Save that Water!

Photo by Michael Edwards

Photo by Michael Edwards

This is the second summer that Sam has attended day camp at SPREE (South Platte River Environmental Education). I’ve been consistently impressed with their program, which involves lots of time playing in the river, as well as lessons in conservation, natural history, and environmental science. The campers are constantly learning, but without the constraints of traditional classroom structures and norms.

Today Sam came home with a ‘nature invention’ – a bug catcher made of two plastic bottles, connected by a cardboard tube, so that he could observe the bugs in action, but also give them a place to escape for shade and privacy. I love his invention because it’s an echo of his own personality. He loves action, but also needs quiet time for recharging his batteries.

Each day he’ll share some new bits of information about water conservation or animal behavior. And this afternoon, when his sister was repeatedly dumping her water bottle out on the sidewalk, he had no problem telling her that she was wasting water, and exactly why she should be more conservation minded (have I already mentioned how much I love eight-year-olds?). We also now know exactly how many gallons of water we go through with each load of laundry and running of the dishwasher, so all of us are working to make sure we run full loads.

The kids are all about the idea of wearing their clothes multiple times before washing them, but we’re treading a fine line between being environmentalists and being just plain stinky. At any rate, I appreciate Sam for reminding us to be more conscious of the resources and energy that we’re using each day, and I appreciate SPREE for helping him learn in a way that’s engaging and meaningful.

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