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WALLKILL RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFEREFUGECAMPFIRE TALK
Northeast Region, July 25, 2009
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Campers listening to owl calls
Campers listening to owl calls - Photo Credit: n/a
Interns Grace Smarsh and Lindsey Williams teaching campers about local wildlife around a campfire
Interns Grace Smarsh and Lindsey Williams teaching campers about local wildlife around a campfire - Photo Credit: n/a
Campers listening intently for bats
Campers listening intently for bats - Photo Credit: n/a

On July 22, 2009 interns Grace Smarsh and Lindsey Williams put on a campfire program at Camp Louemma for a variety of campers age 8 to 16.  After joining the campers and counselors for dinner in the lodge, they spoke to the students about a variety of nocturnal creatures in the local area; such as owls, frogs, bats, raccoons, and skunks.  Owl calls were played on a CD player which allowed them to hear some familiar nighttime noises that are harmless, but may not always sound so harmless.  Sometimes the campers were skeptical to believe the calls coming off the CD were really owls at all! The campers were taught how to use their "deer ears" to better hear nighttime sounds by wrapping their hands behind their ears to magnify the sounds.  The campers were very interested in bears and rabies in particular, and were bursting with questions on those two subjects.  Their questions were colorful and often humorous. One young female camper posed the question, "If animal A has rabies and bites animal B does animal A get rid of its own rabies by passing it on to animal B?"  Grace spoke to the campers in detail about the bat research that was conducted on the refuge during the summer of 2009.  As dusk began to fall bats began to swoop over the lake which the campfire was set beside.  Grace demonstrated how to use to bat detector to pick up the noises the bats were making as they flew around hunting insects.  The campers were extremely excited to see so many bats flying over their lake and actually get to hear them! It was a great night and extremely enjoyable for campers and counselors. 


Contact Info: Fran Stephenson, 973-702-7266 x 10, fran_stephenson@fws.gov
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