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~ Nature Day Camp ~


~ A Few Sessions at Parkville Nature Sanctuary ~


Nature Day Camp activities in Parkville Nature Sanctuary


Each year, shortly after school lets out for Summer vacation, Parkville Nature Sanctuary hosts Nature Day Camp for children ages 8 through 10


Each session consists of three days, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, which are filled with fun and educational activities


The children learn trail safety, wild animal habitat, how to identify trees, how to test stream water quality, and a multitude of other interesting things about nature.


Some popular activities are making leaf-print t-shirts using leaves gathered on the trails


Making bird houses or feeders from kits, and dissecting "owl pellets" to learn what owls eat and how their digestive process works


Other favorites are the Friday hot dog burn for lunch and wading in the creek to collect invertebrate specimens for identification.


The leaves that were collected on the hike are placed on the t-shirt and weighted by small rocks


This young lady is showing the shirt she made during an earlier camp


And then the area is cleared while the etching process is applied


Here Erwin Carney and Dianne Kixmiller are spraying on the diluted bleach solution whitch etches on the shape of the leaf


Tucking in the name tag so theye know who's shirt is which


Now another squirt or two to finish off the job


Now a break for lunch from all the morning activity


One group headed for the big fallen tree to eat in the wild


And another opted for the comfort of the picnic tables


It was fun on the log until the ants came out to share, then some rearanging was done


There they are, let's move over some...


Well, not all the way up in the trees...


Then I went home for lunch, Jim said to meet them at 1 p.m. by the lower waterfall


So I took the long walk to the falls, and I met them coming up the short way from the cabin area


Around the corner, to the creek, now gingerly entering the shallow water


Dianne bringing up the rear so no stragglers would be lost


I watched them out of sight, then took to the high trail to catch them on the way


A good day for creek walking, the water at it's normal low level


But it rained later, the creek next day was much deeper


Here and there were obstacles to duck under and climb over


No, not swinging on the vine, moving it out of the way


Looks like a little swing on the vine here


Another obstacle to climb over


Then I met the group when the Falls trail met the creek again


The kids still in pretty good shape, Jim looking a little beat there


This lad looking a bit doubtful about the situation


Here was an easy place to get out, they took a vote... get out or onward? The vote was carry on...


So... Ever Onward!


Dainne back there giving a little assistance


Around the bend past Erwin Carney's bench


And hopefully on down the creek some more


But, just a short distance farther the creek was blocked and they had to give up


But quite a few were ready to call it a day


This time Dianne leading the way


On the trek back to the picnic area


Now with Jim bringing up the rear with the stragglers


Now roughing it on the trail after ditching the wet shoes and socks


Now back at the picnic area, the start and finish of the day's camp. to work on their journals


Kind of a recap of the day, what they saw, and did and what they learned


And working away at their journals.. that finished out the day Thursday


On to Friday morning... 10:00 a.m. Dianne introducing Jim Dawes, from the
Missouri Department of Conservation


Each year, programs are provided by guest presenters


Popular programs have been provided by representatives from Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center in Blue Springs, Missouri
Lakeside Nature Center, Kansas City, Missouri
as well as other local groups and individuals


Topics have included a variety of Native Wild Animals, Birds, Bats, Reptiles, Fish and Honey Bees


Today, Jim's subject was Missouri reptiles


Part of the demonstration was a touch for those that dared


And the Star of the show was a black rat snake


But this black snake was white... a rare albino black rat snake


A close up of the snake with his beady eyes and forked tongue


Now a smaller but crankier hog nosed snake, more threat than bite, they strike like a cobra but with their mouth ~closed~


And again a careful touchy feely as these snakes will bite, but of course are not venomous


And that concluded the morning session and I went home to have lunch and work on the page


Now the final project session, Dianne giving instructions on dissecting owl pellets


The owl is known for eating everything on it's plate, later disgorging material that it can't digest


The object was to dissemble the pellets, to see the bones and other things that didnt go down well


At first there was some trepidation at what was in there, but they soon got into the hang of it


They were given a chart to match up certain bones that they might find


And soon they were adding items to their pages


Carefully matching the tiny bones to the chart


Later, returning to get some pics of the Hot Dog roast in the afternoon


Erwin was tending the fire and supervising


And of course the dessert selection was marshmallos


And seconds on the hot dogs


A little mustard always goes good


And some chips and soda


With the hot dog roast concluding I headed home to finish up another Sanctuary Web Page

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