It’s only been a week since we finished our two weeks of training, and we’re already back at it with events and activities! It’s never a dull day here at the Siuslaw National Forest :D. This week has been filled with activities, field work, and programs. It was tough to decide what event to discuss on my blog, but one stuck out more than the others. It was so much fun that it would be a shame not to share it with you all. Over the weekend, there was a fishing event in Honeyman State Park, and I was assigned to assist the event along with Christine (fellow Environment for the Americas intern) and Emily (Student Conservation Association intern). What was our role? Helping out a Fish Biologist at a table where guests could create designs on shirts!
The activity was simple in nature, but extremely fun! I mean, it’s creating designs on a shirt, and you got to keep the shirt! For FREE!! How cool is that! We had molds of marine creatures, paint, and white shirts. The process was simple. Pick a stencil, choose your colors, arrange the molds to your liking, and place the shirt over the painted molds, and BOOM. A great shirt was created. People got really creative with the designs and great color schemes and patterns were made. It was a blast assisting children with the painting process. The look of deep concentration that shadowed their faces as we asked what molds and colors they wanted was awesome. Trust me when I say that it’s challenging to capture a child’s attention for an extended period of time. I’ve participated in many events and managed many activities in the last three months here, and captivating a kid’s attention was the defining moment. This was not the case at our table. All the kids were completely immersed and engrossed with the activity. I didn’t have to try and get them to pay attention, they willingly did so. Hook, line, and sinker! I was awed with the artwork that some kids created. There were some that used multiple colors and patterns to make their designs really shine. When the participants were done designing their shirts, we hung the shirts to allow the paint to dry. We encouraged everyone to go fish and enjoy the day while their wearable artwork dries.
Just when I thought the event couldn’t get any cooler, it was time for the raffle! In order to participate in the activities, visitors had to sign up at the entrance. All that was required was name and age. By doing so, they were all automatically placed in the raffle. They had such amazing prizes! Lure sets, fishing tackle boxes, and even fishing poles!!! We loved every moment of the raffle. The excitement that washed over each lucky kid that was picked was contagious. You couldn’t help but smile at their elation. At our table, we also tried to educate the kids on western snowy plovers, the dunes, and fish ecology. However, we soon realized the kids weren’t listening. So what did we do? We just let them have fun with painting. Sometimes you have to abandon your plan and go with the flow. If the kids wanted to listen to us, great! If they just wanted to paint and not hear our talks, no problem. Adapting to the situation and catering to your audience is important as an interpreter. As long as our visitors where enjoying themselves, then we didn’t mind skipping our long talks. I mean, they were outside enjoying the outdoors and creating positive memories. That’s a win in my book. It’s memories like these that made me enjoy the outdoors and learning about my surroundings as little kid. Hopefully, with our fun table event, we were able to create some fond outdoor memories for our guests that they can look back on.