The Creek Is Their Classroom
Some Millersburg preschool students study in a classroom fit for a frog and just getting to their destination at Cedar Creek is a lesson in itself. It's field trip time for these preschool students and graduates that make up the Creek Club.
"It teaches them to be aware of their surroundings, 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, " said Kathleen Jeffries, Creek Club mother.
"They chose to study the creek 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," said Sherri Griffin, Millersburg preschool teacher.
But, before they hit Cedar Creek, they discuss rules.
"What's a rule? No harming animals. Don't harm the animals... right," said Griffin.
After a short hike, they arrive. These three, four, and five year-olds can name every creek critter they see. They 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 Sarah Hanson, Creek Club member.
Armed with a net and a bucket, there's nothing these kids won't catch.
"I catch crawdads and tadpoles," said Deyton, Creek Club member.
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,"Griffin said. " And the rest of it will follow once they learn to do that."
And the most important rule of all..."leave nothing behind but your footprints."
In order to be a part of Creek Club, you have to currently attend Millersburg Preschool, or be a graduate of it.