Stillwater News Press

July 20, 2013

Plants, bugs explored at annual Oklahoma State University garden camp

By Chase Rheam
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Children will get a chance to get their hands dirty and expand their knowledge through the Oklahoma State University’s Botanic Garden Plants and Bugs Day Camp starting Monday.

The week-long camp, held from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day for ages 9 to 12, is part of the Botanic Garden Youth Programs. Junior Master Gardeners State Coordinator Shelley Mitchell will partner with the OSU Entomology Department to instruct the students.

“They spend a week out at the Botanic Garden and we do garden games, crafts and we a lot of stuff that has to do with gardening,” she said. “This year, for the first time, instead of just spending one day at the insect zoo, they’re going to spend every afternoon there.”

The insect zoo is located immediately north of the Botanic Garden.

Among the gardening projects the students will take on are making their own portable garden box in which to plant food, making concrete stepping stones, weaving with items found in the garden and learning the hobby of geocaching, in which a box of items or a single item are hidden and camouflaged in an area. GPS coordinates are given out and hunters look for the items using the information. Once found, the hunter signs a piece of paper found with the item(s) and logs their discovery online, too.

“To sum it up, it’s basically using multi-million dollar satellites to find hidden Tupperware in the woods,” Mitchell said. “It’s basically hide and seek.”

She said the camp serves many purposes.

“First of all, they get away from the electronics and they get outside and move around like kids are supposed to,” she said.

Students will also learn where their food comes from and how to do things in gardening that benefit nature, not hurt it. Mitchell said it’s a fun time.

“This is my third year to do it and half the kids, it’s their third time to come,” she said.

Their are two additional spaces left for the camp. The cost is $125 per student for the week.

For more information or to register for the camp, contact Mitchell at 405-326-3359.