During the spring 2011-2012 school semester, the Jessie Beck Nature Club sprang into action again. This year, 5th and 6th grade students met seven times to learn about many outdoor topics. One session was dedicated to mimicking the sounds of wild animals: crows, coyotes, distressed rabbits, deer, elk, and more. Each participant received a diaphragm call and four other reed calls, which they put together themselves. In another session, students learned the basics about turkeys: analyzing a mounted turkey, determining how to age a bird from spur length and tail feathers, and even creating their own writing instrument – a turkey quill pen. Other sessions focused on finding animal signs, specifically scat and tracks. Using the hoof of an elk, the students pushed it into wet soil and then made a mold of the hoof print using plaster of Paris. After the meetings were concluded, the Club’s camouflaged T-shirts could be seen on at least one member on any given day.
One can only imagine the impressions these students had during the Club sessions. For many, these are first time experiences, and the program has become one of the school’s most popular. The program is the brainchild of NNSCI Director Ryan Brock. With NNSCI Chapter support, Brock has developed this program into an ongoing annual event the students eagerly anticipate.– by Terrence Melby, SCI Northern Nevada Chapter Director