On May 7th and 8th the fourth grade students from Wekiva Elementary School had an opportunity to become ambassadors for bears.  The students were welcomed to bear camp by ranger Jane Cummings, divided into five groups and sent off to begin their day of discovery.  The camp was set up to host five learning stations for the students.  At the Habitat Hunt, students were led on a guided walk to look for clues of other animals and learn about the plants that make up an ideal bear habitat.  It’s a Bear’s Life, focused on the life cycle of bears through a board game, and many artifacts that demonstrated the size and difficulties bears face during the stages of their life from cub to adult.  Good Grub was centered on a healthy diet for bears.  Students learned about the dietary needs of bears, what they really eat, and had an opportunity to pull apart rotten logs and scavenge for berries, plants and insects that make up a bear’s diet.  Students also visited the Urban Interface area where they learned about the challenges of living close to bears, what they can do every day to protect our bears, and had an opportunity to design an ideal urban interface through the use of sand tables and mini props.  To ensure that these students had an opportunity to create a meaningful memory to leave behind, the final station was to paint a rock for our Wekiva Rocks rock garden.  At the end of the day, they hiked to the garden to place their rocks.  Many CSO volunteers helped make this day a success.

This was an incredible program that we will continue to provide for our local schools!