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Bay Parks Explorer - Day Camp

 July 25-29 Ages 6-8  

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Camp drop off is at 9am M-F and pick up is at 3:30pm M-F. Drop off and pick up is at Julius Kahn Playground, Presidio Park. Address: 3395-3699 W Pacific Ave., San Francisco, CA 94118
Day 1: Monday — Presidio Hike #1 - Ecology Trail

We begin our exciting week at Julius Kahn Park with fun games and introductions. Here we come to know our fellow 'Explorers' whom we will spend the week adventuring, learning, laughing, and exploring with!

Today's activity will be an exciting "quest", or educational treasure hunt in the Presidio! Our quest takes us along the Ecology trail, which winds through forests, open fields and finishes with a breathtaking view of the San Francisco Bay at Inspiration Point. Along the way, we'll stop to play in the woods, build forts and learn about the plants and animals we find. We'll work in groups and learn what the state rock is, how to identify some of the native and non-native plants, and what a California Poppy looks like.

Lessons: What is Ecology? Native vs. Non-Native plants

Day 2: Tuesday — Marine Mammal Center & Beach

Our first destination on our journey today is the Marine Mammal Center at the Marin Headlands. Today at the Center, we see that just like people, seals, sea lions, sea otters, and other creatures of the sea need a "hospital" when they're sick or injured. Here we have the opportunity to see how the Center helps these marine mammals in need regain strength and health so they can return to their homes in the ocean!

We also gain keen knowledge of commonly asked questions. What's the difference between a seal and a sea lion? Which one barks and which one grunts? Do they have to come up for air? By listening to their barks, touching some pelts, and watching their playful antics, we better understand these magnificent animals.

After lunch, we have some play time on Rodeo Beach. Whether this is a fun game running around or building sand castles and driftwood forts, we embrace this outdoor playground!

Lessons: Marine Mammals of the Pacific, Pt. Bonita Lighthouse History

Day 3: Wednesday — Presidio Park Hike #2 - Lobos Creek Treasure Hunt & Baker Beach

What is a habitat and what does it mean to restore it? Today, we come to understand these questions and their answers in the Presidio Park - a superb example of a restored natural habitat within a city. Be prepared for an exciting day adventuring through this area!

On our exploration of the Presidio, we wander and weave through the parks astounding trails for our second "quest" of the week. Our quest focuses on the Lobos Creek Area, which is a restored creek bed at the southwestern edge of the Presidio Park. As we seek natural treasures of the area, we catch a glimpse of how this area was hundreds of years ago. We see native plants and wildlife, learn what a watershed is, and come to understand why it is important to preserve. Hopefully we will see some red tailed hawks, turkey vultures, and lizards. Who knows, maybe even a coyote will cross our paths!

We also learn the essentials to any successful treasure hunt quest: map skills. These skills are not only valuable on today's quest, but we can continue to use them long after our week is over for future exploration!

Our quest's final destination is Baker Beach, where we'll spend the afternoon playing on the Beach and in Lobos Creek.

Lessons: Habitats & Habitat restoration

Day 4: Thursday — Cataract Creek Hike

Today we lace up our hiking shoes and set out for one of the Bay Area's most spectacular and adventurous waterfall hikes on Mt Tamalpais. Rising almost 3,000 feet above the sea, Mt. Tam offers us lush emerald forests illuminated by the vibrant red of the Redwoods and velvety green moss covered rocks. Douglas Fir trees, huckleberry, big leaf maples and a sea of green ferns are among the highlights of this luscious local outdoor paradise.

We'll begin our hike from Bolinas ridge through oak woodlands and beautiful meadows. We'll stop at a creek to search for critters like newts and crawfish. After exploring for a while, we'll have a tasty lunch at the picnic area nearby. After lunch, we'll embark on a short, but steep, downhill hike on a narrow single-track path. The path winds its way down the wooded hillside in the Mt. Tamalpais watershed, where we are ultimately rewarded for our hard work with views of some spectacular waterfalls and redwood trees. What an incredible day on our local mountain!

Lessons: Watersheds

Day 5: Friday — Botanical Garden Quest & Golden Gate Park Hike

After some fun games at Julius Kahn, we'll head out to explore the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. We'll divide into our trail groups and take part in a fun and educational treasure hunt through the garden. The SF Botanical Garden houses 8,000 different types of plants from all over the world! Our treasure hunt will lead us through the garden and we'll learn things like what Botany means, why bees are important to plants, names for different parts of plants, and some medicinal and edible plants. After lunch in the garden, we'll finish the afternoon with a short hike through a redwood grove to the Children's playground. We'll celebrate the end of the week with some fun time on the playground!

Lessons: What is Botany? Plants

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