Kids Discover Creepy-Crawlies
The kids are armed with sunscreen, binoculars, and curiousity. Just getting to their destination is a lesson in itself. This is Creek Club.
"Oh, isn't that cool?" Sherri Griffin, a Millersburg preschool teacher leads the troop."Will you hold it down for me, Zacharie so I can get a picture?"
It is field trip time for these Millersburg preschoolers and graduates.
"Are we ready?" asks Griffin.
Before they get where they are going, the kids check on some old friends.
"How's he looking today? Dead. Yeah, he looks dead like usual, doesn't he?" Griffin is referring to a dead beaver and a dead turtle.
"Look here is the turtle's skull. See this is his head," she explains.
"It teaches them to be aware of their surroundings," said Kathleen Jeffries, a Club Creek mom. "To be outside and look at what's around them as opposed to running through the woods or running through the creek and throwing rocks around."
"They chose to study the creek," said Griffin. "And, they loved it so much that we decided to come once a week. And the next summer, we opened it up for anyone who was a member of preschool to join Creek Club"
But, before they hit Cedar Creek, it's rule time.
"What's a rule?" asks Griffin. "No harming animals. Don't harm the animals, right. Drew, what's a rule? No squishing frogs... No squishing frogs."
After a short hike, they arrive.
"There you go, Drew. It's going to be slippery when you cross the rocks," cautions Griffin.
These three, four, and five year olds can name every creek critter they see.
"Rachel, what are those? Crawdads," Griffin explains. "Do you remember how to tell if its a boy or a girl? Remember the spinerettes."
The kids can tell you about them, and they can tell you how to catch them.
"You look for them, and then once you find one, you put your net behind them and scoop really fast," said Creek Club member, Sarah Hanson. "He's jumpin' away, he's jumpin' away... Ha ha ha. Okay, you got him, you got him. That's a hoppy little froggy."
Armed with a net and a bucket, there's nothing these kids won't catch.
"I catch crawdads and tadpoles," said club member, Deyton.
"Snakes," counters Drew.
It is now time for a water break. After all, critter catching can make you thirsty. With feathers in cap, and frogs in bucket, these creek-goers have already had a full day.
The creek is their classroom,tadpoles are their textbooks, and respect is their curriculum.
"At this age, at their age, the best thing we can do for them is to help them learn to love a place, and the rest of it will follow once they learn to do that," said Griffin.
And the most important rule of all..."Leave nothing behind but your footprints."
Words to live by.
In order to be a part of Creek Club, you have to currently attend Millersburg Preschool, or be a graduate of it. Sherri Griffin has written a book about these weekly field trips... It's called...