Old Man Bobcat

There are 5 flocks at the Friends of the Refuge’s Nature Camp. These are the bees, owls, bobcats, coyotes, and the turtles. I was the leader for the bobcats this week. Every morning and at every activity we do roll call and each flocks makes their animal sounds. The bees buzzed, the owls repeatedly ask who, who, the turtles made a crazy dribbling sound, and the coyotes loudly yipped and howled.  The bobcats started off a little shy and had a faint meow on their first couple of days. They were definitely shy, but also very confused about the noise a bobcat made. Do they hiss, do they growl, or do they meow?? Gary, a Nature Camp staff member, said he looked up the noise a bobcat made. He attempted to replicate it in front of the group which resulted in a high pitched fierce growl. Just as he was done, the youngest member in the group, Hunter (age 8), replied to Gary’s growl with an unamused “old man bobcat”. In disbelief, the other volunteers and I burst out laughing.

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If you have ever worked with kids, you will realize that you will be faced with 3 main challenges. Asserting yourself as the authority figure, keeping the children engaged, and finally attempting not to laugh at all the silly things the children say or do. Most of the time the kids don’t mean to be funny so its best not to laugh. If worst comes to worst, walk away and let your giggles quietly slip out.

 

Liliana Calderon
lcalde4@illinois.edu
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