The second week of the Osceola County Historical Society summer camp was another successful week with campers and counselors learning what it means to be a true survivor in Osceola County. Here’s six things the kids participated in, giving you an inside look at what life as a camper was like.
Mastering true survival skills. Today, if you need food, you can go to your local grocery store or restaurant. If you’re lost, you can just whip out your smartphone and get instant directions. Just over a century ago, however, life was entirely different. Our campers got a chance to learn some skills that Native Americans and early pioneers of Osceola County would have needed to know in order to survive. These skills included navigating by stars, identifying animal tracks, and planting home gardens.
Competing to build the best shelter. In any kind of survival situation, certain needs must be met. These needs include water and food. Another important aspect of survival is finding or creating a shelter to protect against the sun and rain. In small groups, our campers could use a rope, a tarp, anything they could find in nature and their imaginations to create a survival shelter. One group even went as far as setting up a campfire!
Learning from Swamp Girl Adventures. Swamp Girl Adventures is a non-profit organization rooted in Florida and dedicated to educating people of all ages about Florida’s wildlife, habitat and conservation through educational programs and videos. During Swamp Girl Adventures’ visit to camp, our kids got a chance to get up close and personal with some of Florida’s furry and scaly residents. We learned about the venomous snakes of Florida, the differences between turtles and tortoises, how invasive species threaten Florida wildlife and much more!
Meeting Ms. Ellie of the University of Florida IFAS Extension. We were very fortunate to host Eleanor Foerste of the University of Florida IFAS Extension Osceola County Offices. Ms. Ellie taught our campers about life during the 1800’s, using Shingle Creek as a focal point. She also taught us about surviving during modern day emergencies, such as hurricanes. During these kinds of situations, it is common for electricity to become unavailable. Without electricity, we can use solar cookers to cook our food. Campers had a chance to make hot dog cookers out of Pringle cans and use a solar oven to cook chicken and cinnamon apples. Afterwards, they got to sample their tasty treats!
Having a wild time at Wild Florida. Our campers made a return trip to Wild Florida this year, where they got to experience the natural wonders of Osceola County. The trip started out with an airboat tour on Lake Cypress. While exploring this 100,000 acre wetland site, campers spotted alligators, eagles, herons and more! We were also treated to a special alligator presentation and learned all there is to know about Florida’s biggest reptile. To end the trip, we toured Wild Florida’s wildlife park. Here, campers met many different species of animals, both native and exotic. This included everything from Watusi cattle and zebras to sloths and foxes. Leo, a Red Ruffed Lemur, was a crowd favorite! We can’t wait to return during our last week of camp!
Getting soaked during water day. During every week of camp, we celebrate summer in true Florida fashion with a “Water Day”. The highlight of the day is canoeing on historic Shingle Creek. Shingle Creek was home to many of the first peoples of Osceola County, including Native Americans and pioneers. During canoeing, campers have a chance to see what old Florida was really like. Cypress trees line the creek and animals such as egrets, turtles, ospreys and more can be seen by sharp-eyed campers. The day continues with water games including a water balloon toss and wet t-shirt relay.
Sound like an adventure your kids would like to participate in? Register for one of the two remaining OCHS summer camp weeks to add a little more fun and adventure to their summer. Civil War Week and History’s Mysteries is left! Hurry up because back to school is just around the corner, you don’t want to miss out! Oh, and if you missed our recap of week one, you can find it here!