Hawaii at Kump Education Center?

Because Hawaii was the theme for this week at YMCA Day Camp, our Summer Science lessons focused on volcanos, flowers, and island weather. When two Country Roads busses brought 15 day campers to the portico at Kump Education Center, we had our Hawaiian shirts and were prepared to help campers write a little booklet and make a lei to remind them of their visit.

This was the 9-12 year-old age group, and high school math teacher K.J. Shaffer knew they were old enough to take notes and learn a little real science. He had prepared a power point with many impressive photos of volcanos erupting and diagrams showing three types of volcanos. Cone volcanoes have a neat center vertical cone coming up from deep in the earth to erupt at the mountain top. Shield volcanoes have molten lava in a horizontal shield-shaped pattern that pushes up and erupts in various places along the sides of the mountain. Composite volcanos are most dangerous because they have both eruption patterns and people cannot predict where the hot lava may appear next.

AmeriCorps mentor Jeanne Johnson shared information on recent reports of lava bombs that have hit tour boats near the Kilauea Volcano in Kapoho Bay off the biggest Hawaiian island. She also used maps to help campers visualize the Ring of Fire around the Pacific Plate where the earth still moves causing volcanic activity around the Pacific Rim. Earthquakes and Tsunamis are also more likely to occur where the surface of the tectonic plates rub up against each other. Our West Virginia volcanoes happened 800 million ago when earth’s oldest tectonic plates were in play, but now our old mountains do not move as much as the islands in the Pacific. Jeanne read a little of The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck to help her students imagine life on an island where the earth may move and cause cataclysmic circumstances for helpless children.

Jodi Calkins, another AmeriCorps mentor, helped YMCA Day Campers make their own leis by stringing beads and paper flowers together creating a colorful necklace. Jodi pointed out that 89% of the native flowers in Hawaii were not found anywhere else. She had beautiful photographs of the Bird of Paradise and many exotic plants from the islands. She told the students that the Hawaiian people have traditionally made leis to welcome visitors and to say farewell as boats go out to sea. At the end of the afternoon, each student had a paper lei they had made and a machine-made lei to take home along with their construction paper booklet full of facts about volcanos. Soon summer will be over and school will start again Aug, 6.

We hope that Kump Education Center will be open all year for the 2019-2020 school year.

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