11 Apr 2010, 4:52pm
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Kent Busman – Summer Camp for Families

Kent Busman: Story-teller and Camp Fowler Director
By Kate Chamberlin

Lyons, NY – TrailWorks of Wayne County, Inc. held an open house in the Lyons Community Center to celebrate the people and good works they have been doing. One of the presenters was Kent Busman.
Along with being the Director of Camp Fowler, he is an animated story-teller. Scuttle-butt has it that when he was in college, he and a friend needed tuition money, so during the summer they hired on as salmon boat fishermen in Alaska. They made enough money for tuition, but not enough to pay their way back to school. They started wending their way home, paying their way by telling stories.
Busman, a wiry young man with a reddish head of hair and full beard, who looks more like a woodsman than a Reformed Church Minister, told several environmental tales such as why we have one day and one night, Animules, and a phenomenal recitation of Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax”.
Busman’s vocal dramatization and physical actions really brought the audience into his tales. Most impressive were his “behind the truths” of camp life, such as why all the camps now use aluminum canoes, why campers should wear hats, and why a particular animal is now extinct. This, of course, segwayed beautifully into “The Lorax”.
Busman is the Director of Camp Fowler, which, according to the website, Camp Fowler/Retreat Center is a Christian Summer Camp whose mission is to: glorify God; foster growth in Jesus Christ as Lord; experience life in a Christian community and encourage people to live as disciples of Christ.
Contact information: Camp Fowler, Synod of Albany 1790 Grand Blvd Schenectady, NY 12309 phone: (518)374-4573 fax: (518)374-4996 email: kbusman@rca.org. website: www.campfowler.org; Kent Busman, storyteller, camp director.

1 Apr 2010, 4:27pm
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Last Child in the Woods

Taking Charge Of Our Town’s Future
Our town has begun the task of re-evaluating our town’s master plan. I’d encourage each member of the taskforce to first read “Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder” by Richard Louv.
It is a deceptively easy book to read, but, quite thought provoking.
Louv discusses how guided focus play includes organized sports; guided play includes pea gravel surrounding the swing set, slides, and jungle gyms and parks where you stay on the paths; and natural play includes trees to climb and make forts in, streams to dam, and bushes to explore. This third category is mostly missing from, what Louv calls, the generation growing up in the Third Frontier (video games, computers, and virtual reality).
Louv suggests that, as we move into the Fourth Frontier, we need to make a concerted effort to, socially, culturally, and legislatively, make it possible for our children to inter-act with nature in natural free play. It might mean that parks should be planned with a section of trees for children to climb; legislation would not immediately be of the “so, sue me” mentality, and children would experience the natural consequences of their behavior (hm-m-m, sound familiar?).
As I usually do when I read a book, I try to figure out how it might relate to me and mine. The west end of our little ¾-acre lot, abuts a multi-acre field. It used to be planted in corn, but has over the last 20 or so years, lain fallow. There is plenty of scrub bushes, sapling weed trees, old furrows, and the ubiquitous snow-mobile trails. I’m wondering if I can let my little ones, maybe plant pumpkins just over the border into the field, or carve out a miniature “Hot Wheels” track, or play tag among the saplings?
To the east of our home is a new housing development and a retaining pond in what used to be a swampy area (Excuse me, I meant to say a wetlands area.). Would it be okay for them to observe the frog eggs hatch into tadpoles, or marvel at how the graceful heron walks in the water plucking up frogs, or, well, maybe even get their feet wet? I don’t think they should go swimming in the pond, even though, they are good swimmers. They would, of course, use the buddy system and wear a whistle on a lanyard, just in case they needed to summon assistance.
This book brought back memories of my First Grade experiences of walking through a woods to get to school when we lived in Ohio. During Third Grade our home in Pennsylvania had a thick woods behind it. We made a fort out of the crate our new freezer came in and spent many nights listening to the night sounds. Our Illinois home had abundant woodland flora and fauna to observe and feed our imaginations. Come to think of it, I’ve always had woods, fields, and ponds to explore and restore my sense of well-being.
I’d like that for my children, too. I don’t want to be the “Last Child in the Woods”.
Oh dear Gussie, perhaps I can find a NCLI chapter in my area (that’s No Child Left Inside)?
Now is the time to a master plan that incorporates thenatural green indigenous to our community. Let’s not just mandate a “441 corridor of commercial blight.
NOTE: “Last Child In The Woods, Saving Our Children from The Nature Deficit Disorder” by Richard Louv, 384 pages.
Resources:
`www.National Wildlife Federationd nwf.org/backyard
www.GreenHour.org (activities; down-load a journal, etc)
National Wildlife Federation movement: A Green Hour is time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world.

`www.audubonathome.org/backyard (also, butterfly garden)
National Audubon Society
The mission of the National Audubon Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife for the benefit of humanity Montezuma Wildlife Refuge is one of these areas.

`“The Cloud-spotters Guide by Gavin Pretor-pinney
. The Cloud Appreciation Society : The Digital Aviator
It took a British journalist, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, who, after writing his book The Cloud Spotters Guide, decided to form The Cloud Appreciation Society.

`www.familyEducation.com

`www.AmericanHiking.org
1422 Fenwick Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20910; 1-800-972-8608, phone 301-565-6714, ffax; info@AmericanHiking.org

`“Joy of Hiking” by John McKinney
`“How To Build An Igloo” by Norbert E. Yankielun, Amelia Bauer

`www.ncli.org
No Child Left Inside | About the NCLI Act
*The NCLI Coalition extends its thanks to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection for the use of “No Child Left Inside.”
ENVIRONMENTAL Resources and Information.This website is …
ncli.org is your first and best source for information about ENVIRONMENTAL. Here you will also find topics relating to issues of general interest.

`www.cnaturenet.org
The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working worldwide to reconnect children with nature.
C&NN provides access to the latest news and research in the field and a peer-to-peer network of researchers and individuals, educators and organizations
dedicated to children’s health and well-being.