It was rise and shine at 6:00 am for the CLC Leaders this Saturday. We were determined to start the day off with a bang and enthusiastically get the vans checked and running to pick up our excited members for their visit to Bear Brook State Park, our home. We left Bear Brook at 7:00am, got some breakfast, and then met our members at the Salvation Army parking lot. Once we arrived at the Salvation Army Parking lot we played ninja, stretched a bit and then got into the vans and headed back to Bear Brook. We had a very exciting day planned for the CLC members, and I’m sure they had no idea what kind of fantastic day was ahead of them.
After arriving at bear brook we warmed up with some of our favorite stretches, and of course the dirty old man stretch was included. With all of us warm and energized we geared up and prepared for our interpretive hike and a round of geocaching! The members were very excited about geocaching, especially since they already had a taste of it at the last Ed & Prep Night. This geocache however proved to be a bit more challenging than our last one. The hiding spot of this geocache really challenged the members to use their minds and determine the many different possible places that it could be hidden. The terrain called for the members to really move around and even got them to crawl around and look under some rocks. Finally the geocache was found under a split glacial erratic. We opened the geocache and found all kinds of SWAG. We admired the SWAG, signed the notebook and put the geocache back where we found it. After a short lesson about glacial erratics we got back to our interpretive hike to smith pond.
On our way to smith pond we encountered a lot of animal tracks; we were also able to inform the members about the red pine logging that was happening in our area. The area really offered a lot of educational opportunities about the ecosystem and the biodiversity at Bear Brook. At smith pond we had a small snack and warmed up with a few games. Smith pond really is an amazing place, especially in the winter. We walked on the ice and even threw a few snow balls and caught some snowﬂakes on our tongues. We made sure our toes weren’t frozen before we decided to trek back and get ready for lunch. We were happy to ﬁnally make it back into the lodge and ﬁnd a very nice lunch spread out for us on one of the tables. We had a very ﬁlling lunch and then circled up for a game of big booty with our new friends from the Oakland SCA oﬃce. The Oakland SCA happened to have delayed ﬂights and decided to visit bear brook while they had to wait for ﬂight updates. They really were wonderful guests, even if we only saw them for a brief moment. The weather forced us to head inside for our s’mores and camp ﬁre songs event, but the members deﬁnitely weren’t upset. After that event we loaded our vans and got ready to head back to Salvation Army.
Overall, the day was long and full of so many different activities, but there was no doubt that it was a lot of fun. We all enjoyed the geocaching, interpretive hikes, snowball ﬁghts, and s’mores. We were all so tired that it was hard to keep the members awake for the ride back to the Salvation Army parking lot. After we arrived we got some really great feedback from our members and we were happy to know that they really enjoyed the event and loved seeing our home at Bear Brook State Park. It really is rewarding to see these members enjoy the winter and really take advantage of the great ecosystem that surrounds them. We look forward to see how this program shapes these members into world changing earth stewards.