"Planting the plants in the grassland makes me feel like I am helping."
"We have to save our water because there is not enough good water for everyone."
"Everything I have learned makes me want to learn more."
"Love the world as your own."
"Live right, then everything will be better."
The first day was spent removing the "monsters" from behind every tree and under every leaf.
Planting native grassland plants on Tuesday was a very positive experience - the youth became more comfortable, handling earthworms and beetle grubs, proudly calling out to others to "come and see!!"
On Wednesday, we sampled the insects living in the grassland. The youth started the sweep, quickly collecting many insects, running them back to the station to take them out of the net, placing them in jars for identification, and running back into the field to collect more. There were smiles and laughter, running and jumping - a playful and relaxed scene - all in the midst of jumping spiders, grasshoppers, praying mantis, beetles, butterflies, moths, bees and more.
However, the best student assessment of our program came at the end of the day as one of the boys was stepping onto the bus. He took a step back, peeked his head out of the door, and asked, "are you going to have this camp next year? I want to come."