to, without moving, find as many pieces of yarn as they can
· Allow movement to retrieve yarn
· Define camouflage and how the yarn might blend in in different ecosystems
· Instructor explains how we can camouflage too
· Camouflage the game- students hide in plain sight while instructor counts down. At zero, the instructor starts calling out students they can see. After a point the instructor puts up a couple fingers in the air. Of the remaining students that did not originally get called out, the first one to high five the instructor, wins.
· Play as many times as time allows or as long as the kids are excited about it
Continue on trail out of the forest. Begin down ramp to boardwalk. Stop at any place on boardwalk
Activity 4- Wetlands as an Ecosystem
· Instructor explains that wetlands are a specific ecosystem and act as a filter between the land and water
· Nature’s Liver!
· Have a bucket of gross water and several small containers with different types of filters in them
· Filters go up in layering- coffee filter, coffee filter plus rocks, coffee filter and rocks plus sand, plus dirt, plus moss, plus leaves, ect.
· Pour from the large gross bucket into each of the small containers to see how much each filtered out
· Explain why this is very important, especially in West Virginia- acid mine drainage
· Instructor talks about how to protect and maintain wetlands
Continue on boardwalk until Twelve Points. Take path up to the lower bridge across Wetlands
Activity 5- Turtle Watching
· No goal. Just turtle watching
Continue on path until BB&T Point
Activity 6- Campfire and Snacks
· Teach fire safety
· Make Banana Boats