Apologies to anyone who has been missing the Education blog over the last few weeks, I hope you will forgive me as I, along with a band of fantastic volunteers, have been preparing and running two special events at Muncaster.
The first was a very special event indeed as on Saturday the 17th of May, myself and volunteers Hayley and Emily took part in the Big Brownie Birthday Bash to help celebrate 100 years of the Brownie organisation.
This meant that in the preceding weeks I was busy preparing an activity that could potentially be done by up to 1,600 7-11 year old girls! Also, as we have a very tight budget for events like this it had to be a cheap activity! Eventually I came up with an idea for a game in which a felt owl on a strong piece of elastic could be bounced up and down by the person holding it in order to catch some felt ‘prey.’ The downside of having ideas like this though is once you have got all excited by it, and have got everyone else excited by the idea you then have to make it!
My first attempts at making little stuffed voles for the owls to catch went, (ahem,) badly! (They were brown and lumpy and didn’t look at all like voles; I shall leave it to your imagination to decide what they did in fact resemble!) I am the first to admit that although I can sew a reasonably straight line, anything beyond a basic bag is beyond my needlework skills. However I persevered, unpicked the offending items and hit on the idea of making ‘flat’ voles and other prey shapes. Thankfully this worked before too long I had a complete set of prey along with two bean bag owls ready for the big day.
The day itself was amazing. I have never seen so many Brownies in one place before and they were all having lots of fun. The game went down really well, as did the other activities, such as making a mask that looked like the new Brownie Mascot. I now have the task of making another ‘Owl Hunt’ game as it was so popular I ended up promising that I would make a step by step guide on how to make one so the Brownies could have a go themselves!
The second event was the World Owl Trust ‘Owlet Day,’ held on the 29th of June. This time it was volunteers Hayley, Neil and I running the show which was based on a recycling theme. This way to tie in with the EAZA Pole to Pole campaign which is trying to encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint (,and so combat global warming which threatens species at the poles,) by making small changes such as turning electrical appliances of standby when not in use, or by recycling a little more. The idea is that if everyone does at least one small thing then all the small things will add up to a big difference.
The highlight of the event was the challenge to build an igloo out of empty plastic milk bottles. Hayley and I had been saving them for months, with the help of family and friends, as were the rest of the staff at the Trust. We ended up with hundreds, (and a very full garage!) However none of us had ever made an igloo out of milk bottles before, so although the first half went according to plan, the top half had to be improvised as we started to run out of bottles! At the end of the day we had something that resembled an igloo with a skylight (we ran out of bottles in the end.) but we had great fun making it and it prompted lots of discussion from the public who came to find out what on earth we were doing!
At the end of the day the igloo was taken down and all the milk bottles were recycled – although it took me more than twenty minutes just to put them all in the recycling container. It is certainly something different for volunteers Hayley and Neil to put on their C.V!
|World Owl Trust
Registered Charity Number: 1107529
Limited Company Number: 5296745
The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.