On this past Saturday, Katelyn and I got the opportunity to help out at the Marsh Madness event at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. There was approximately 175 girl scouts that registered for this event in order to learn about environmental conservation and receive their patch. Out of the five stations, Katelyn and I were in charge of bird bingo. We set out the little plush birds around our area and laid out all the binoculars and bingo sheets, and, since we got there early, we were ahead of schedule. As the event started, I noticed that there were girl scouts of all ages and of different ethnicities, and therefore here was my opportunity to practice my Spanish. At the beginning, everything was pretty calm when each group of girls came to our table, but as the groups got larger some kids were not staying on the trail, and one girl even started to pick up all the plush birds. However, once Katelyn and I started announcing to not touch the birds and to stay on the trail when we gave the girls directions on how to play, the kids settled down and everything turned out great. With every single group of girls that came to our table, there was not one single girl who didn’t enjoy playing our bird bingo game. I was honestly surprised with how much good feedback we received on our game from the kids and parents, and some people even thought the plush birds were real. Katelyn and I didn’t do it on our own, though, because two young girl scouts helped us out by giving out stamps and coloring pages after each group of girl scouts finished the game. As more girls started coming, the faster the morning seemed to go and, before I knew it, it was already time to pack up all the supplies. Reflecting back, at the start of this day I was having doubts that this event would go well, just because it was early in the morning and super cold and raining.  I assumed most parents would probably just keep their children indoors. However, I was totally wrong and the event had an amazing turnout. Although it was my birthday that day and I had planned on staying home, I’m glad that I participated in this event because I loved seeing all the girls’ excitement in learning about bird identification. I had fun, and I hope I get to do an event like this again in the future!

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