"Buffalo Elementary School’s Summer Exploration Camp has spent the last few weeks learning all about farming and agriculture. They have participated in a plethora of engaging and hands-on project-based learning activities. During the first week of camp, students learned all about different animals on the farm and even made their own butter. They built farm dioramas to show their knowledge and began to observe the eggs in their incubator.
The second week began with a special guest, Ms. Patsy Crisel, who came out to the school to speak about canning and its importance. Next, we had Ms. Taylor Strickland, from Austin’s, come and talk to students about the production of ice cream, and she even brought some tasty treats for students to try. Then students took a field trip to Spring Valley to explore the Star Lab Planetarium that Ms. Rhonda O’Neal had set up. That afternoon, Mr. Parker Ferguson, visited from Elmcrest Farms to teach students all about the benefits of farming and raising farm animals. He brought three different types of chickens for students to see and described to students their unique qualities. Lastly, students went on an adventure to Pottery Place to create plates for their Farm to Table event later on in the camp.
For the following week, students learned about different jellies, jams, and preserves, and used their investigative skills to determine different types of fruits and vegetables. They even got to have a taste test. Special guests, Ms. Julie Tritz and Mr. Evan Wilson, from the WVU Extension Office came out. Ms. Tritz taught students all about lights and shadows, through read alouds and a fun and engaging activity working with blocks, flashlights, and boards to create shadows. Mr. Wilson came and taught students about ice cream and where it comes from. Students then got to make their own homemade ice cream in a bag. On the last day of the week, students were visited by a local beekeeper, Ms. Jessica Dunkle. During her presentation students learned all about bees and were able to look inside a wooden beehive, touch wax from a hive, act as a bee, and see what beekeepers wear.
Buffalo Elementary Camp’s last week began with Mr. Jason Ekers from Rocky Knob Farm. He came to teach students all about farming and how he harvests food out on his farm. Students even had the opportunity to try fresh corn from his farm. Students also created their own bird feeders and baths. Students then met Ms. Rebekah Perry, a local Animal Rehabilitator, and her animals. She provided so much information about each animal. Students met a opossum, salamander, snake, turtle, and chicken. As the last week was coming to a conclusion students tried different homegrown foods. They got to see three of their chicks hatch that were in the incubator. The week came to an end with a memorable trip to Heritage Farm.
Buffalo Elementary School’s Summer Exploration Camp staff and students would like to say thank you to all of the wonderful individuals who took time out of their busy schedules to come and make our camp so special! There were so many amazing memories made! We look forward to next year’s camp and the new adventures we will go on together!"