Posts in Nature
C.S.I. – Cool Scene Investigators

This course if full and closed for registration.

Pee Wee • Ages 6 & 7

Skylar Harms

Students will explore and investigate the camp grounds throughout the week collecting clues and documenting their findings to discover the missing clue! The students will examine details in nature with their investigative lens, learn about the wildlife found at camp, and participate in many science and art projects. 

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Little Explorers

This class is full and closed for registration.

Pee Wee • Ages 6 & 7

Sue Fischbach

This class is an introduction to the Sun Foundation. Children will develop an appreciation for nature’s beauty and an understanding of their connection with the environment. Students will complete many fun art projects and conduct a few science experiments as well. 

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Sculpt and Draw Nature

Ages 7-18

Sharon Bladholm

Work from preserved specimens including fish, turtles, crayfish, frogs, shells, coral, fossils, and bones such as animal skulls. We will explore these forms on paper using a variety of drawing materials and watercolor studying the beautiful colors, textures and details they contain. Students will also have a chance to create some of these forms in self-hardening clay. 

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Art, NatureConcentric DesignMinor
Coyote Warriors

This class is full and closed to registration.

Ages 13-18 • ALL DAY EVERY DAY

Luke McNally, Luke Scalise

Ever wondered how to track animals? Catch fish? Start fires without matches? Workout like a ninja warrior? Explore Illinois with new eyes in this interdisciplinary new course. Start the week by building a fortified wilderness camp that will serve as our home base as we explore streams and rivers and forests with wilderness warriors Luke McNally and Luke Scalise. In addition students will learn to catch turtles, scout the forest, throw spears, learn self-defense, run faster, raft down the creek, play sports and learn lifelong skills in the field of natural resources including ecosystems, watersheds and wildlife. Inspired by the team comradery of Coyote Games, this course expands on old traditions at camp to broaden students’ exposure to the richness of the landscapes and ecosystems on which humans and animals depend.

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Dragonfly Tales

Ages 8-11

Emily Sandall, Jana Maxwell

Learn about the science of dragonflies and make artwork that celebrates these beautiful insects. We will learn about the diversity, flight, water, migration and transformation that makes dragonflies so amazing. We will visit aquatic habitats to observe dragonflies and learn about the wings that enable these insects to have the longest migration. Learn how to identify dragonflies and their close relatives, the damselflies, and see where they fit in the ecosystems around them.

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Drawing & Sculpting from Nature

This class is full and closed for registration.

Ages 8-12

Sharon Bladholm

We will explore the marshes, creeks and woods of the Sun Foundation to observe the larger natural world, taking sketch books with us to make “Nature Notes” We’ll collect leaves and flowers to use along with other specimens (such as preserved fish, frogs, turtles, bones, shells, and coral.) back in our barn to create more detailed art. We will draw and paint with watercolor, pencils and cray pas for two days, incorporating our notes form the natural world. On the third day we will begin working with clay, learning how to translate our ideas into #-dimensions. We will combine our own inspirations and observations of the natural world as well as use our imaginations to create drawings and paintings, and sculptures with clay. 

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Getting Familiar with Reptiles

This course is full and closed for registration.

Ages 10-18

Douglas Holmes

Explore the marsh, field and forests in search of reptiles. Learn and explore what makes a reptile a reptile. Must be willing to get dirty and wet. We will catch and release animals at the Blue Heron Farm. Class meets all day on Wednesday, you will not have a minor class that day! 

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Magnificent Monarchs & Friends

Ages 7- 10

Karen Logan, Denise Madigan

Students will learn about the life cycle of butterflies, what plants they need to survive, where they can be found, and how they are so very important as a pollinator insect in our ecosystem. They will collect, identify and release butterflies found at camp. If available, students will gather butterfly eggs and larva to watch develop into chrysalis and emerge into butterflies. They will have the opportunity to work with clay, paint and make their own butterfly books as well as perform science experiments. Most importantly our state insect is the monarch which is struggling to survive and students will learn how to protect them.

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Paint on the Path

This course is full and closed for registration.

Ages 8-11

Jody Tockes

Participants will spend much time exploring the beautiful grounds of the Sun Foundation and learn to record (in the form of a nature journal) what they see and hear in nature through drawing, painting and journaling. A traveling nature journal pack will be created from re-purposed items and will be used throughout the week. Each day a different conservationist, scientists, artist or explorer will be high-lighted. 

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Patterns and Rhythms in the Woods

Ages 7-10

Shelley Fritz

We will explore the woods, creek and marsh, using science to learn about repeating visual patterns in nature, and use them to inspire artistic creations. Because rhythms are auditory patterns, we will also explore rhythm by learning about and playing drums around the world. We will make our own percussion instruments, play rhythm games, and create rhythms inspired by nature. This is an exploration class, not a musical performance class.

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Treasure Hunt for the Past

This course is full and closed for registration.

Ages 10-18

Merrill Foster

Prowl creek beds with Dr. Foster searching for informative and/or attractive pebbles. Learn to interpret earth and life history from pebbles. Learn to recognize and illustrate various minerals, rocks and fossils. Class includes lecture. Only students interested in a serious introduction to geology should enroll in this course. 

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Wild Crafted Art Materials

This course is full and closed for registration.

Ages 11-18

Nicholas Neddo

Forage for your own art materials from the wild landscape and use them to express your creativity! In this class we will be making paint from stones, paintbrushes from sticks, fur and feathers, inks from plants and trees, pens and crayons from… you get the picture. We start from scratch and end with high quality art materials we can use for any of our artistic endeavors. 

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Art, NatureConcentric DesignMajor