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Eagle Scout Volunteers for Beatrice Johnson Youth Kamp

April and springtime are a wonderful time to visit Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp, or what I like to call Kiwanis Kamp or “Kamp” for short. Trees are in bloom and the wildlife are emerging, and the temperature is perfect to be out in nature at the Kamp.

The Kamp is young, having been started in 2009 through a generous gift of land. From the beginning of the Kamp’s development from raw wooded acreage to its current status as a primitive, yet established camp, BSA troops in the area have supported the building of this camp into a Kamp for youth to experience nature in a natural setting.

Numerous Eagle Scout projects have been done at the Kamp to improve it. The current Eagle Scout project is being achieved by Gerron Crumrine from Clarksville’s BSA Troop 76. He started organizing his project in November 2021 by coordinating with Scout leaders and the Kamp Board, with the goal of completing his Eagle Scout project at the Kamp. Together we decided on him building two fire pits and installing the remaining lantern poles that had previously been donated but not installed in campsites 4 and 5.

Last month he spent a day with other scouts from Troop 76 and built two beautiful fire pits and installed the nine lantern poles around the tent pads in those two campsites. It was amazing seeing this young man’s great work and leading other scouts in competing his project.

Do come visit the Kamp, experience the natural beauty of it, and see the great work these Scouts have done to improve the Kamp!

What’s in a rock?

There are many varieties of rock from granite to shale to limestone, and many others. The density, weight, color, uses and value of rocks are as diverse as the varieties of rocks. I do not claim to be a geologist, but I can still be amazed at the variety of stones. When you walk the trails at BJKYK can’t help but notice rocks.

One of the most interesting rocks is a geode. “Geodes are hollow, vaguely spherical rocks, in which masses of mineral matter are secluded.” (Wikipedia) On the outside they look like a normal rock, but when they are cracked open a beautiful crystal is seen. Geodes can contain clear quartz crystals or purple amethyst crystals. Some have agate, chalcedony, or jasper banding or crystals such as calcite, dolomite, or celestite.

Rocks in the Arkansas Ozarks are primarily made up of sedimentary rocks. Most of these rocks fall into just six major types: limestones, dolostones, cherts, sandstones, siltstones, and shales. It is possible for a rock hound to find all sorts of sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks, including geodes, obsidian, bauxite, agate, chert, dolomite, shale, limestone, sandstone, siltstones, novaculite, clay, or gypsum, among others.

When you walk through the great outdoors of Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp, take time to observe the great varieties of rocks. You might find some very interesting rocks.

Thom South, MoArk Kiwanis Region IX Trustee, BJKYK Foundation President, Conway, Arkansas

CAMOUFLAGED – HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

Walk with a youth group through Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp in the mystical wooded acres of the amazing Ozarks hills. Today we are searching for animals of all shapes and sizes. They live in all kinds of environments. Animals that have features and behaviors that are well suited to their environments are more likely to survive and pass on those traits to their young. We can call those special features adaptations.

One of the most widespread and varied of these adaptations is natural camouflage. Generally speaking, camouflage refers to any special coloring, marking or physical feature that allows a wild animal to blend in with its surroundings.  Camouflaged prey animals are better able to hide from their predators.

What color is camouflage? Many animals have fur, feathers or other body coverings in earth tones that blend in with their natural surroundings. Some insects, amphibians and reptiles have a color pattern or shape that closely mimic the colors and shapes of their environments.

The color of some animal’s skins even changes to match the environment. Snow-shoe rabbits and Arctic foxes and some other species change with the seasons. They are shades of brown in the summer and near white in the winter.

Wild and Wonderful words to remember:  camouflage   adaptation   predator    prey   survive

Submitted by Dolores A. Stamps, BJKYK BOARD Secretary

TAKE ME OUTSIDE!

This message might come from your child, grandchild or a neighborhood friend.

Let’s take a walk outside to look for birds. Walk quietly and listen for bird songs and calls. When you see a bird, watch it closely. Can you see it eating? Look carefully at its beak. What shape is it? What might a bird eat?

Take a few minutes to ask the child (children), what kind of foods do you like to eat? What do you use to eat those foods? Why do you think we eat some things with a spoon? A fork? What do birds use to eat?

