At Curious Jane, we use bugs and crawlies for a few different projects. In Animal Nature, we get monarch caterpillars that the girls get to observe while the caterpillars flourish into butterflies over the weeks of camp. This summer, the girls in Life Science made animal habitats for various insects like tomato hornworms and crickets. While we love introducing these fascinating creatures to our girls, sometimes the bugs give us a little bit of trouble.
Some prove to be sensitive to changes in climate. There have been a couple of occasions when we’ve left them in a classroom for the weekend happily munching away, only to return on Monday to find half of them have all dried out. Sometimes, they’re faster than we think they are. Once, the top was accidentally knocked off the cricket habitat and all the crickets escaped! They had to be caught by a few brave girls and a counselor, to get corralled back into their homemade habitat.
However, the Red Wriggler Worms we used this year have emerged as our new favorite crawly creature because they have shown incredible resilience over seven weeks of camp, and even though camp is over, they don’t show signs of fading anytime soon. Initially we harvested 20 from one staff member’s compost bin. From that single batch, we had over 80 worms live with us at different camps, and in different classrooms. That means the worms have potentially been introduced to at least 80 different girls! Some of these girls told us that they had never touched a worm before, and we were so glad that their first experience with these cool critters was with us at Curious Jane.
A couple of weeks ago, the worms were put through their paces in Life Science at Berkley Carroll. The girls learned about how the worms break down decaying vegetation into rich soil. Each girl got to make her own mini-compost bin to take home complete with two Red Wrigglers. We hope the worms fare just as well once the girls take them home and that these super-worms continue to thrive!