Monday, June 8, 2015

Climate Camp: Stinging nettle stew, anyone?

Our June day camp was held at White Pine Wilderness Academy. Unlike our most recent day camps (February and May), there was no problematic weather to endure. We divided the day into two main parts, a walkabout to gather edible plants for our lunch and an afternoon celebration we called Resilient Village: a collection of stations displaying all types of sustainability practices.

Let's start off this report with the day's morning walkabout, led by White Pine's Matt Shull.

Matt, center, shows off an edible plant.
What's edible and what isn't was a constant conversation.
Kids found a log and just wanted to hang out and watch the river.
Collecting stinging nettles for our lunch.
Carter found a debris hut to check out.
Kids found an island to occupy and make their own.
The temptation to get wet was overwhelming.
Climate Campers form a strong community.
Alexis, left, one of our original interns and camp counselors, enjoys a mulberry snack.
Campers munched on mulberries throughout the walkabout.
Maddie, Alexis and Ocean considered the possibilities of mulberries for face paint.
Hanna, left, and Skye, used mud as face paint.
Back at White Pine, we enjoyed our lunch repast of stinging nettle stew, with ingredients mostly gathered during our walkabout. 

Here's Matt Shull's recipe:

Four handfuls of stinging nettle
Two handfuls of garlic mustard
One handful of garlic mustard seed pods
One handful common blue violet
One handful dandelion greens

Rinse and place in stew pot; add salt, pepper and olive oil to taste. Rapid boil for 2 minutes; simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Once lunch was completed we set about our Resilient Village sustainability stations:

Chris Cruzan, Master Gardener, talks hydroponics with the campers.
Aidan was fascinated by Cruzan's hydroponic set up.
Amos, left, had a prayer tie table next to the sweat lodge, calling attention to the environmental threats to indigenous people.
Campers built a willow dome that will take root and grow and create a meeting space and climbing structure.
Holly Jones from Indiana Urban Forest Council did a presentation on the need for urban trees.
Jerry Zimmerman talked about the importance of bees.
Molly led an art table, focusing on creating origami images of endangered creatures.
There was always the playground to provide a break from the stations.

It's hard for me to compare our day camps. They are each unique; each a joy. But this one, with its looser structure, left a lot of breathing room for our intergenerational group to get to know each other and just have fun.

Next camp is our week long camp at Peace Learning Center, July 20-24. Interested? You'll need to register.

Our next day camp will be held at Paramount School of Excellence. Hope you can join us!