All animals must eat to survive. Each animal has certain body features and behaviors that help it find and eat certain kinds of food in its environment. Birds all have some kind of beak for grasping and eating their food. The size and shape of a bird’s beak enables it to eat certain kinds of foods.  Seed and nut eaters, such as sparrows and finches, usually have short, thick beaks for cracking open seeds. Nectar feeders such as hummingbirds have long, slender beaks for reaching into flowers. Flesh eaters like hawks and owls have powerful hooked beaks for tearing and cutting flesh or skin. Other birds may have beaks suited for filtering, spooning, chiseling or pinching.

A bird’s beak is an example of adaptation – a special feature or behavior that helps an animal survive in its woodland environment. Other adaptations may help an animal move around or protect its self.

As you walk through the trees at Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp discuss how looking at a birds’ beak can help us guess what it eats.

When your study of birds is complete, enjoy making this “bird buffet” for a snack.

BIRD TRAIL MIX for Humans

1 cup nuts (pecans, peanuts, walnuts)                      Mix all together in a big bowl. Scoop into
1 cup raisins                                                              zip type baggies for your next walk in the woods.
1 cup goldfish crackers
1 cup dried berries (blueberries, cherries, cranberries)
1 cup dry CHEX cereal or other

Study words:   shape    adaptation   cracking    survive    behavior     woodland

Prepared for you by BJKYK Board member, Don Leupold, Union, MO       Past MO-ARK Governor


We Need Gardens

“ We Need Gardens,” found in Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales (public library) — the wondrous posthumous collection that gave us Dr. Oliver Sacks on the life-altering power of gardens. He writes:

As a writer, I find gardens essential to the creative process; as a physician, I take my patients to gardens whenever possible. All of us have had the experience of wandering through a lush garden or a tree covered hillside, walking by a river or an ocean, or climbing a mountain and finding ourselves simultaneously calmed and reinvigorated, engaged in mind, refreshed in body and spirit. The importance of these physiological states on individual and community health is fundamental and wide-ranging. In forty years of medical practice, I have found only two types of non-pharmaceutical “therapy” to be vitally important for patients with chronic neurological diseases: music and gardens.

I quote from Dr. Sacks because a walk in Nature is a free and uplifting experience. Walk away into the trails at Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp to attain that same feeling of health and wellness!

Oak trees, hickories, beautyberry and more adorn the Ozark hills that Mrs. Johnson gifted to MO-ARK Kiwanis to provide a safe, tree-scaped place for kids and adults to connect with Nature in a brief drive from home. NO canned music, no highway noise…..only the breeze in the trees and the songs of many birds! Truly calming, refreshing and energizing!

D Stamps, Member # 0151696, Kiwanis Club of Springdale AR


Kids and Spider Web Wonders

Spiders are a very common form of wildlife and easily seen in Missouri and Arkansas. There are more than

37,000 spider species on Earth; about 3,000 in North America.

They can be found in forests, deserts, grasslands and gardens.

Spiders eat insects and other small prey. They are beneficial to humans because they help to

control other pests in the yard and garden. Some spiders even eat cockroaches..….yuk! In

North America only black widow and brown recluse spiders are considered dangerous, and

these spiders will only bite if threatened or if you grab one against your body.

Many people think that spiders are insects, but actually they are arachnids. Unlike insects

which have six legs and a pair of antennae, arachnids have 8 legs and no antennae. They also

have two main body sections: the abdomen and the cephalothorax (seff al oh tho rax) which

contains the brain, eyes, mouth & leg attachments.

A spider’s web is made of silk threads which come from spinneret glands in its abdomen. A

spider uses a web to catch its prey. Many of the threads in a spider’s web are sticky. These

sticky threads help trap and hold the prey. Not all spiders build webs, however, instead some

spiders actively run after their prey.

Different spider species weave different kinds of webs. Orb webs are often the most

noticeable because they are at kid’s eye level between twigs, branches, or flower stalks,

 suspended in mid-air. Other webs include sheet webs, tangle webs, and funnel webs. Each

web type works in a different way to help feed the spider and her family.

Words to learn from the blog: arachnid    spinneret    weave    thorax    web   abdomen   tangle

Share the story and these words with a child near you or with another Kiwanis member!

Invite them to visit MO-ARK’s Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp soon.

Contest: open to MO-ARK BLOG readers!!  Be the first KIWANIS member, not on BJKYK Board, to call Dolores 479-799-1687 with the “KEY WORD” for a free $25.00 meal gift card to be mailed to you….. key word = arachnid

Card choice: Applebee’s or Wendy’s


HEAD OUT ON A WANDER WITH A GRANDCHILD

Get some kids, grandkids, neighbor’s kids and head out into nature. For at least part of the time, invite them to walk “ninja-style”, moving slowly and quietly to see what they can see, hear and perhaps smell! Remind them that small animals will run away if they are too loud. See what kind of new experience you, and they, have while practicing this stealth mode. Then ask some leading questions: What does it feel like? What can you hear? What don’t you hear? Is there an unusual smell? How many colors can you see from where you stand? Why is that tree shaped like that?

