Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Campers

Today was our first day of Sea World Small Wonders Camp. Avery's group is called the Killer Whales. There are 10-12 kids in each group and only three girls in the Killer Whale group: Avery, Cameron, and Sophie. The girls quickly sought each other out, and by the end of the week I'm predicting they will be great friends!
We started at the Penguin Encounters. We looked at the Penguins then had a question and answer session. We learned that the penguins must have fresh snow shoveled into the exhibit several times a day or the penguins can get a disease in their feet! Then we looked at the Puffins. We compared and contrasted the Penguins and Puffins. While they do look very similar a major difference is Puffins can fly.
Each day of camp the one child a day will get to dress up as a sea animal. Today Avery was chosen to dress up as the penguin. They discussed the adaptations of a penguin as they dressed her. Blubber is for warmth. The black and white coloration is camouflage for protection. Flippers and webbed feet are for swimming. Today's story time was also about a Penguin's adaptations.
We had a snack of animal crackers before going to feed the seals and sea lions. We saw some American otters on the way to the Seal and Sea Lion tank. Once there, an educator told us the differences between Seals and Sea Lions. Each camper received a small container of fish that we threw to the animals. The seals just sat still and hoped you threw the fish directly to them, the sea lions were pushing each other, barking loudly, in order to compete for the fish. We did a seal craft before getting to meet the sea lion trainer. We met the trainer and Dylan, a sea lion. He, the trainer...not Dylan, told us that it takes about 5 years for a sea lion to learn all the tricks and cues for the performance, The Cannery Row Caper.
The last activity of the day was to walk to Alligator Alley. Over at the alligator pond, we met Remi...a baby American Alligator. All the kids had the opportunity to pet Remi!!!

Avery and I stuck around for a while. We wandered through the Clydesdale Barn, strolled over to the Dolphin Cove, and saw Believe. Then, we went to McDonald's for a chicken nugget lunch. Avery slept all the way to Lakehills. I think it was a great first day!!!!