Summer Camp Registration: 2014

Middlebrook Summer:
“a camp for young earthlings”

 June 9 through August 8 2014
Class Times: mornings 9:00am to 12:30 (lunch included) / afternoons 12:30 to 3:30pm (extended care until 4:30pm) | Place: The Middlebrook Center, 76 Race Street San Jose, CA

Discover nature and learn about life sciences in the fun and engaging atmosphere of a sustainable urban farm and learning garden. We welcome all children ages 6 to 12 to join us in our garden to discover the natural world around us.

Our teaching garden will be full of activity next summer. We have experienced teaching docents and college student interns that will be working in our garden daily. They are involved in learning about edible and native plants, designing gardens and developing school curriculum. Our Nature Discovery Camp is a part of all this activity so students who attend can absorb the energy and the knowledge from this talented group of people. This program is all part of our commitment to design and install teaching gardens in over 9 public schools over the course of the next year. Proceeds from our summer program go directly to our non-profit organization, The California Native Garden Foundation.  This will help to make our beneficial program a reality in our public schools.

We will do all kinds of great stuff, like harvest food, prepare recipes, gaze at really small things, play with some wriggly creatures, talk about how cities of the future will work and generally have a lot of fun.

The Environmental Laboratory for Sustainability and Ecological Education (ELSEE) located at the Middlebrook Center in downtown San Jose has been teaching school children for years in our garden area. Our courses fulfill the California teaching requirements for life sciences. Come join us for an unforgettable summer experience!

Students from St Leo's 2nd grade class learning about the super foods growing in our food towers

Students from St Leo’s 2nd grade learn about the super foods growing in our towers

ELSEE Nature Discovery Camp- summer 2013.  Just a few of the many campers we had the pleasure of seeing this summer.

ELSEE Nature Discovery Camp- summer 2013. Just a few of the many campers we had the pleasure of seeing this summer.

Our Summer Class Schedule

Our classes meet every day Monday through Friday through Aug 8.

Classes are split in age levels and activities will vary according to the age group:

Young Explorers:       Grades  1-3 /ages 6 to 9

New World Citizens:  Grades  3-6 /ages 9 to 12

9am to 12pm, Garden mornings, growing food and more: Every morning we will start the day fresh in our garden by learning about a new set of food producing plants. Students will see how the plants grow, understand their scientific classification, learn the nutritional benefits, and help prepare them into a meal. Throughout the morning students will engage in other learning activities around the garden, such as collecting bugs, planting seeds, tending the fish, feeding the chickens, harvesting snails, drawing, journal writing, story-telling, and much more.

12 to 12:30pm, Garden lunch: We take a break from our busy morning to enjoy all the delicious things we harvested and prepared in the morning. Students may enjoy this lunch from our garden or bring their own sack lunch.  Lunch is included for all garden mornings campers or may be purchased separately for $10 each day for afternoon only campers or parents. Children may also bring their own sack lunches.

12:30 to 3:30pm, Summer afternoon activities: The afternoon is our project time. Each week will be themed with new garden projects and activities that will guide children through the garden and teach them about all of the complex aspects of the world around us.  Through the summer we will take care of chickens& fish, build aquaponics systems and much more. In addition we will have lots of fun afternoon activities, games, and basically having a great summer in the garden.

Pick the weeks and times you like.  if you would rather to choose specific days we have Daily Drop In Registration available based on space availability

 (extended care available until 4:30 with special arrangements)

 Weekly Themes:  In both our morning and afternoon classes we will incorporate a new topic of discovery each week.

  • Our first week we will be looking at life on a planetary scale, learning about the water cycle and climate, the earth’s history, and what Life is.
  • Week Two we will look at ecosystems, how they function and how organisms interact.
  • Week Three we will look at individual organisms, what their needs are and how all of their parts interact.
  • Week Four will be focused on the homes and habitats of plants and animals including humans
  • Week Five we will be looking at the microscopic world of microorganisms, cells, molecules, etc.
  • Weeks Six through Nine we will zoom back out week by week to organisms, homes & habitats, ecosystems and finally back to the planetary scale once again.

As we examine each scale of life, we will see it from the perspective of the previous week. So for example, during week 3 we would be looking at organisms as parts that compose an ecosystem, and when we revisit organisms again in week 5, we can focus more on how organisms are composed of cells and structures.

New material is covered every day, so your child is welcome to spend one day, the whole summer or as much time you would like.

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