Center for Creative Energy



Camp Odyssey: Where the Water Flows!

Where did the summer go? Camp Odyssey came and went so fast – it is already September and we hadn’t even let you know how much fun we had at this incredible week-long camp! Our mission: to explore the workings of our water system and then put it together in an amazingly creative way on how it inspired us.

Hannah looking for critters on the South Concho

Our journey began that first (very HOT!) week in August at Fort Concho Elementary where 40 enthusiastic campers met to take on the trek through San Angelo’s water system. With journals in hand, and with the guidance of our fearless SAISD teacher-leaders, we began at the South Concho River in Christoval where we calculated flow and investigated macroinvertebrates (water insects!) in their different larval stages to determine water quality.  We even came across a water snake that wasn’t so happy to see us!

It was then on to our area lakes! Our sources of water…and some of them hardly had any.  O.C. Fisher Reservoir, once full of water, was nothing more than a wasteland. We trekked through a sea of dead fish and cracked lake-bottom in the above 100 degree heat and finally reached a small pool of reddish water.  Scattered dead gar were everywhere. The red water turned out to be bacteria that thrive in low-oxygen water and we were pretty sure we didn’t want to jump in for a swim. This part of the journey really hit home for everyone. The drought was real and the fact that we live in a desert doesn’t help the situation. Check out the national coverage OC Fisher’s blood red pool  http://www.livescience.com/15346-texas-lake-blood-red.html

This is what was left of O.C. Fisher Reservoir.

The next two stops were the Water Treatment Plant and the Wastewater Treatment Plant where we learned how we get our water clean enough to drink and then what happens to it once it goes down the sink. Talk about coming full-circle! We literally watched sewer water come in through pipes and get treated – mostly by just keeping the natural balance of microorganisms in check. It was definitely a smelly experience! We found a cool video on how water gets treated: http://youtu.be/Ud-SbwmqJ7c

The final day was when the campers put it all together and were ready to tell the public what they gained from this experience. With the help of Bekah from the Art Museum, Cami with the San Angelo Civic Ballet, our awesome expert-teachers and UCRA staff, the products were awe-inspiring! From an interpretive dance of the wastewater system, murals of our lakes, and a 3D Model of our water system, the campers had much to show off in our performance. We even had a hanging tumbleweed with perfectly placed dead fish to get our point across of our water problems!

Henry shows us the compost from the Wastewater Plant. The water and the "sludge" are recycled! Amazing!

All we have to say about Camp Odyssey is “Whoa!! Now that was a journey!” We sure hope you come along next summer…. 

What a nice vision for our lakes! This is one of the murals the campers created.

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  1. FANTASTIC! So proud of our brave San Angelo kids who are taking on H20 issues!

    | Reply Posted 2 years, 11 months ago


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