Can you Smell the Nachos?

From Shelly, school programs coordinator

The other day we were doing a pre school animal senses program. We discussed our five senses and animal senses.

We talked about how we see with our eyes, we hear with our ears, we taste with our mouths, we touch with our hands and we smell with our ____? I didn’t say anything, waiting for kids to call out “nose.”

One little boy yelled out “nachos!” Of course we all laughed! He meant nostrils!


Bye, Bye Woodpeckers!

By Thea

Yes, we are a nature center. We do love birds. Sadly, they love us, too. To death.

I admit, after 16 years of sitting in an office with wood siding, I was no longer a fan of woodpeckers. Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap. TAP, TAP, TAP. All day long. I tapped back, I yelled. I put duct tape over their holes, I put shiny things nearby, I put a fake owl outside. Nothing worked.

It wasn’t just the sound. They tapped holes in our building – big holes, little holes, lines of holes – so many holes that the siding started to fall off in chunks. Water got under the siding and things got worse.

The woodpeckers were winning.

We called in the reinforcements in the form of new cement siding. Yes, the sounds of old siding being ripped off the building and the new siding being added is noisy. Things are falling off my office walls as they hammer outside. But it’s worth it.

I win, woodpeckers. I win.

Thursdays, Oh Thursdays

Post by Thea

It’s been fun collecting some stories about the things that happen here at The Outdoor Campus. I love walking down the hall and asking, “what’s the craziest thing that happened to you this week?” I get some doozies, let me tell you.

Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Derek had a great story. Yesterday, during a boy scout fishing class, two osprey circled the pond. One of the birds, oblivious to the onlookers, dove down and caught a fish. The two birds flew off to enjoy their meal. Wow, I wish I’d seen that! The class participants loved it. I wish we could plan that experience for every class.

Thursdays are Middle School Days during the school year. Typically, that means 60-120 middle school age kids, their teachers and chaperones descend on our park for an all day experience. They do orienteering, outdoor cooking, fishing and nature hikes in groups. That means it’s all hands on deck for our staff and volunteers.

Over the years, “all hands on deck” has translated to “everyone must eat.” Our wonderful volunteers and staff bring all sorts of treats to get our team through the day. Today was the first Middle School Day of the 2012 school year, and boy, did we come through with treats. Check out this photo of just some of the treats we got today.

We’re looking forward to sharing more of our experiences with you. Please feel free to leave comments here. We’d love to hear from you.

Also, be sure you check out our website, our Facebook page, our Twitter feed and our Pinterest site!

Hello, world!

Fall at The Outdoor CampusGreetings from The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls. If you’re here, you probably already know we are a nature center that specializes in outdoor skills education – we teach hunting, fishing, camping, kayaking, archery and so much more! We do it because we love the outdoors!

We love our jobs and sometimes some crazy things happen here! Every day is different. We want to use this blog to tell you about our days – all the calls we get, the questions we answer, the kids we enjoy, the animals we meet and more.

We feel certain you’ll enjoy what you read and see here.