On Saturday I was very brave and took all 3 kiddos to the Bear River Bird & Wildlife Refuge all by myself. It was the last task Heidi Anne needed to complete for her Animal Habitats Badge.
Unfortunately, we got there an hour early. I decided we'd drive around Brigham City to kill some time. However, Heidi was worried we'd get back to the refuge late and it would be crowded. She took a lot of reassurance that everything would be fine. It finally got close to opening time and Heidi was thrilled to see we were the first visitors there.
Heidi checked out a free Junior Ranger backpack (it contained items to gather bugs, binoculars, butterfly nets, and a variety of field guides. She also got a booklet of activities to do. If a child in either Boy or Girl Scouts completes at least 5 activities they qualify for a fun patch. Naturally, Heidi was determined to get that patch.
At the visitor's center, they have a little porch in the back of the building. It was surrounded by cliff swallows and their little colony of nests.
The back porch is also the beginning of a 1-mile hike that even I could manage (so anyone can do that "hike") while pushing a double stroller without much difficulty.
On the hike as learned an important lesson, it's best to visit the refuge in spring or fall. We found a blue heron, cliff swallows, a few ducks and LOTS of insects. At least most of the bugs were dragonflies and butterflies. I promised her we'd come back around September.
The "hike" took us about 90+ minutes. However, we'd stop at each bench along the trail so Heidi could work on a task. We had nothing but time and the Littles were fairly good. Except Anastasia kept trying to throw her shoes in the marsh or toss them in the tall grass and cattails. Hence, she has no shoes in this picture. I love this picture, everyone is mostly looking in the same direction and Heidi is searching the skies with the binoculars.
After 90 minutes outside in the hot summer heat the Littles became cranky. Fortunately, Heidi Anne completed her last task. She got a certificate and earned the patch. Since it's a bonus fun patch to get, it'll be placed on the back of her uniform. Apparently, some National Forests have a similar program, Heidi just has to find one and help make a plan on how to get there. All the Scout things are Heidi driven, I'm just encouraging her. (Also I'm taking her to these places / activities.)