It has been 10 long years since the children of the Dinosaur Ridge day camp roamed the foothills of Morrison. Their footprints have disappeared from …
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It has been 10 long years since the children of the Dinosaur Ridge day camp roamed the foothills of Morrison.
Their footprints have disappeared from the ridge, but the prehistoric tracks left dinosaurs that roamed the area millions of years ago have remained and are once again being examined by young paleontologists this summer.
The camp has been revived by Erin Fair, education coordinator at the Dinosaur Ridge Visitor Center, 16831 W. Alameda Pkwy, Morrison. The camp had three sessions available this summer, designed for children ages 6 to 13. The first was in June, the second was in July, and the last will begin Monday, Aug. 6.
Each session runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, and costs $300 per child, or $270 for children of center members.
“Erin was actually a counselor for the old camp 10 years ago,” said Amber Cain, volunteer coordinator and camp leader.
Fair decided to bring the program back for a trial run. Six children took part in the June session, and 10 in the July camp. The maximum capacity for each camp is 12, Fair said, so she feels this summer is off to a good start. The campers study science, dinosaurs, fossils, rocks and minerals. They learn through hands-on activities. On July 16, the counselors took the campers on a trip up to the ridge for a lab experience where the fossils of dinosaurs footprints can still be found.
Before leaving the visitor’s center, the campers made their own footprints to compare with the dinosaur prints. Instead of leaving indentations in rocks, the children left paint prints across large sheets of white paper.
They measured the size of their feet and compared that to their height from the ground to their hip, as a way to compare their own size with that of the dinosaurs. They also determined their walking pace and compared it to the length between their tracks, so they could then work on figuring out the speed which the dinosaurs might have traveled.
“Doing that gives them a hands-on way to look at fossils,” Fair said.
Once on the ridge, the children analyzed the prints and determined that the foothills had not been there thousands of years ago. Instead, the land had been covered by water They learned that the dinosaurs who left the prints were a parent and child. They eagerly started measuring the prints and distance between them to complete the lab.
During the camp, the children completed other labs on bones, sediments and steams, naming dinosaurs, rock types, minerals and casting fossils.
To register children for the August camp, contact Fair by phone at 303-697-3466 or by email at email@example.com.
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