Senior Forester Academy
Children ages 11-12 welcome!
SFA is the second step of our forestry education curriculum. SFA is also a week-long, overnight, all-healthy-meals included program. Campers build on what they learned as Junior Foresters and take the next step into discovering the forest-while having fun! Guided by experts, Seniors will identify song birds, trap ground beetles and learn what significance they have on forest health. Finally, Seniors compete in an advanced Logger Olympics to test the skills they have learned all week!
SFA is the second step of our forestry education curriculum. SFA is also a week-long, overnight, all-healthy-meals included program. Campers build on what they learned as Junior Foresters and take a day long field trip down to West Clear Creek to learn about riparian ecology. The focal point of the curriculum for Seniors is surveying for song birds in different forest types and then creating a presentation at the end of the week with their data and hypothesis. After the presentations, the campers will participate in an advanced Logger Olympics that will put the skills they learned during the week to the test!
Campers are guided by experts in the identification of local song birds by
sight and sound. They also employ the forest skills they mastered as Juniors
to create hypotheses that can be tested throughout the week. At the
end of the week, campers make posters with their data and hypotheses
which they then present to the entire group.
Senior campers also participate in a learning service project restoring
ponderosa pine stands that are infested with noxious weeds. Campers
learn how to identify both native and exotic plants and learn how
their presence, or absence, impacts our local ecosystem. After the
exotic plants heave been identified and removed, campers will then
replace them with locally gown native grasses, trees, and wildflowers. The goal of this project is for campers to
learn new environmental stewardship skills that they can teach to others and apply in their own communities and
backyards. A favorite event of the week for campers and staff alike is our annual trip to West Clear Creek. Here
campers hike through—-and learn about the ecology of—-a high-desert arroyo, investigate stream ecology, and cool
off in one of Arizona’s rare perennial streams.
The finale of the Senior week is an advanced Logger Olympics. The events are similar to those experienced as
Juniors, but with added events such as prey stalking.
After the Olympics have concluded and tree-cookie “medals” are awarded, a small graduation ceremony and pizza
party is enjoyed by all campers. This is a wonderful way to end the session because we make sure everyone is recognized
and awarded for all of their accomplishments and personal contributions during the week!