From Naturalist Erin…
So what follows are some ideas. I would teach or hire out to teach all of these classes if I saw a wee bit of interest. And by showing interest I mean sending me an email to Naturalist@BroadlandsHOA.com–my telepathic powers are running low! The grand ideas (mostly stolen from other–less fantastic, yet more established and class offering–nature centers)
For Littles and Middles
- Wee Beasties- This is a weekly class for ages 5-10. Each week you bring home a new wee beastie (a hissing cockroach, crickets, snails…) we gather to learn how to care for each of the pets, and to share the stories of their care.
- Family events. Kid events. Hidden treasures abound.
- Babes in the Woods–hikes with a naturalist for parents who wear babies and are ready to explore some paths. Ages are obviously a tiny and a tall person.
- Mythical creatures at the Nature Center–Basilisks, dragons, cyclops, Loch Ness Monster, Saskwatch, centaurs, chimeras, griffins, golems, unicorns, etc. are all descended from other animals we know. Learn the best guess we have of their biological family trees and the legends that surround them.
Two classes. One for littles (5+) and one for middles (10+)
- Homeschooling at the nature center. We have a few groups that have said they are interested in doing a consistent science curriculum at our center. If you would like to hear the dates and times being considered please contact me.
- Fiery science–an afterschool club where we explode things. And learn why they explode.
Two classes. One fore littles (5+) and one for middles (10+)
- Youth Naturalists. This already exists. But just to let you know, you can still join. It is for kids 8-18 (roughly we have a few 6-year olds and two 18+) we take you if you want to serve our animals and go on a nature adventure once a month.
- Campfire Storytelling. With help from our local speech and debate teams from the high schools. All ages
- Nature Storytime. Ha! We already have this. It’s the Fort Festival Mondays 9:30-10:15am and Tuesdays 1:30-2:15pm.
For Mature-ittles (not sure an age, more of just who is interested)
- Primitive skills: Tracking, food foraging, bow and arrow creating, rescue shelter constructing- All ages. But offered in evenings or weekends so adults could take part (for safety and for knowledge)
- Learning the skills of beekeepers (and taking part in the care of a hive and production of honey and wax when we get to that time)
- What is required to become a falconer? How to become an apprentice and meet our master falconer who rehabilitates injured eagles, hawks, and falcons.–All ages, but 12 is the minimum age of becoming a falconer as per Virginia wildlife law.
And then a few clubs that we could generate a local chapter for:
- Northern Virginia Astronomical Society
- Birding groups
- Monthly hiking pack of nature nuts who like sore feet
- Reading group (but of course our meetings will be by a campfire and our books will have at least some loose theme to nature. Like Vampires in the Lemon Groveand then we’ll buy a lemon tree for the nature center).
I’m easy to contact. Naturalist@BroadlandsHOA.com. Looking forward to hearing which of these you want at your nature center.
…and see you at the Fall Farm Festival on October 3rd in the Nature Center’s Backyard 10am-12.