Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Sweet Week

The boys had the opportunity this past month to learn how to make sugar cane syrup!
This new camp addition includes a sugar cane press and a boiling furnace, which were built by various work groups that have helped at camp this season. It has been in the planning stages for a while and we are so excited to have it up and going.

The boys harvested the sugar cane and learned how to press it to get the juice from the cane. This requires the sugar cane press and our camp horses, Carmel and Sandy. After all the cane was pressed we had 120 gallons of juice! After the cane is all pressed and the juice is strained, it is boiled for several hours and all the impurities are skimmed off the top. It is cooled and poured in jars.
What you have left is pure delicious cane syrup.

Here are a couple articles written by some campers about what they learned about sugar cane.

Gabe- Miccosukee Group
Sugar Cane
Well camp has been busy, but my favorite part was the sugar cane. It was a cool process. Step one was to cut the sugar cane. Step two you crush the cane with two large cylinders while a horse walks in a circle. Next, you cook it in a big metal bowl. You also have to skim the green stuff off the sugar cane. Then you scoop the cane into a cheesecloth so it can filter it. Well then you jar it, you let it cool, then you eat it. That was my favorite part of this week.
P.S. Sugar cane syrup is good on pancakes. 

Jayce- Miccosukee Group
Cane Syrup
Today after lunch, we went to the sugar cane cooker. While we were there, we watched sugar cane syrup get cooked. Then it was done. We got to put the lids on. Then we had to put them in a bin. I got the job of laying out the jars for Chief Curtis to grab, just to be helpful. It was a good time. We even got to try some of the syrup. It was good syrup. It was fun.

The Cowboy Group harvesting the cane.

This is the sugar cane press that is run by a horse and a few hard workers.

Skimming off the impurities and then putting it in jars.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Greetings from Gator Camp!

The New Year has been flying by at camp. January and February have been packed full of fun activities and learning experiences for the boys.
One of those fun activities has been learning more about bees!  In case you didn’t know, here at Gator Camp we have a couple bee hives that we take care of. This year the Cowboy group is learning all about bee keeping. Once a session they are going to check the hives with Chief Curtis and see how the bees are doing. They have been busy researching, recording, and evaluating the hives. Hopefully we will have lots of yummy honey to harvest soon!