If any of you have had the pleasure of meeting the Executive Director of Camp Kawartha, Jacob Rodenburg, you’ll know that he is a humble sort, a rather self-effacing man who would rather share a couple of verses of REALLY bad poetry (by Scottish poet William McGonagall, look him up) than talk about himself and his accomplishments. Because he won’t toot his own horn, I’ll do it for him and take the opportunity to tell you about his newly published book “The Big Book of Nature Activities, A Year-Round Guide to Outdoor Learning ” co-authored with celebrated local naturalist and educator, Drew Monkman.
The book is beautifully illustrated, a treasure trove of nature knowledge and tidbits that these two author-educators have been sharing with students of all ages for decades. It is an infinitely practical guide for anyone who wants to give themselves the tools to engage and enlighten young people about how precious and interesting the natural world is. There are almost 150 activity suggestions using games, crafts, and drama but the book also delves into information on broader concepts such as evolution, ecological zones, the universe, and citizen science. Thoughtful headings start each section on the different seasons “Spring sounds like… “, “Spring looks like… “, “Spring smells like…“, “Spring tastes like…” preparing you and your youngster to use all of your senses in order to fully engage in the world around you. And in case you were wondering, the book doesn’t turn its back on technology. It recommends making the most of your smartphone and social media to learn more and share your discoveries with others.
In the words of Jacques Cousteau “You can’t love what you don’t know”. This book will help you help your child know more about nature… and the love for all the creatures in your “neighbourwood” will surely follow.
Submitted by Shawna Foxton, Outdoor Education Registrar at Camp Kawartha