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|Tue, 08-07-2012 - 2:56pm|
Yesterday, our pack did the Insect Investigations program at our State Park that I scheduled. We have done something there for 4 years in a row now and this one was fabulous for this age group once again. They talked about what insects were and how they were different from other things. Very good "large" images so the kids could see body parts and face features. They also had large plastic insects for kids to touch. Then a 10 minute hike to an old abandoned cabin on the property that is currently home to an impressive hive of honey bees... they used caution tape as a boundary, but we still got fairly close. We also got to touch real honeycomb. The walk back was only about 3 minutes and surprised the kids that we were so close to the environmental center! Then each got a net and learned how to catch insects carefully and we went to it capturing butterflies, caterpillars, moths, stink bugs, grasshoppers, flies, and many others! We put most of them into bug containers... some stayed for the duration of our adventure... some were released after 2-3 minutes (once each kids got to take a look). The coolest thing by far was learning about and seeing the Ugly Butt Spider (not an insect- but along the trail). Kids thought that was well worth a few minutes time!
Bad side was that we only had 4 cub scouts show up (2 Boy Scout siblings, a couple sisters and 3 adults)... back when I scheduled it, I chose this day because many people said it was a good day... nobody objected. Even the day before I only had about 4 families who told me they were away (out of about 18 families). Had I known that even the people I specifically was trying to accomodate would not show up, I would have chosen a different day because the 3 families who did come all got home very late the night before- including my family at nearly midnight. The ranger assured me that it was ok because we met the minimum of 10 by including the adults and siblings who were there too... but if he does programs for fewer than 10 people, the state gets upset at him. Some of the excuses I got after the fact was - school shopping, kids didn't want to wake up (the program was at 10am- with probaby a 20 minute drive), and many other "sorry we didn't make it's" with no excuse. Very frustrating.
Next time, we may request the geology program at the mineral springs location of the park! This would be an awesome way for the new webelos to earn their geologist activity pin. I didn't know about this program before yesterday.