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Caritas Creek Virtual Retreat Program

Lesson 3

The Nature of Community 

"I am the vine: you are the branches."

In this activity students follow our staff as they explore the lake and stream habitats of CYO Camp looking for evidence to solve mysteries. They deepen their understanding of evidence as they discover how creeks are formed and shaped. Sometimes people treat all evidence as equal, whether it’s actually flimsy or strong. This activity helps them slow down, make observations, and evaluate their evidence as strong, less strong, or weak. Later in the activity, students journey through the redwood ecosystem community learning about redwood ecology. Our Virtual Retreat Facilitator will use the video clips of our Naturalists teaching in the forest in conjunction with other educational resources to keep students engaged and excited about learning. They will weave in messages from the 54th PP of Fratelli Tutti and 1 Corinthians 12:20 throughout the lesson and relate them to the theme, “The Nature of Community.”




Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems 

Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems


Systems and Models 


Developing Models


Students will. . .

  • Join Naturalists as they search for organisms in Lake George, making observations, asking questions and making connections about the organisms.
  • Learn about various factors that contribute to a healthy lake and stream, joining naturalists as they look for evidence and conduct tests.
  • Rank their evidence as strong, less strong, or weak.
  • Make explanations about how currents in streams form.
  • Learn that larger sediments are evidence of faster currents, and smaller sediments are evidence of slower currents.
  • Think about how water moves, and how weathering and erosion create and shape stream features.
  • Realize that, as Pope Francis clearly states, we depend on healthy ecosystems to do many things; to purify the air so we can breathe properly, sequester carbon for climate regulation, cycle nutrients so we have access to clean drinking water without costly infrastructure, and pollinate our crops so we don't go hungry.
  • See God in Nature!

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