KAYSVILLE -- Kids got a wholesome twist on such gross subjects as burping, snot, vomit, ear wax and more at the Utah State University Botanical Center's recent "Slimy, Gooey, Gross" day camp.
Mindy McAllister, an education coordinator at the center, engaged campers between ages 5 and 7 in a burping contest, making fake snot and searching for bugs on a nature hunt.
Jayne Mulford, Utah house coordinator at the center, explained what campers learned Wednesday.
"The kids learned many things about the natural world, including many things about our bodies: why we burp, why we vomit and why we have ear wax. They also learned things about animals in nature: why slimy creatures are slimy, why you track animals by looking at their scat, and that the world is made up of both living and nonliving things."
The camp's "eeeeewww factor" and the discussion of topics outside the realm of polite conversation held the campers' interest.
"Kids were encouraged to wonder and ask questions about simple body functions and were taught how amazing the human body is," Mulford said.
"These camps make learning fun. It is a great way to keep kids busy during the summer, while offering them a chance to learn and grow on their own in topics that interest them."
McAllister had the chance to practice some educational improv when a garter snake slithered into the classroom through an open door. The unexpected guest led to a discussion about slimy creatures, and the children were allowed to touch the snake before they released it back into the wild.
Summer camp season at the center ends in two weeks. The remaining camps are Fairy Garden Camp, Water World, Wild Wilderness Art Camp, and One Fish, Two Fish, USU Fish.
Mulford encourages interested campers to register now.
"There is still room available in all camps, and they are a great way to end the summer."