connect: Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube SeeTucson Read about us on Trip Advisor

Ciera's Story

     If you are lucky enough to go to Earth Camp, it’s incredibly hard not to have an experience that stands out to you – something that you will always remember and cherish.  There was one experience for me over the past two weeks that was very special.  We were at the Saguaro Harvest Campgrounds and were first getting to know each other.  That night we did several activities, but one stood out the most.  I don’t know if you can exactly call this a technical activity, but we slept under the stars.  Each and every glittering crystal above our heads was beautiful, and it was truly a unique experience. A few hours after this was especially amazing. When my eyes first opened early that morning, I couldn’t hear anything except for the occasional cheerful bird.  At first, my eyes drifted around sleepily, but then they fell on the sky.  Normally, we don’t get to see the sunrise since we sleep in, shielded by a roof, but, boy, we don’t know what we’re missing!  A soft peach color rested on the montains, gently faded into a grey, and then exploded into a brilliant version of the vibrant baby blue that we all know and love.  The mighty saguaros surrounding us were bordered by shimmering gold from the sun that had not quite peeked over the mountains.  When you see something like this, it makes you sad about the Earth’s situation.  You want to really do something to help.  The natural beauty of our planet is slowly disappearing.  It is a treasure, though, that we should try to conserve.  I have decided to donate money to a wildlife rehabilitation center because they help our creatures, and the animals are what complete the Earth. My mom recently visited a center that she says is really neat.  They have all kinds of animals there, and it is a fairly small organization.  They run solely off of donations, and I think that they could use some help.  I have some money, not much, but I can continue to save it up for this center.  Even a little bit can make a big difference.  If you are lucky enough to go to Earth Camp, it’s incredibly hard not to have an experience that stands out to you – something that you will always remember and cherish.  There was one experience for me over the past two weeks that was very special.


You get to do various things throughout Earth Camp, but one special activity was being able to see all of the different types of animals.  We saw many creatures from the Sonoran Desert; some were simply adorable, but others were kind of creepy.  The rattlesnake, ringtail, kestrel, and quail are just a few examples of what we were able to look at.  We learned all about them, from what they eat to what kind of homes they live in.  Many of the animals we saw were also endangered, and we heard about their problems and what we, kids, could do to help.  Everyone can make a difference, you see, which was strongly suggested in Earth Camp.  
     I even made a little friend on the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum campus.  (There are even animals who live in the museum that we get to see! No, I’m not talking about the ones in the exhibits.)  Pictured above is my friend Chuck, the spiney – tailed iguana, who actually turned out to be a girl. My friends and I saw him almost everyday of the week we spent at the museum and decided that he would be our friend.  Sonora knows a lot about desert wildlife, so she told us that “he” was a chuckwalla.  It wasn’t until later that we found out that we had made a huge mistake – about her gender and species! We have a lot of fun at Earth Camp.


Have you ever tasted fresh Saguaro fruit? Saguaro fruit syrup? Well, I have. Can you guess where? You’ve got it: Earth Camp. One of the most fun, and definitely one of the most tasty, things I got to do during Earth Camp was harvest Saguaro fruit. The fruit is sweet and delicious, and it’s definitely worth the trouble it takes to get it down. Using a kuipod, a long stick – type thing that’s made out of connected Saguaro ribs with a small cross – piece at the end, you prod the ripe fruit until it falls into a bucket below. These are tasty treats once you get your hands on them, but you have to make sure to save some for the syrup you make later. If the goody is trapped inside, you have to use the natural “pizza – cutter” that’s attached (the former flower that has formed a very sharp edge) to get it out. Later, you get to scoop out all of the fruit with one clean motion of your thumb and put the it all in a big pot. Then, you add water and knead it with your fingers until all of its consistency is the same. After, that you boil it over a fire, and, finally, you strain out all of the seeds. You are left with a delicious syrup that is great over vanilla ice cream. Sound worth it? Belive me; it is!