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Naturalist Niche

Posted September 27, 2012 in Community Blogs

Fall is here!! And we have hit the ground running. Last Saturday and the first day of fall, came in cooler and crisper than most of us expected, but we had the Nature Olympics none the less. We had ten youth ranging in age from five to thirteen; compete in the largest catch, a mirage of different relays and races, Polar-Bear Freeze-out, a creature creation, and the always welcome obstacle course. Everyone went home winners and medalist; the medals were made from recycled materials, tin can lids, and things from nature. (Sometime I think the participants are just excited to see what we have come up for the awards from the many odd objects that we collect here.) I would have to say that my favorite events were the Rolly-Polly races and the Polar Bear Freeze-Out. Everyone’s equilibrium was so off after even one heat; which made it take a while for them to get back to the starting line for the next race. So funny! Then there is the Polar-Bear Freeze-out, which our participants learned what it would feel like to fall through the ice or just freezing water; fun for the game, but a learning experience as well.

That night many of our morning participants were back out to join me in watching Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, at our Saturday Night Movie at the Bluffs. It was a cooler evening; we were all bundled in our blankets and coats around the screen. But before we started we made sure that there was a nice fire in the Shelterhouse for anyone that needed to really warm-up; and to all my Survivor Campers, it took me only one match to get it going. Plus it gave all of us a perfect place to make a s’more or a hot dog if we got a little hungry during the movie. I had a few marshmallows myself, nice and black.

Our upcoming programs are: Annual Youth Outdoor Day on Saturday, October 6th out at Sharon Bluffs State Park. Yes, I know this is during Homecoming Weekend for Centerville. Still, this event is a great way for our youth to get hands-on experience with the skills needed to explore the outdoor world around them safely, but exciting as well. The day is free and each child will receive instruction in a variety of skills and even have a chance win prizes, courtesy of local conservation organizations. In the afternoon, weather permitting we will go down to the Hoffman Ponds to canoe.  It will begin at 9:00 a.m. and go till noon, then a lunch break till 1:00 p.m. and finish at 3:00 p.m. This is another event that we really need participants to pre-register, so call our office at (641) 856-8528 or my cell at (641) 895-7499; you can also email me at We need a head count so we can schedule the day accordingly and also plan for lunch.

Saturday Night Movie at the Bluffs on Saturday the 6th of October is our last movie of the year, beginning at sunset at the Shelterhouse at Sharon Bluffs State Park. We will be watching, Big Mircale. So bring a blanket or a chair to enjoy the movie out under the stars and canopy of the forest. And above all we can’t have a movie without popcorn and who knows maybe even some s’mores too. It’s the last one till next year, so don’t miss it.

Center 2000 is open on weekends, both Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m till the last weekend in October. So always feel free to stop in and see us or the animals, but remember it is getting colder and hopefully wetter so always dress accordingly when venturing out in the wonderful world of nature.

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