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The theme for week seven, July 28 through Aug. 1, is "On the Farm," and a local farmer will give a presentation. The next week's theme is "Olympics" and campers will learn about major food groups and the importance of nutrition. Week nine has a theme of "Act 1, Theatre" and campers will get a chance to be their favorite vegetable, fruit or bug in a theater act that will show the life cycles and connections of all. Week 10's theme is "Flight Week," and the guest speaker will talk about bees. The last week will center on a theme of "At the Beach." Campers can forage for berries and edible plants during a field trip to Short Sands Beach. The date of the field trip will be Tuesday, Aug. 26, instead of Wednesday.
Coming to one of the group's designated plots, she plucked a bright orange, edible nasturtium blossom from its stem, and, after offering a taste to her young followers, popped it into her mouth with an audible, "Mmmmm."
Once the fresh produce was collected, the young gardeners followed their leaders to the Mary Blake Playhouse, but not before offering gratitude with a large, synchronous shout of, "Thank you, garden."
At the playhouse, campers worked with Blake; Hassan; Master Gardener and volunteer, Ilene Bailey; and youth leader, Amanda Browning to create salad wraps and a vegetarian Korean noodle dish called chap chae. The dishes included the fresh, raw produce planted, nurtured and harvested by the campers, as well as Adidas Neo Advantage Clean Sneaker - Womens other organic and all natural products. The activity was designed to help illustrate the theme of "Kids in the Kitchen."
The garden sessions are concluded with campers sharing their observations from the day and question and answer periods.
The summer camp program is in its third year, but this summer is the first time the Master Gardeners have been a component of the camps.
share information about various fruits, vegetables and herbs growing there.
Some of the campers, such as Evans and 9 year old Caleigh Peterson, have gardens at their homes, and they contributed their expertise to the group discussion.
went into this was your time," Blake told the children. "That's called sweat equity."
The Master Gardeners, primarily Blake and Barbara Hassan, have teamed up with the Sunset Empire Park Recreation District to offer a children's garden program as part of the Seaside Youth Center's week long summer camps, which will run through Aug. 29.
Each Wednesday morning, the recreation leaders, including Master Gardener volunteers, take campers who want to participate to the nearby community garden for lessons on the processes and methods involved in growing food, sustainable living and respecting the earth.
Sammy Evans, a 10 year old camper, said her favorite part is "planting all the stuff and eating them," particularly the strawberries and raspberries. Hannah Fagan, 8, agreed.
Each camp runs from Monday to Friday and has a different theme. The garden session for each week is tweaked to align with the designated camp theme.
Shouts of elation followed the campers' discovery of ripe products and they wasted no time harvesting their bounty under the leaders' careful instruction.
The children usually range from 6 to 10 years old, and their appreciation of the apparent miracles transpiring in the garden is no less tempered than Blake's. After all, many of them planted and tended to the fruits and vegetables maturing under the rain and sunshine.
"They're constantly being exposed to different aspects of gardening," Blake said, but leaders are "consistent each week to drive home those basic principles."
Campers can choose whether or not to include the experience in the garden while they are at camp.
Soon, baskets were brimming with radishes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, bok choy, a zucchinni, chives and a sprinkling of berries although most of the fruit ended up being eaten before it could make it back to the kitchen.
While talking about the positive and negative aspects of getting food from other countries, Peterson pointed out it often is not as fresh as local produce and Evans said methods for transporting the food can cause pollution, or leave a carbon footprint.
While they cooked, the instructors shared health and nutrition lessons with the campers, such as picking only as much food as needed, making colorful meals Adidas Neo Comfort Footbed Price
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Getting imports from other countries also can be good, though, because "you can eat a variety of food and get a sense of different cultures," Blake said.
Trips to the garden usually start with a review of rules on safety and respect and an introduction to each day's expectations. During last week's trip, Blake, with a jaunty hat resembling a bowl of fruit perched on her head, instructed the children to look and admire not only their plots but all the ones in the garden.
and eating a variety of food to get different important nutrients.
Brody Brenden, 7, has been attending the camps for a while. His favorite part of the garden program so far is "picking all the food," he said.
"My favorite part of gardening is when you get to taste the food," she said.
Besides the garden program, camp days involve art projects, games, pool activities and more. Lunch is provided. The cost for a week is $135 for children in district and $150 for children out of district. The daily drop in rate is $30 in district and $38 out of district. The district generally extends along the Seaside School District boundaries but excludes Gearhart and Cannon Beach.
A small group of students meandered through the Sunny Pool Community Garden last week, intently listening as their program leader, Mary Blake, stopped in front of various plots to release exclamations of excitement and Adidas Neo Advantage All Black
Campers learn where vegetables come from by getting their hands dirty
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