Christian's Story

Camping Under The Stars
On The first day of Earth Camp we drove about 4 miles from the desert museum out into the desert. later that evening we broke up into groups to go saguaro fruit harvesting. We were waliking in a giant forest of cacti and got stabbed multiple times, but it was still fun. None of the fruit was ripe though. After we came back to camp to eat dinner we walked down the road to call owls. On the way back to camp we looked for scorpions with a black light. We found one giant hairy scorpion. When we got back there were four telescopes out. We only got to look at Saturn before the sky became full of clouds. Finally at 11:30pm we rolled out the sleeping bags and went to sleep. The sun came out at 5:00am and the heat forced us all to wake up. We made rope out of leaves and then drove back to the desert museum.

One of the most influential experiences I had during Earth Camp was visiting Brad Lancaster's home. Because of this experience, I have decided to make a change in my life to better live in harmony with the natural world. I will put native plants in my backyard to create a welcoming environment for geckos and other small desert animals.

Brad Lancaster lives in a house that is all set up for water and energy conservation. He lives in Tucson, AZ and has no air conditioning. Instead he uses the shade of trees to cool his home. Outside he has outdoor showers that he uses to water his plants. He composts, saves rain water, uses solar energy, re-uses water, and rides a bike instead of a car. This guy is all about helping the environment. He also wrote a book about harvesting rainwater. Click here to visit the website.

The Water Treatment Plant
Before we went to Brad Lancaster's home we went to two different water treatment plants. The first one we went to was the one at the desert museum. It was just three big ponds filled with water and plants to filter the water. It was really neat. Then we went into the filter building for the animals that live in water at the museum. It was just like a giant pool filter.
Next we drove to the Tucson water treatment plant. The smell was nasty. There were a few giant smelly pools to filter the water and some "hot tubs" to fill the water with air. The smell got worse and worse and we were all glad when we got to leave and get fresh air.

White Water Rafting... Not Really
Yes, I admit that I did think that we were really going water rafting until I found out that we were actually rafting on a big patch of grass... Or more like sitting in a raft. But it was still fun to think we were rafting. We got to sit in the raft and watch some awesome videos of rafts tipping over.
After our "white water rafting" we played water games and got soaked. We got to fill buckets with water and throw wet sponges at each other. After the water games we got to eat like kings. There were fancy table cloths and a cool waiter guy. The food was great!

Mt. Lemon Campout
On Monday of the second week of Earth Camp we all drove up to Mt. Lemon for a camp out. We were each could bring one parent to ride the ski lift and listen to a story teller till 9:00pm. The ski lift was really amazing. It took us about 15 minutes to get to the top, but the time went by so quickly that it felt like nothing. Up at the top I could see for miles. A lot of the trees were burnt from a forest fire.
Later that night a native american story teller told us a few stories. He was a great story teller and was very entertaining. After the parents went home we all turned in. All the guys in my tent stayed up till midnight playing cards and talking. We slept in until about 7:00am and were the last ones up.

Mission To Mars
At Earth Camp we got to do this cool project where we got to design our own Mars mission. My group's mission objectives were:
1. To see if the ice on Mars is drinkable.
2. To see if fish can survive in the melted ice.
3. To find cures for cancer and other diseases.
All together our mission costed $395 million. Our mission was reviewed and we were told that if our mission were real it would launch in about 20 - 30 years. Even though our mission didn't do so well the project was still fun.