Last updated: July 24, 2014
I guess money kind of grows on trees. As we, the interns, seek to describe an untold story of youth'srole in National Parks, we have explored many jobs and worked on several projects. Most recently we had an opportunity to teach elementary aged children about the forest, conservation and the purpose of National Parks.Students from the Woodstock Summer SOAK camp came to MABI and had a chance toplay and learn. We lead them in activities that challenged their observation skills, gave them knowledge about nature and showed them that there are young people involved in the park service.
First, the campers played a game that taught them about the resources trees need in order to thrive. The students became a tree rooted to their cardboard mat. As they sprouted out of the seedling stage and extended their limbs like branches they had to reach for the scattered cards that represented sun, water and nutrients. If they took enough of each they stood tall and sturdy, otherwise they went back to being a small tree.They got better at recognizing what they needed as each round passed, but when we emulated a drought and put out less water cards the students were able to see how important the climate is to our ecosystem.
The next activity showed how many items are made from trees. Each child was partnered up and given an item or a picture of an item. Then they had to describe the item to their partner so they could guess what the object was. Guitars, matches, chairs, houses, woodflooring, and shovels were in the mix, but the dollar bill got the most attention. After flexing their listening skills and creative minds, we went on a forest walk to learn about various plant species. The students were very attentive to the details and taught one another about their findings. When we got back the students showed their enthusiasm by cheering "We Love National Parks!"