On June 12th, Blue Ridge Discovery Center's Roald Kirby and Scott Jackson-Ricketts assisted the school and park on a fishing expedition at Cabin Creek, in the park. This was not planned by BRDC, but we were happy to bring our Fish Bugs program in support of the event.
We did not know until the night before, that 55 grade school age kids were to be on hand. Knowing the narrow path that is Cabin Creek trail, and the lack of fishing space, we discussed strategy just before the two busloads of kids arrived.
There were plenty of adults on hand to ensure that this many kids could be managed. So off we went, down the trail, carrying the Fish Bugs tools, and at least 30 spin casting rod and reel outfits.
Chaotic would best describe our initial efforts to organize groups of kids assigned to the two stations we set up. But, frankly, when we did, all went very well. Roald helped with the fishing component, sharing information about the habitat, food sources, water quality and temperature; while Scott managed the aquatic invertebrate collection and identification tables.
Because there were so many kids, a lot of time was allowed for free exploration, which was exciting for the kids, who continued to find critters and questions to go with.
This second picture is evidence of the chaos, given that it was quite difficult to stand in one position. But it also exemplifies the moment. No fish took the bait.