Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Tracking with Camp Fire USA
Submitted by Chris Tomazic, AmeriCorps*VISTA for Media

On Saturday, April 28 Adam Fitch (of the Environmental Learning Program) and I traveled to Camp Wyandot in the Hocking Hills. The camp is owned and operated by the Central Ohio Council of Camp Fire USA. Camp Fire is a national organization founded in 1910 that exposes children to new activities and skills, sometimes in a wilderness environment.

Adam and I led a Nature Observation and Tracking program. Three groups of about 10 children (5-14 year olds) visited us during the day. We identified animal tracks (including deer, cats and dogs) and practiced a few activities to better observe the busy natural world.

The "Small World" activity involved brushing away the leaf litter to observe the tiny world of small bugs on the forest floor. At first, the children saw very little action, but as they moved closer to the ground and concentrated, they exclaimed with excitment at the spiders, mites, snails and worms going about their lives. This activity helped the children understand the great detail of nature.

Next, the children observed the "Big World." Everyone spread apart and extended thier arms until their fingers were just at the edge of their peripherial field of vision. With their eyes set to recognize their maximum field of vision, the children took-in the landscape of trees, shrubs and flowers. This excercise gave the children insight into the way that many animals (such as deer) view the world: scanning a big picture for movement, then focussing-in on details.

Adults and children alike were friendly and curious. Even when we weren't in session, people were interested in learning new skills. During lunch, for example, we practiced building a friction fire by hand! Camp Fire USA is an organization doing commendable work with children. I hope we can keep this collaborative spirit alive and partner with them in the future!

Attention Kroger Shoppers

Submitted by Tori Patterson, AmeriCorps*VISTA for Development

Who knew you could donate to Rural Action just by purchasing your groceries? Thanks to the Kroger Cares fundraising program, Rural Action will receive a 5% rebate on your purchases when you buy your groceries using a special Kroger gift card. There is no additional cost to you – just pay for your groceries as usual, but use a gift card that is coded to Rural Action instead of using cash, check or credit card. The gift cards are rechargeable; once you deplete your initial balance, just add more money to it at the service desk or cash register and continue to use it like a debit card. Every time you swipe the card at Kroger, Rural Action will benefit.

To get a gift card or to learn more, contact Tori Patterson at or 740-767-4938. You must order your card directly from Rural Action so your rebates will be transferred to our account.

It’s amazing how quickly grocery purchases can add up, so we hope you’ll join this fundraising effort and make those dollars go a little further!

Register for the Retreat on Rural Renewal

Submitted by Sara Peach, AmeriCorps*VISTA for Rural Renewal

Register now for the Retreat on Rural Renewal, a community conversation about the future of Appalachian Ohio. It's Saturday, June 16, 2007 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Trimble High School in Glouster, Ohio. The Retreat is free but registration is limited to 150 people, so reserve your place today! The Rural Action Annual Meeting will also take place that day, during a short business lunch.

The easy sign-up sheet is available here:


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