This weekend I had the opportunity to participate in an event held in Salinas were most of the attendees were Latinos living in a community with little resources. We (Stephanie and I) were really excited about doing our first outreach event and had many activities for the kids to do. Our plan for the event was to have kids color one of the two color sheets, play a game about migration, and spot cards with pictures of a birds that were scattered through out the lawn with a home made spotting scope.
We arrived at the event and started setting up and before we knew it we had kids from the community coming over to check out what was going on. I don’t think we had a chance to say “here we go” because we lost track of time due to trying to talk to everyone who came to our table and trying to work with all of the kids. The majority of the attendees were between the ages 7-12 with a lot of curiosity. Most of the boys that came to our table were more hands on and wanted to use the binoculars, spotting scope, and bird books that we had available. I had several girls that were also interested in using the binoculars and spotting scope, but one in particular seem to have a good amount of knowledge about birds and was very excited about telling me what she knew about birds. I had a couple of boys who were very knowledgeable about birds and one in particular was able to identify a red-tailed hawk and a turkey vulture without binoculars. Not only could he identify the birds, but also knew some cool facts about them which was very impressive.
Many kids came and went but there was about ten that stayed in our booth for the entire event birdwatching. Towards the end, when the kids saw that the other booths were getting ready to leaving they started asking us “Are you guys leaving?” because they knew that fun time was about to be over. That really touched me and made me want to stay with them longer because I knew they were enjoying the activity. Being surrounded by the kids from that community reminded me of myself and where I grew up and inspired me to keep doing what am doing. Overall, we learned that the good time spent with the kids out weighed the hardships that one has when working a booth at an event.