2nd Saturday Kids

Today was the first session of a new program series for kids ages 8-12:  2nd Saturday Kids.  Once a month we will get together and do some sort of outdoor activity. We might catch bugs, explore the stream, go badger “hunting”…whatever the day seems right for.

Today we learned how to make acorn cap whistles and built debris shelters.

There were five kids in all.  First we had Hannah and Wade – siblings who were visiting their grandparents.  Then there was Ethan, whose grandfather brought him, and finally Joseph and Jonathan.  We decided to break into teams to build our shelters.

Hannah and Wade chose a low fork in a tree for the start of their shelter.

The other three boys started off together, creating a teepee-style structure where a tree had fallen.

But Jonathan decided to go solo, first selecting a hollowed log for his site.  When I had him demonstrate how he’d actually use this shelter, though, he decided it was a bit too creepy to crawl into…

so his final shelter took advantage of a large fallen tree.

We spent the better part of an hour building our shelters.  Garlic mustard proved to be the perfect “siding” – plenty of it around and it pulled up easily.

An added bonus:  it helped camouflage the structures!

And here are the final products.  First, Jonathan in his “lean-to”:

Joseph and Ethan in their “teepee”:

And Hannah and Wade in their “hobbit hole”:

These shelters are located out along the main trail shortly after you cross the bridge, to the south side of the trail (on your right).  Feel free to check them out – but watch out for the poison ivy!


About Dahlem Center

The Dahlem Center is a non-profit nature center/environmental education center located on almost 300 acres just south of the city of Jackson, Michigan. The Center is one arm of the Dahlem Conservancy, which includes land conservancy and stewardship in its mission.
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5 Responses to 2nd Saturday Kids

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Nice! I know the kids would love to do that with you, too. I think the boys do something like that in scouts. On another note, would love to see how you make the whistles! No acorn caps here that I’ve been able to find 😦

  2. jo meyer says:

    hi, Looking for yellow flowered road side weed, brought me here to your blog. I have to stop and ask where the name Dahlem comes from, I haven’t explored enough to see what state and location, I will tell you why I am familiar with name Dahlem. It’s a place in Germany near Dahlenburg. Bleckede area of Luneburg stadt in Grand old Lower saxony or Niedersachen.

    • dahlemcenter says:

      Hi, JO – Dahlem is the family name of one of our generous patrons. Our education center (The John and Mary Dahlem Environmental Education Center) is named in memory of her parents. It’s a very long name, though, so it often just gets shortened to The Dahlem Center.

      Did you find your flower? Try goatsbeard.

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