Discovery Garden, a weeklong children’s day camp at Erskine this summer, took “Woodlands” as its theme this year; brought a beloved retired professor, Dr. Mary Lang Edwards, back to campus to teach “box turtle biology”; and accomplished the planting of a woodland garden near the Pressly Garden’s outdoor classroom. All that, plus bracelets and birdhouses!
Launched in 2009 by Professor Emerita of Biology Dr. Jan Haldeman and Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Naoma Nelsen, the camp, which is also known as “DIG,” has welcomed sons and daughters of Erskine faculty and staff members as well as children from the larger community for 11 summers now. The 2019 session was held July 8-12.
“Naoma originated the idea of a garden camp, and gave it the name ‘Discovery Garden,’” Haldeman says.
This year’s co-directors, in addition to Haldeman and Nelsen, were artist and teacher Barbara Ervin, a member of the Erskine College Class of 1977 who designed the DIG 2019 shirt and led the campers in arts and crafts; and Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Matthew Campbell, who joined Nelsen in teaching the children about birds. Katie Epps, a 2019 Erskine College graduate, provided able assistance.
Haldeman said campers learned about woodland plants and wildlife, which included “structure of forests and woods, plants and animals of the canopy, understory, and forest floor layers, identification of trees, shrubs, and shade-tolerant ground plants of the woods.”