Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No Child Left Indoors

It was a wild and windy day this last Saturday. Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, was the special guest at the Wild Center, and the day was filled with events and displays by outdoor folks from all around the Park, from non-profits like North Country Audubon, to guide services, outdoor education facilities, and conservation organizations.

The VICs were there:

Rynda McCray and Mike Brennan man the VICs' booth.

...and I was drafted to do programs on plants. I did a couple presentations titled "101 Uses for Plants," featuring my collection of plant-based stuff. I had baskets from assorted tree barks, healing ointments from assorted herbs, moss (world's first disposable diapers), fungi used for carrying live coals, a Native American flute (cedar), and much more. The objects that caught most folks' attention, though, were my bow drill and hand drill, both used for primitive fire-making. A couple young men who teach these skills stopped by and gave impressive demonstrations on their use. Of course, the kids wanted to give it a try, too.

It is Take a Child Outside Week at the VICs, and we at Newcomb have after school programs for parents and their children to help them get outside and exploring. Today we are making Sit-upons (3:30 - 4:30). Wednesday (3:30 - 4:30) it's Who's Zat, a look at what might be lurking in the woods. On Thursday we head to the shoreline for Down by the Water's Edge (3:00 - 4:00). Friday will find us making Nature's Treasure Chests from found objects (3:30 - 4:30), and Saturday we wrap up with Scavenger Hunts (10:00 AM - 3:00 PM). Give us a call if you want to sign up for any (or all) of these programs: 518-582-2000.

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