Building Active Stewardship in New Orleans (BASIN) is a program of the Urban Conservancy, a New Orleans-based nonprofit. BASIN is designed for school-aged New Orleanians to introduce them to the vocabulary, concepts, and skills required to fully understand what it means to live with the water that surrounds (and often floods) our city, and develop into effective ambassadors of “living with water” principles. Campers also learn how to be good stewards of their bodies, community, and their environment. BASIN approaches environmental literacy with a three pronged approach: experiential hands-on learning activities, guest speakers, and field experiences.
As part of this approach, Dr. Aimée Thomas and student researchers from Loyola University led the camp in a lesson about observing critters and plants right outside their camp classroom. The campers, counselors, and Wolf Pack caught dragonflies, wasp cocoons, spiders, and many other specimens to observe together. They were very excited about their collection and about learning to document field work by drawing pictures and writing passages about what they found in their journals. A few of them also looked for and spotted similar critters during their canoeing adventure later in the week!