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By Beth Monroe, Public Relations and Marketing Director, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Lilah holding a bess beetle (photo by Barb Sawyer)

Lilah holding a bess beetle (photo by Barb Sawyer)

One of the great joys of working at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is being able to experience it through the eyes of my children. This summer my daughter, Lilah, participated in Green Adventures Summer Camp for the very first time.

The week-long day camps are held each summer in June, July and August. Each week is geared toward a specific age group. Lilah was in the “Care of Magical Creatures” camp for rising 5th and 6th graders.

The description for “Care of Magical Creatures” stated: “campers will study enchanting garden dwellers including fly-traps, dragons, serpents and more.” The camp was a reminder that all creatures are magical in their own way — the dragon was a bearded dragon lizard and the serpent was a pet corn snake.

Campers took home their own worm farm

Campers took home their very own worm farm

The photo to the left shows Lilah holding a bess beetle (Passalidae) which makes a whispering sound by rubbing its legs together. I found it magical my child was studying nature and playing with insects and reptiles!

 

The group also made crafts, did field studies, played games and whipped up botanical snacks.

Every day Lilah brought home something cool and interesting: a worm farm, a piece of snakeskin, an owl pellet containing the tiny bones of a shrew. I thought it was way cool, but what did she think of the experience? Here’s what she wrote:

“The “Care of Magical Creatures” camp was super fun. One of the coolest things I learned about was jewelweed — it can help make poison ivy not itch. We had the sweetest and kindest teachers, Miss Amy and Ms. Barb. Thank you so much for making this camp wonderful!”

I second that thanks and add that I think our Children’s Educators and volunteers are magical creatures for the work they do in the Garden every day getting children excited about the natural world.

You can see the shimmering quality of a jewelweed leaf when placed in a jar of water. Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) has a reputation for helping alleviate the potential effects of poison. The catch is the jewelweed has to rubbed on the skin within 10 minutes of the exposure to poison ivy.

You can see the shimmering quality of a jewelweed leaf when placed in a jar of water. Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) has a reputation for helping alleviate the potential effects of poison ivy. The catch is the jewelweed has to rubbed on the skin within 10 minutes of the exposure to poison ivy.


 

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