On the bench next to the ropes course, three Bogrim boys in the teva tarbut (nature activity) put on their olive-colored waders. Picking up Nature Nick’s Bingo sheets, they started looking at the types of plant and animal life they should expect in the Bog, a swampy area just feet away from the course. They would be looking for everything from black spruce, leather leaf, tamarack trees, moss, and aquatic life. As they waded out into the marshy green field, everything looked the same at a glance. The area was surrounded by tall trees, but inside the Bog, the campers learned, there is much more than meets the eye. They found pitcher plants—a plant that “eats” insects and grows a flower for each bug it captures. They spotted bog rosemary, a plant that’s been tough for other campers to find this summer. And finally, for the first time this summer, they found a small frog—the first aquatic life Nature Nick has discovered all summer with campers in the Bog.
As they searched from plant to plant and swampy area to swampy area, Bogrim campers Yoni K., Abe B., and Max G., learned about the species they were looking at on their Bingo sheets and in the actual Bog. Nothing biodegrades in the Bog, related to how acidic the area is, and our campers learned how to search for those things that are normally overlooked or disappear. By the end of their perek in the Bog, Bogrim had found every single item on the Bingo sheet—even some litter, a water bottle on the side of the ropes course which they picked up and disposed of. Learning about the environment in which we live in camp was fun and illuminated by seeing the Bog!