The answers are not all that important. It is all about the observations. If you have seven students in your group you may get eight or more observations! The goal is to use YOUR nature mentoring skills to stretch their senses and perhaps fuel a new curiosity. The mighty trees, plants and critters that come out of the woods at Mo-Ark’s Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp will provide the setting for your Nature hike. Or find an oak-hickory woods near your home, office or park.

Be sure to explain to your young nature lovers your own passion for discovering what you find intriguing. Make a list of the coolest things they see, take photos of each of them with a “discovery”. Discuss what they had not noticed, point out unusual colors in leaves, shapes of bugs, sounds of birds, tracks of animals that came through the woods early that day. Most of all have fun out there!

Troy Massey, BJKYK Board member


Outdoor Adventure

I had the opportunity to host a group of high school students at our MO-ARK Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp. Some of the students had been there before and some were newbies.

We started off with a hike to the top of the “mountain”. There were moments along the way, like a spider web that barricaded our path. One of the girls, using a trick she learned from a previous visit, took a stick and gingerly made an opening for us to all duck through and continue on. Then they spied a spider in it’s web, and were awed that the web had a pattern, they picked tiny flowers to adorn our hair, and curious of the aroma from a plant.

But, the most memorable moment (for me) was when we started the fire in the firepit to roast marshmallows. The fear this sparked in one of our foreign exchange students was remarkable. They had never seen fire, outside. This was much bigger than the candle flame in their home. As they watched their peers and garnered instruction from an adult, they ultimately decided to approach the fire and roast their very first marshmallow. It was an incredible moment.


DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

A diamond in the rough is a natural stone whose value is only seen by a trained eye. It requires the imagination, ingenuity, and refined skills of an expert diamond cutter to bring the ordinary stone into its full luster.

MOARK Kiwanis was given a “diamond in the rough” when Beatrice Johnson bequeathed 160 acres of undeveloped land to be used as a nature camp for underprivileged children. We have the opportunity to turn this pristine property into a dazzling gem that will impact children for many generations . I want to be a part of the development of this gem of a property which will help kids unplug, unwind, and learn lessons from nature that nothing with a battery or cord can provide. You can have a part in making this gem sparkle and impact children by your support and assistance with Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp.


Kids need Kiwanis and KIDS NEED NATURE

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful. –Alice Walker

In life we are so very often faced with self-doubt and rejection. The world can be cruel and unforgiving. We may hope that childhood is safe, secure, and nurturing but youth, unfortunately, are not often protected from the challenges and risks of humanity. In fact, they are all the more vulnerable as they lack the perspective and coping skills to manage many of life’s storms.

Kamp Kiwanis is a dose of what can help youth get away from some of all that glitters and shines and beeps and take a look at what is both fragile and strong….broken but whole….vulnerable and exposed but strong and resilient.

Helping kids to look up, look out, and look beyond is something that can be achieved in this special place. Helping kids listen to hearts and not to technology is a challenge and Kamp Kiwanis can get us a bit closer.

You can connect to our future by helping a kid disconnect a bit to what is unhealthy today. Speak with us soon about creative ways to use this gift and resource to help our youth know just how special, valuable, and beautiful they are!


A young child’s connection with Nature can be as simple as sitting under a big old tree, listening to the chirp of crickets or gathering up acorns in a baseball cap. Spending time in nature has many positive benefits. Learning to listen to sounds around us in the open spaces. Children who have opportunities made for them to play and learn in nature are more likely to:

  • Handle challenges and problems capably
  • Act responsibly toward Earth and to each other
  • Be more physically active and less likely to be obese
  • Have a greater appreciation of the arts, music and good literature
  • Choose science for a career
  • Become an environmentally aware adult

If I had a wishing well, I would bless each child with a sense or Wonder. Inviting them to ask

HOW? And WHY? And even WHY NOT?

Beatrice Johnson Kiwanis Youth Kamp offers some of these magical attributes we can pour into all children. The children and youth from your town and from the world.

Remember Kids Need Kiwanis!


[Editor’s note. Submissions are not limited to Kamp Kiwanis. Other MO-ARK Subjects are welcome. But Kamp Kiwanis did make the first submission.]

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