Sunday, October 3, 2021

Wells Youth Rec goes wild for bats

youth rec

Wells Youth Rec went wild for bats during a talk and game I presented on July 20.  Kids discovered that while bats may seem scary, they are misunderstood, important, and super cute.

I explained to the Youth Rec campers that bats are quite like humans.  Both have hair, eat fruit or meat, and sing.

Although books and movies give bats a bad reputation, and some people loathe them, they are important.

Eyes widened when I said that guano, or bat dung, was used to produce gun powder during the Civil War.

Bats disperse seeds long distances, eat their body weight in insect pests each night, and pollinate plants.  Thanks to bat pollinators, people enjoy peaches, mangoes, figs, cashews, bananas, chocolate, and gum.

After I wrapped up the presentation, campers to form a large circle on the ball field while I explained the rules of the Pollinator Game.  Campers pretended to be flowers growing in a field.  They tossed bouncy ball bats and butterflies back and forth, sticking and taking pollen grains from the pollinators.  Flowers who were not pollinated died, and students discovered that pollination is tough.

I told the students that, in my humble opinion, bats are super cute.  The talk concluded with a photo montage of adorable, furry bats.

Wells Youth Rec campers play the pollinator game.

Wells Youth Rec Director Mindy Morrison (right) poses for a photo with a counselor after a bat presentation.

Youth Rec is a community-based summer program that gives campers and staff an opportunity to have fun, learn, be creative, and interact in a safe environment.  This summer, program averaged 27 to 34 campers a day ranging from 5 to 12 years old.

Summer Rec Director Mindy Morrison said that this year’s special guests included HCSO/NYSP,  Virginia Free Library (Grandma Grace), Different Drummer Dance, Titan’s Athletes, and Birds of Prey. Counselors Vanessa, Mindy, Elise, Sierra, Peter, Raymond, Marek, Logan, Hally, Ava, Lily, Jocelyn, Daniel, Karyssa, Oliver, Danyell, Ruby, and Ryleigh made the 2021 program a tremendous success.

The District has been working to manage and promote the wise use of natural resources in Hamilton County since 1965.  For more information go to www.hcswcd.com or call 518-548-3991.

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Caitlin Stewart is Conservation Educator at the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District (HCSWCD). One of HCSWCD’s largest programs is their Invasive Species program and Caitlin will be sharing her field experiences, as well as the efforts and results of forest surveys, and monitoring and management.

Caitlin has deep roots in Hamilton County as both her grandparents purchased property on Sacandaga Lake and Lake Pleasant in the 1960s. Her parents met and were married in Lake Pleasant, and she spent summers and vacations there. She’s been a full time resident since 2008 and is an avid hiker, skier, paddler, runner and biker.




One Response

  1. Habitatman says:

    Great you helped educate the kids about the importance of bats! Now if the bats can beat the dreaded “White Nose Syndrome”. see:
    https://bangordailynews.com/2021/10/01/homestead/the-reason-why-you-saw-more-bats-this-summer/.

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