This week marked our outreach session at the Potter Valley Inter-Tribal Youth Campout. The theme this year was “Bee in the know.” We wanted to follow the theme with a game for all ages. Hundreds of Native American youth participate in the campout, so we wanted to appeal to toddlers and even high schoolers with a pollination-themed activity. If you’re not familiar, the Potter Valley Inter-Tribal Youth Campout provides a safe atmosphere for native youth and is intended to be inclusive of the larger tribal community. The event allows tribal youth from all over the surrounding area to participate in a combination of workshops and presentations including topics on the environment, culture, health and wellness, and education. Fun team-building games and activities are mixed in throughout the week and provide a great opportunity for native youth to make connections and build relationships.
Pollination Race – The Activity
Our activity this year was a game called “Pollination Race.” We wanted to illustrate the hard work bees go through every day in helping to pollinate flowers. The basis of the game is simple. You have to move your pollen from one flower to another — one bit at a time. We positioned the two flowers about 25 feet apart to help the youth understand the distances bees can cover when pollinating.
On one end there was a flower in tupperware with spray painted ping pong balls. The youth had to move one ping pong ball at a time to the flower at the other end with a spoon. If they dropped the pollen, they had to start over again. We felt this illustrated how so much pollen doesn’t always make it from flower to flower and that every little bit counts. This also helped to make the race all the more exciting for the youth as they did their best to balance the pollen, and not drop it!
We had new cohorts of youth participate for more than an hour as they raced off against their friends. We set up the game so as many as four people could play at a time. That helped keep most of the onlooking youth engaged and excited. We even switched things up and had the students play in teams like a relay to show how bees work as a hive.
This was our most successful and fun game at the camp out yet! The response was 100% positive, and even had youth saying things like “pollination can be tough.” That’s when we knew this was one of our most effective outreach activities yet. Thanks for inviting us Potter Valley! What a great theme. Enjoy our photo gallery of the game below.