Recess was my favorite part of second grade. Lunch was another highlight of the day. When the two were combined into an all day field trip to the Pt. Defiance Zoo I couldn’t sleep the night before from excitement.
Who wouldn’t be excited: you got to ride on a bus, explore a new place and drink one can of pop. The only time I was ever allowed to drink pop was on holidays and on field trips. It took me twenty minutes to pick out one can of artificially flavored Black Cherry Cragmont pop at Safeway. It was warmed to the perfect temperature by 11 in the morning.
My mother lent me her Kodak Instamatic camera for the day. That was the first time I was trusted with a camera. The film cartridge and my mother limited me to only twelve pictures. I needed to choose wisely. I used all my film up on the the first exhibit: the penguins. If I’d known about selfies I would of taken some.
That’s pretty much what it’s like becoming an Oregon Master Naturalist, at least the field trip part. Sure, I’m bit older and Cragmont pop is long gone, but black cherry soda is still around and so is the wonder of exploring and nature.
What is an Oregon Master Naturalist ?
“The Mission of the Oregon Master Naturalist Program is to develop a statewide corps of knowledgeable, skilled, and dedicated volunteers who enrich their communities and enhance public awareness of Oregon’s natural resources through conservation education, scientific inquiry, and stewardship activities.”
The first step in becoming an Oregon Master Naturalist is taking an online course about the eight ecoregions of Oregon, their geology, hydrology, biology, atmosphere and how they interact with each other and how humans interact with them all.
This June I took the second step by spending two long weekend field trips in the East Cascades ecoregion of Oregon gaining a specialization in that region, otherwise known as the Bend-Redmond-Sisters area.
If you know of an organization that would benefit from my experience:
In order to first obtain my status as an Oregon Master Naturalist, which entitles me to wear the coveted wooden Oregon Master Naturalist badge, I must volunteer a minimum of forty hours per calendar year.
If you know of any Oregon non-profit that does environmental work and might need a hand making a video about their organization or help in training their staff on how to make their own videos send me an email. I have experience working with penguins and would be honored to help pass on the excitement of discovering the outdoors to kids, big and small.