Welcome to our New Fellowship Naturalists!

Hello Eagle Bluff Fans!

We’re just about to start our 3rd week of the new 2013-2014 school year, and we thought it’s be fun to check in with our new Naturalist Fellowship crew. Our new naturalists come from across the country, with all types of background experience. We have a naturalist that have lived in Hawaii through an Americorp program, another who’s worked at a big cat sanctuary, and a third that spent a summer working in a National Park in Utah. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Every year, the naturalists spend their first two weeks in intensive training. We expect them to learn 19 new 3-hour long classes plus 11 1.5-hour long evening activities. And on top of all of that they have to learn about all of Eagle Bluff’s emergency procedures, how to run our AV equipment, how to deal with canoe rescues, details regarding our FoodWISE program, and probably most confusing of all: how to be a group’s liaison.

We expect a lot from our Naturalists, and they’ve proven themselves to be an enthusiastic and hard working group. Therefore, we wanted to give you all the opportunity to get a glimpse into the world of naturalist training. Thanks to Laura N, Jody, and Brynn for contributing their perspective!

The 11 new professional fellowship naturalists for 2013-2014 started training week off right with a class called “Group Challenges.” Through team-building exercises, the “nats” worked on building trust as coworkers and friends. On the Wild Woozy, pictured above, spotters are ready to catch the participants if they fall.

The 11 new professional fellowship naturalists for 2013-2014 started training week off right with a class called “Group Challenges.” Through team-building exercises, the “nats” worked on building trust as coworkers and friends. On the Wild Woozy, pictured above, spotters are ready to catch the participants if they fall.

As part of training, the full-time staff taught classes to the naturalists as if they were middle school students. It is said that one teaches in the way that he or she is taught. If this is true, the naturalist team this year will offer enthusiasm, spunk, and (perhaps some costumes) in their classes. Pictured above are the nats being trained on a class called “Top Secret.”

As part of training, the full-time staff taught classes to the naturalists as if they were middle school students. It is said that one teaches in the way that he or she is taught. If this is true, the naturalist team this year will offer enthusiasm, spunk, and (perhaps some costumes) in their classes. Pictured above are the nats being trained on a class called “Top Secret.”

The nats completed all three ropes courses and learned about safety procedures.

The nats completed all three ropes courses and learned about safety procedures.

You can see that Kevin and Hannah conquered West Tree Tops “like a boss!”

You can see that Kevin and Hannah conquered West Tree Tops “like a boss!”

In “Amphibians” class, the nats enjoyed exploring ponds in search of frogs, toads, and salamanders. Jody found this American toad. She feels that “toads are unique amphibians that often get a bad rap. Just because they have poison glands does not mean that they’ll give you warts.”

In “Amphibians” class, the nats enjoyed exploring ponds in search of frogs, toads, and salamanders. Jody found this American toad. She feels that “toads are unique amphibians that often get a bad rap. Just because they have poison glands does not mean that they’ll give you warts.”

Rock climbing is a popular activity at Eagle Bluff. The nats practice tying climbing knots, belaying, and scaling various routes in the indoor rock wall. Laura N still cannot believe that she gets paid to rock climb. So cool!

Rock climbing is a popular activity at Eagle Bluff. The nats practice tying climbing knots, belaying, and scaling various routes in the indoor rock wall. Laura N still cannot believe that she gets paid to rock climb. So cool!

The nats celebrated the end of their first week of training by attending “Onion Fest,” at a local farm. All of the menu items featured onions, including the lemonade and the apple cobbler. Brynn recalls, “I never realized how creative you can be with an onion!”

The nats celebrated the end of their first week of training by attending “Onion Fest,” at a local farm. All of the menu items featured onions, including the lemonade and the apple cobbler. Brynn recalls, “I never realized how creative you can be with an onion!”

So there you have it folks! These are your naturalists, trained and ready to educate!

So there you have it folks! These are your naturalists, trained and ready to educate!

Thanks to all who have been supportive of the new staff so far! We have enjoyed reading all of your posts via Facebook, from past naturalist fellowship staff to family members to past visitors! If you haven’t seen it already, please check out their fun and funky Facebook Album to learn more about each of the nats, and feel free to leave them a message.

Check back next week for a blog post about some unique visitors we’ve had on campus lately. (Psst..They’re not of the human variety!)

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