Northrop and Christodora 2014 

< Back to Christodora Menu 2013 >

July - Northrop as part of Christodora SEP 

In 2014, Northrop sponsored the Summer Ecology Program for the fifth year in a row.  The campers spent eleven days at Great Mountain Forest, and one day at Northrop Camp and Bashbish Falls.  Takeya returned, not as the director, but as the cook!  She had a nine to five job with the American Camping Association, which she could do by telecommuting, leaving her no time to be a camp director, but time to cook.  The new director was C.J. Shields, a science teacher from Indiana. 

For the day at Northrop, alumnus Hubert Ling drove up, this time with his wife, Millie, and gave a microscope lesson, projecting the images in the microscope onto a screen in the library.  The 12 campers split into two groups with one group was in the library with Hubert and the microscope. Water was taken from the old Northrop pool which had long since naturalized and not been used.
The students watched as aquatic organisms raced across the microscope field and were projected live onto the large screen. In the right photo above, one of the campers waits eagerly with his water dropper to see what kind of pond life he had caught.
The left photo below shows a water beetle. It repeatedly dashed full speed and banged it's head into the edge of the water droplet. The campers felt sorry for it and said put it back into the water. We saw mosquito larvae, cyclops, spirogyra and other pond life. The right photo below is a female copepod with large egg sacs near the tail.

The other group got a lesson on tree identification from counselor Ariel Cordova-Rojas. Afterwards the groups swapped activities. Joe Gerver brought his telescope and gave a lesson on sunspots. 

Joe returned to Great Mountain Forest with the campers.  For the next few days, the campers split into three groups, each working on a different research project, on trees, on rocks, and on herbaceous plants.  Some of the campers were very enthusiastic about science and nature right from the beginning.  Others started out a bit lukewarm, but later got interested.  One boy, who didn’t seem very engaged at first, really got into pressing plants, arranging them artistically with great care.

On the first day, C.J. had asked the campers to write down some questions, and one girl asked why chlorophyll is green.  When Joe heard this question, he decided to do the demonstration he had often done for his college differential equations class, using coupled pendulums to illustrate a principle of quantum mechanics, and explain why hemoglobin is red, carotene is orange, and chlorophyll is green.  He hadn’t thought to bring a pair of coupled pendulums with him, and tried to build them out of two coffee mugs, two armchairs, and some kite twine.  This did not go very well at first, but it turned out that Takeya, besides her directorial and culinary skills, had better than average engineering skills, and with her help, Joe was able to pull off the demonstration. 

(Another skill that Takeya cultivated was owl calling.  She demonstrated this one night, with mixed results, on a hike under a full moon.  One screech owl returned her call, but none found her convincing enough to fly over and investigate.)

Nafissa rescued a baby mouse from the boy’s bathroom.  The boys were afraid of it, she said.  Apparently she had heard about imprinting, because she kept saying, “No, don’t open your eyes.  I’m not your mother.  I can’t take care of you!”  Finally, she left it in a hollow space in a log.  The next day it was gone.  Perhaps it found a way to feed itself and survive.  (Or maybe it provided a meal for an equally cute baby owl.)

The very last night before the campers went home, there were no clouds and no moon in the sky, so some of the campers used Joe’s telescope to take a look at the Ring Nebula, a globular cluster in the constellation Hercules, and two galaxies in Ursa Major. 

Left to right: C.J. (director), Henry, Stanley, Joyce, Amira, Omarah (kneeling), Nafissa (partly hidden), Miladys, Neron, Maria, Joseph, Ariel (counselor), Janet (aide), Jailyne, Rafael

September - Christodora comes to Northrop picnic 

In September 2014, 20 people arrived for a picnic at camp, including 7 recent SEP students, 3 Christodora staffers, 6 older Northrop alumni, and 4 of their friends and relatives. After lunch, Northrop board president Veronica Adamson spoke to all the guests in the library. 

Later, many of the guests hiked to Sunset Rock. 

To Top

< Back to Christodora Menu 2013 >