Nearly 90 Oak Park area children joined us for Arboretum Adventures on Monday, October 12, our first ever BASE Camp on the Columbus Day holiday. The kids enjoyed a fabulous fall day at the Morton Arboretum, with each age group experiencing a special adventure.

  • The K-1st graders were Tree Detectives, hitting the trail to uncover the life cycle of trees through games, role play, and guided observation. They investigated seeds, saplings, adult trees, and fallen logs. Connections were made between fallen logs and soil production to bring the amazing cycle full circle. Following a picnic lunch by Meadow Lake, the kids had fun exploring the Children’s Garden.
  • The 2nd-3rd graders were Eco Explorers, and learned that plants and trees are an important part of the food web in all ecosystems. They hunted for producers, consumers and decomposers in three different ecosystems: woodland, aquatic and meadow. Through hands-on activities, students compared the unique characteristics of living things in each ecosystem. They then took their adventure into the lab, using microscopes to closely examine the adaptations of plants from the different ecosystems.
  • The 4th-5th graders went on a Geocaching Scavenger Hunt, using hand-held GPS units and learning the basics of geocaching to explore the ecosystems at the Arboretum. In the afternoon, they explored the Nature Connects LEGO exhibit, breaking into five groups, each with an iPad. The kids collaborated to complete Jumpy’s Tree Adventure, a location-based game to explore and engage the LEGO sculptures and the surrounding environment.

As one happy parent said, “Overall, my son had an awesome time. BASE Camp is brilliant for kids.” Thanks to our wonderful teachers, teaching assistants, and the Morton Arboretum staff and volunteers for a fantastic day of exploration, fun and learning for our BASE Campers.

Click on the photos below to see each grade level’s adventures:

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