Friday, March 5, 2010

10 - OCVN Week 1

Like the hit show '24', I am calling my ten weeks of Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist's (OCVN) training - 10. However, unlike '24', there is no violence, chase scenes, or international terrorism plots on 10 - at least not yet. Nature can be violent so you never know what will happen. Maybe I'll be dive-bombed by a red-winged black bird if I get too close to her nest. But so far there has just been fun, learning, and making new friends.

Thirty-two of us gathered in a room at the Warren County Extension office in Lebanon, OH(one person was absent). We are a diverse group of 28 females and 5 males - of varying ages, shapes and sizes.

We were each given a training manual divided into the following sections: Interpretation, Ecological concepts, Water, Aquatic Life, Stewardship, Geology, Soils, Plants, Forests, Entolmology, Herpetology, Ornithology, and Mammals. In addition we received two books: Leaf Identification: Key to Eighty-Eight Ohio Trees by the Ohio State Extension, and Nature Smart- A Family Guide to Nature by Stan Tekiela and Karen Shanberg. It looks like we'll be learning A LOT.

The day started with coffee, cookies, apples and a welcome from Barb Mills.
Then two naturalists, Erin and Aaron, from the Caesar Creek Nature Center, played some icebreaker games with us. In one game we formed a circle with our chairs and placed one chair in the center of the room. Erin sat in the center and stated her name, then she gave us a word that rhymed with Erin to help us remember her name. (Guess what, I can't remember the word. This game has some flaws, Erin. Or maybe I'm flawed. But I do remember when Kelley took the seat in the center, she became 'Jelly Kelley.') After Erin told us something interesting about herself, she stated something she had never done - e.g. "I've never eaten mushrooms." When she made her statement, anybody in the circle who had eaten mushrooms had to get up and run to an empty chair, while the person in the middle also grabbed a chair. After all the chair grabbing ended, the person left standing had to take the middle chair and start the game over again.

We learned a lot of revealing trivia, that's for sure, and it was a fun activity - something to remember to do if I ever get a group of antsy second graders and I run out of things to say.

We ate lunch from 12:30 to 1:00 pm. We were supposed to hike at Hisey Park in the afternnon, but due to icey conditions the hike was cancelled. In its place Dave Woerf, a OCVN from the class of 2009, showed us some slides of the park (near Lebanon) and told us about his experiences with the OCVN program. (The only suggestion I have for Dave is that he spent too much time on each slide. I saw several classmates nodding off in the audience.)

Several Warren County park board members visited our classroom and a door prize was awarded (a cute squirrel named C. Warren Parks-clever, eh!) Class ended a little early around 3:45 pm.

The clock is ticking. Come back next week to view Week 2 of 10.

1 comment:

  1. I like that ice-breaker game. Seems like it would be a good activity for kids, too. It sounds like you're off to a good start!