This edition of program happenings is a fusion of November and December so that you have both months in a nice tide package. It has been a BUSY time of year, and as the weather continues to get colder the kid's ability to endure is impressive.
There has been a bundle of new experiences for the kiddos this season, and its been a treat for both staff and volunteers to watch our young explorers make new discoveries and repeat their favorites over and over. However, while what we have been providing has been fun, it doesn't compare to the creativity these kids show us, and the friendships they are making. Watching what these kids pretend and discover is inspiring and hilarious. To be sure, we have even come close to tears watching them collaborate in group projects and find joy in solo missions:
A : Adult must see you where you are playing
S: Is what I'm doing safe?
K: Is what I am doing kind?
" I pledge to be kind to others, to animals, to plants, and to mushrooms"
Warmth in Winter
The only thing that could have made the addition of fire in program better is if we had logs around an ACTUAL pit. That said, it has been supremely helpful to have the yellow square around the fire pit to show the distance needed to be kept from the fire.
One week into making fires, the Park Ranger found us in the forest on our mushroom hunt and was excited to hear that we were showing the kids how to make, tend, and extinguish fires safely. I was so excited to hear what kids already knew about fire safety. Owen, for example, shared that if you catch fire you need to " Stop. Drop, and Roll". We found mainly that kids needed reminders of where the boundary was moving from place to place; we didn't see an intentional curiosity to touch or be super close to the fire.
In building fire, everyone has a job to do: gathering tinder and larger logs, stretching cotton balls, and getting the water in jugs for emergencies. We talked to the kids about the 3 things needed to keep a fire going: fuel, oxygen, and heat. Afterwards, there were a handful of kids that were excellent at prompting (espcially Jim, Reed, Dax, and Ryan) when to add more fuel!
In conclusion, it just so happens that we have a parent who is an EXPERT fire builder. Barry's dad Scott. He was a genius and brought lava rocks to warm up on the grill and hand out as hand warmers, which were well received throughout playtime!
It was SUCH a treat to have Pat Kirschbaum and Teresa Smith come out and join us from Kitsap County Public Works and educate us on the salmon drawn to the creek at Jarstad Park (which by the way I found out you CAN access by foot throughout the year). I think I can speak for all of those present that her salmon puppets were something special, and really brought to life the whole process that salmon persevere through.
Although we did not see many salmon, the kids did get to see a few, and close up. The look on their faces was priceless, when one was moving up close. One salmon that we spent some time with was in the last stages of her journey and the kids got to see the ragged fins, and the toll the journey had taken on her.
During our session on Salmon we honed in on the sense of smell as a tool to find our way. Back in our forest, the kid acted out the salmon's life cycle MANY times, and dug some impressive holes with their feet. We were blown away by the kids ability to move on their belly up the hill, like salmons up a creek.
Wild Life Refuge and Liberty Bay Books
This month it was our honor to welcome the Wildlife Refuge staff from Bainbridge Island. We had a great turnout and it was awesome to get the opportunity to meet the beautiful peregrine falcon that they brought with them. The caretakers of the falcon have cared for and rehabilitated many of Kitsap's wild animals. These individuals have devoted their lives to protecting wildlife and were able to impart some of their insight and experiences to the kids.
We were so thrilled with how many families joined us for this experience, and are grateful for the chance to view this magnificent creature. His caretakers were certainly attuned to his anxiety, and knew that it was time for him to re-enter his cage a little earlier than expected. It would have been nice to watch the falcon fly around and show off some of the speed we heard they are capable of. Despite not getting as much time with the falcon as we hoped, we all got a great learning opportunity. For example, did you know that a humble pigeon can fly at 100mph? To catch a speedy bird like a pigeon a falcon has to fly much faster. Apparently 250mph!
Not every community member can bring a live falcon, but there is another way to keep children captivated. We had the pleasure of inviting the manager of Liberty Bay Books, Nathaniel, to our stump circle for story time. He brought a variety of books about the West Coast. He read Little Red Riding Hood in the Pacific Northwest, and Homes. After two books, some children were restless and a predictable crowd stayed for a third lengthy story about two cats on an adventure.
If you were to go to Liberty Bay Books with a general idea of what you wanted to read about, Nathaniel could supply many options. He was so blown away by our kids and wanted to stay for nearly the whole program. He says that he looks forward to coming for more story times in the future.
Our Impact Report is available on our website. CC has carefully drawn up what Barnacles and Bees has been up to the past 12 month. We also are proud to share that we raised over $3000 during our Fall fundraiser campaign. Funds will be allocated to our annual Funds to support our educational programs, scholarships, technology, training.. One more time, thank you for your support!
Our Winter Solstice Workshop was so much fun,
Reminder! Program will be closed for Winter Break:
12/20 to 1/3
When you come back, there is a good chance we will be dealing with a good deal more chill, so please be sure to layer up. Also, tea sign up will be available the first day back!
For those of you who have not memorized the Parent Handbook, we will be following the Bremerton School District's lead for closures. If they are closed so are we. Now, Illahee State Park does not have a plow, and with heavy snow and wind in the forecast we will have a secondary location prepared for drop off.