It’s not often that a child gets to eat his or her school lesson, but that was the case for several area
The Ohio Farmer’s Union held one of its Youth Day Camps Tuesday at the Otsego Park shelter.
While attendance was significantly down from previous years, the students who participated in the free
event seemed to have a good time.
The theme of this year’s program was "Planet Stewardship" and one of the lessons involved
showing the students how contaminants can leach through the layers of the earth into the water table.
To illustrate the point, the children made and later ate ice cream parfaits.
Various layers of the parfait included clear soda representing the water table; chocolate chips (gravel);
ice cream (confining layer); Oreo cookies (soil); and sprinkles (plants and flowers). A drop of red food
coloring was then added to the top which then found its way through all the layers to illustrate how a
contaminant can leach through the various layers.
"We’re teaching the students to be good stewards of the land," said Maria Miller, education
director for OFU.
In addition to the classroom projects, the students were also taken on a tour of the wind turbines, where
they learned about renewable energy. They also learned about the landfill and the importance of
recycling to minimize waste while they were in that area.
Tuesday’s participants also made bracelets with different color beads representing various aspects of the
The students also had the opportunity to decorate their own clay pot and start a plant in the pot.
One lesson taught the students about the water cycle.
One lesson challenged the students to think of any food they might eat that cannot be traced back to the
soil and the land. Various meats were explained to be traced back to the grains and other foods the
animals eat; vegetables and fruits grow on trees or plants from the soil, etc.
"Everything we eat can be traced to the soil," the students were told.
The lesson of the day was truly the importance of ways to reduce, reuse and recycle and to care for the
Miller indicated the youth camps, held each year in the four quadrants of the state, are a free community
service project of the organization.