Camping: A Complete Unit Study
- Friday, April 08, 2011
"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" (Psalms 8:3-4)
The sun is just setting on the horizon. It's so bright that it's hard to look at—a brilliant ball of fire. Soon, beautiful streaks of oranges, reds, and pinks stretch across the sky as the sun sinks lower, eventually fading into the dark colors of night.
Then, as if appearing from out of nowhere, the moon is there. Its comforting light shines across the land, making the trees a puzzle of shapes around you. As you sit comfortably on a fallen log, crickets and frogs begin to sing. Their melodious voices sing words only God can understand. Fireflies weave in and out of the grass.
Ouch! A mosquito bit you!
Okay, swat the mosquito and sit back again.
One by one, thousands of stars appear to twinkle and shine in the blackened sky. Your mom points out the Big Dipper, and it only takes a few more minutes for you to find the Little Dipper.
The fire is getting low, so your dad stirs it up a bit and adds another couple of logs. Sparks jump out and dance upward, and the crackling of the flames makes you burrow deeper inside your blanket. Your mom brings out a brown paper bag, and you sit up eagerly. You know what is inside. Marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. You sigh peacefully.
Ahhh . . . camping.
Does this scene bring back memories of one of your own camping trips or make you anticipate discovering such trips for the first time? Summer is a perfect opportunity to go camping with your family. Whether you camp with a backpack and a bedroll, a tent, or a camper, it's all the same—enjoying God's creation with those you love.
But how can you possibly enjoy sleeping underneath the stars, cooking over a campfire, or hiking along hidden paths without the opportunity to learn while you're at it? Let's get started!
Math & Science
• Make a notebook and categorize the different varieties of trees you see. Tape a leaf to the page and see if you can find insects or birds that are using your tree for food or a home.
• Have you ever wondered how tall a tree is? There are several ways you can calculate the height of just about any tall object. One of the easiest ways is the Shadow Method. For this approach, you'll need to know your exact height when you're wearing shoes. Then, find the tree you want to measure. This method works best if the tree is on a level, sunny area.
First, measure your own shadow and write down its length. This will give you the opportunity to calculate the ratio between the height of an object and the shadow it's casting. Next, measure the shadow of the tree from its base all the way to the tip of the shadow. Now all you need to do is take the length of the tree's shadow, multiply it by your own height, and divide that number by the length of your shadow. The result should be the height of the tree! To learn about some other ways to measure trees, visit www.wikihow.com/Measure-the-Height-of-a-Tree
• If you are near a pond, lake, or river, take a sample of its water and bring it home to examine under a microscope.
• Bring along a compass and learn how to use it correctly.
There are so many activities you can do while camping. Besides your favorites, try some of these ideas:
• Make a treasure hunt. Look for pine needles, different shaped leaves, rocks, sticks, pine cones etc.
• Go for a hike with a book on birds and see how many you can identify.
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