Guess what I did at summer camp today?!!

June 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm Leave a comment

I know I start off the majority of my blog posts with something along the lines of, “Guess how cool my job is?!” Well, it’s nearly impossible to avoid that statement when you work at Fernbank Museum. So here we go again…

I thought I said goodbye to sweet summer fun when I applied to be an intern during my last summer as a student. I was unbelievably wrong. Last week, I joined 15 rising second and third graders for the first day of summer camp. We had a blast. I went on Herpetology Day, which means I learned about reptiles and amphibians.

Summer camp starts an hour before the Museum opens, so we had the whole place to ourselves. If you’ve never been in the Museum without any other guests, you are missing out. We started the morning with a private tour of the gecko exhibition, and because we were there early, it was breakfast time. Colin, the gecko guy, was feeding the geckos live crickets. We got to peek our heads inside the habitats as the geckos ate. It was totally cool.

After breakfast with the geckos, we went outside to play. We played a game similar to sharks and minnows, but rather than being minnows, we were baby sea turtles—and we weren’t in a swimming pool. Did you know that there are seven different types of sea turtles in the world and five of them live off Georgia’s coast? Pretty cool, huh?

In our game, we were newly hatched sea turtles, and we had to cautiously swim past our predators: the crab, pelicans, and sharks. We all had a chance to play the role of predator and prey, and in the end, we understood why sea turtles lay so many eggs. (They typically lay between 80 and 120 eggs at one time.) With lurking predators, it is impossible for every baby sea turtle to stay alive, and when there are more sea turtles to swim past the predators, they have a better chance of surviving.

At summer camp, we didn’t just pretend to be animals—we got to interact with live animals too! Mrs. Becky brought a salamander, a leopard gecko, and a snake for us to see. She went around the room and let us touch the gecko and snake as she answered our questions.

One camper assured us that the snake was safe to touch as he proudly stated, “Red on black is a friend of Jack, and red on yellow is a venomous fellow.” (The snake’s black rings were touching its red body, which was a good indicator that it was a non venomous snake.)

 After our exciting animal encounters, it was craft time. This was probably my favorite time of the day because I got to be creative and take a picture home. Mrs. Becky gave everyone a piece of snake skin, a crayon, and a sheet of paper. We covered the snake skin with our paper, and rubbed our crayons over it resulting in a colorful copy of the snake skin.

We had quite an adventurous day, and to wrap it up, we had journaling time. We sat in a big circle and talked about everything we had done and learned, so we could write it down in our journals. Everyone was eager to share their favorite part of the exciting day.

Yes, my job has many wonderful perks.

-Andrea Lowery, Marketing & Communications Intern

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Archaeology at work Exploring our Collection

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About

At Fernbank Museum, there’s much more than dinosaurs and giant-screen films. Even with our website, e-newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter updates, there’s still a lot we’d like to share with you. This blog is an opportunity for the people that keep Fernbank running and constantly expanding, to share stories from their point of view. We hope you’ll enjoy these first-hand, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what goes into keeping a world-class natural history museum running. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these stories, to hear your personal experiences and hear any suggestions for topics. Happy reading!

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