Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eyes in the front, I hunt. Eyes on the side, I hide.

Stacy Wolff, a former CMC Youth Education Program manager, received a note from a parent over the summer and she gave permission to share her story with you.  We think it speaks very highly of the value of the partnership between the Colorado Mountain Club and Flagstaff Academy, and the value of outdoor education.  The quote mentioned in the story was one used by CMC staff in a lesson for 1st Graders last year on their hike in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. 
Hello Mrs. Lewis and Ms. Wolff,
I hope you are both enjoying a great summer with lots of time to rest and relax before the next school year. I have to share with you something Marie did this last week while we were camping at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

"Eyes in the front, I hunt. Eyes on the side, I hide."
Our campsite was nestled in among a lot of gamble oak, sage and service berry bushes. While I was making breakfast Marie went to explore in the bushes. She wandered a bit far and soon found herself disoriented and unsure of how to get back. As she was trying to figure out what to do a mule deer jumped out of the brush and trapped her in. She was a bit frightened and startled, but then she remembered what you taught her, "Eyes in the front, I hunt. Eyes on the side, I hide." And since the mule deer had eyes on the side, she knew she wasn't face to face with a predator. She spent a good while watching the deer before we came along calling her name and the deer ran away. We were getting worried after and Marie too was not sure how she was going to get out of her situation. We had a talk about staying safe and not wandering too far from camp, and of course we were relieved she wasn't hurt or faced with an eyes in the front animal. But, I was pleased she applied what she learned in school to her situation and did not panic when faced with a grazing deer.

As her teachers and naturalists, I thought you would appreciate this tale of our summer. You do make a difference to these kids you teach. And sometimes the slightest phrase can help a kid out in a delicate situation.

All my best to you both.

Kathleen H.