Mariton: Camp’s Friday Night Program
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
One of the neat things about our camp is that we end Friday night with a family potluck and special program. This was something that Polly Ivenz, our longtime program director, started many years ago. It gives kids a chance to show their parents and siblings what they did during the week. Carole posts all the photos she has taken during the week up on the walls of the Nature Center. The kid’s get to narrate the photos for their parents, which I think helps reinforce the things they have learned.
Following dinner we have our program. We have featured Kathy and Eric Uhler of Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center as the speakers for several years. They present a fantastic educational program using live animals. For instance Flame pictured below is a female red-phase Screech Owl. She can’t be released into the wild, but she has served as a foster mother to many Screech Owls. Being raised by an actual owl is a better education for an owlet, and they have a better chance of survival when they get released back to the wild.
Is there a better way to learn to learn about why Opossums have a pouch? Opossums give birth (in human terms) to pre-mature babies and the pouch serves as an incubator where the young continue to develop. When a female is killed by a car, sometimes her babies in the pouch can be saved and released back into the wild. (As was the case with this female baby.)
This porcupine was a hit with everyone. Since they live in northern Pennsylvania, we don’t see them here. While no one got to touch, it was interesting to see one up close.
And the goal is releasing wild animals back into the wild. Kathy and Eric brought a Great-horned Owl that they released. We watched as it flew to the pine trees, and then disappeared in the darkness. What a great experience for everyone.