Friday, April 9, 2010

Let's go Clubbing!

(A redwood that has had a few issues)

So spring is in full approach in many parts of the country with spring rain, snow, pollen, and warmer temps. It is also a great time to get outside and explore! It's really always a good time to get outdoors! And while you are outside try some Clubbing! Yes, it is time to go Clubbing! No not dancing, but Nature Clubbing! Nature Clubbing is about going out with people and seeing how many clubs you can join. The outdoor education program I work with has a whole bunch of clubs the kids can join during the week. 

As the kids go through the week, they can join the clubs they want to, and even create new clubs. The kids love seeing how many clubs they can join and then asking their friends in other groups how many they have joined. Some of the clubs are easier to join than others. For example, to join the "Dirty Butt Club" all you have to do is sit on the ground. Now for some folks that can be a challenge, but overall pretty easy. The "Duff Shower Club", which involves letting someone hold a big handful of forest duff over your head and let it go giving the person a "shower", can be more of a challenge for people. 
As you get outside this spring, and really anytime, see how many clubs you can join. By looking for clubs to join, you will also find yourselves exploring new areas and hopefully having some fun! So here are some Nature Clubs you and your kids can join in your area:

- The Mud Club: Get some mud on your face.
- The Scat Club: Find as many different scat samples as you can.
- The Phenology Club: See if you can find two plants that are the same that are in different stages of  spring growth.
- The FBI Club: Find and keep track of as many Fungi, Bacteria, and Invertebrates as possible.
- Belly Up Club: Find a tree and hug it and look up for a cool view.
- Burnt Out Club: See if you can find charcoal left from a natural fire.
- Tracking Club: See if you can find 6 different animal tracks.
- Bush Head: Carefully stick your head into a bush and see what is in there.
- Wet Head Club: Find a clean body of water and dunk your head. The colder the better.
-  Dirty Feet Club: Find a nice area and spend some time walking barefoot outside.
- What Good Are Bugs Club: Try and find some bugs doing their work.
- The Hard Core Club: If you have an apple snack, eat the whole apple except the stem and seeds. 
- Funky Tree Club: See if you can find trees, like the one above, that have something unique about them.

You get the point. Have fun exploring and racking up your club memberships. I also encourage you to create your own clubs either before you head out, or on the spot. Also share your club list with other folks and see how many clubs you as a group can join! Have fun out there!

Nature Nugget:
Last week I was watching the Discovery show LIFE and they had an incredibly cool animal. Actually the whole show was cool. The animal they showed is a Pipa Pipa. A toad from Surinam. When the Pipa Pipa mate the eggs are brought to the back of the female by the male and then the female grows a layer of skin over the eggs to protect them! The eggs actually develop into full baby toads under the skin then they emerge. Check out some more info on these cool toads.



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