Friday, March 27, 2015

Sugar Camp Days: Bendix Woods

This past weekend we headed out, despite the chilly temps, to Bendix Woods for their Sugar Camp Days! We have wanted to go for years, but either the weather was waaaaay too chilly, or the kids were just too young to really appreciate what was going on.

We first headed toward the Nature Center, and just outside was a tree climbing station. There, professionals had gear set up, and help the kids to use it to climb trees. D was all over it! L was a bit cautious about going up, he seems to have developed a fear of heights recently. They started to shimmy up the rope, and Adam yelled up that if they were able to ring the bell at the top, then they would not have to clean their room later that day. You should have seen how quickly D got up to the bell!!! L got almost all the way to the top, looked down, and froze. The guys running the station were great with him, very patient and reassuring. They also allowed him to come back down at his own speed.

Once inside the Nature Center, there was a maple syrup taste test, maple leaf headband craft, music, bake sale, and a fun spot to explore pioneer toys and local animals. We picked up some maple syrup, maple pecan cookies, and some maple cotton candy! If you have never tried maple cotton candy, YOU NEED TO!!!!!

Back outside and slightly up the trail was a candle making station. For a donation, the kids could dip candles over a fire, and walk in a circle to let them cool. This was the same nice lady we saw at the Blueberry Festival last year!

A further hike up the trail led us to some really neat ice sculptures, and of course they needed their picture with the Minecraft creeper. We also waited here to hop on a horse drawn wagon ride out to the sugar bush.

Once we arrived at the sugar bush, they had different stations set up here too. One showed how the Native Americans would collect and cook down the maple sap. Another showed how the pioneers would camp and collect the sap. L and D took turns trying out carrying it. Adam showed how to carry the pack of supplies they would take. The pack would weight around 90 lbs, they would take 2 of them, and they would strap them to their forehead to carry.

The kids were really excited to pass by the Blacksmith station on the way to get maple kettle corn and see the modern day collection and boil down of the sap.


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