Earlier this July, Headwaters teamed up with Cowan Community Center to host Headwaters on the Creek Camp! Throughout the whole week we enjoyed the outdoors and spent time learning about watershed stewardship, local ecosystems, and how to care for our streams, rivers, and environment. Our goal for the week was for campers to walk away with new excitement and appreciation for nature.
Learned about the science of river ecosystems through watershed lessons with Ed Wilcox, a Kentucky State University research associate, and macroinvertebrate education with Tom Verheiller, a Biology Professor at Big Sandy Community College. Macroinvertebrates are organisms without backbones that are visible to the naked eye, like snails, bugs, and crawdads. During their hands-on presentation, kids got up close with some of the small fish that live in our streams and saw a whole bunch of different macroinvertebrates while learning to use a microscope.
Visited the Letcher County Extension Office and learned about birds of prey through a show-and-tell presentation by Mitch Whitaker, Master Falconer.
Met with the naturalist instructors from Pine Mountain Settlement School who taught campers about Kentucky’s native reptiles.
Went on a field trip to Kingdom Come State Park, where campers were led on a nature walk by park staff, learned about black bears, and went paddle boating on the pond at Kingdom Come.
Visited Carr Fork Dam, where the Army Corps of Engineers shared water safety lessons, we went hiking in the area, and the kids got some downtime to play on the playground.
Learned about Letcher County’s geology and our rivers from an enviroscape lesson and model presentation of our local mountain watershed by the Department of Transportation.
Learned about forest safety from the Kentucky Division of Forestry and viewed a screening of the documentary “Our Kentucky River,” directed by Headwaters Board member Herb E. Smith, at Appalshop.
Ended the week-long camp with a field trip to one of Central Appalachia’s only old growth forests, Lilley Cornett Woods. The kids learned about biodiversity and water quality in local streams by looking for aquatic bugs. EKU professor, Alice Jone performed her one-woman show entitled “Two Sisters” about Lucy Brown, the woman responsible for documenting the forests of southeastern Kentucky.
And played lots of nature games!
We are glad the week of camp finished with our near 50 campers learning and having fun in our local outdoors. Our Headwaters team loved leading lessons and helping kids create fun memories outside and with one another. We hope some of the lessons learned will have a lasting impact and lead to life-long stewardship of land and water. We appreciate all the campers who joined us along with all the parents and staff at Cowan Community Center who made the camp possible. Thank you to Cowan Community Center, Summer Feeding Program staff, and all the incredible instructors who contributed their time and knowledge to Headwaters on the Creek Camp.
We are already looking forward to next year!