Share the news of the Backyard Bird Count

Lisa Lightner

Well, did you do the Backyard Bird Count? If you have any highlights or pictures that you’d like to share, please contact me. Ours was the usual. I also would love to hear a first person account of a Polar Bear Plunge, if you do the one here on the Brandywine or a different one. Every time I see one on TV, I am amazed. Even if it’s just a quick dash in and out, it’s so cold. I guess I’m a wimp when it comes to that. I get upset if I forget to check the water temperature before I hop in the shower and it’s too cold.

But speaking of the one on the Brandywine, and BVA, they have already published their schedule for summer camps. They have a great lineup for this year—all ages. Here are some samples.

For ages 4 and 5:

Mud Pie Makers-Get ready to have fun! Campers will have the opportunity to get wet and muddy as we explore Myrick Center ’s pond and streams. Story time, games, squishy ‘mud’ crafts and water playtime in the sprinkler is sure to be a good time! Pack your imaginations and bring it along so you can share it with your camp friends!

A Bug’s Life-Meet squiggly, squirmy insect friends! Try your luck at catching them using a net, by turning over logs and looking under leaves to find cool bugs. Hear bug stories, play bug games and create your very own bug box. Join us as we explore the stream, pond, forest and fields - the many places where bugs like to live.

I think we are going to try the bug one. We tried one last year, not at BVA, but at another local facility that shall remain nameless, and I was incredibly disappointed. It was much more expensive than the BVA camps, and they did very little “bug” stuff. One two separate occasions (I had to remain on premises due to my child’s age) they were just playing with Melissa and Doug bug puzzles. We have those at home, could have saved myself some money. But anyway, I have no doubt that BVA’s is run much better.

For ages 6 and 7:

Amazing Journeys -- With over 300 acres of land to explore at the Myrick Center, amazing journeys await us! Dip-netting at the ponds, stomping in the creeks, building forts in the woods and playing games in the fields; what more could an explorer ask for? Create a keep-sake box to store the memorable findings you discover along the way. Join us this week and let’s discover great things together!

For ages 10 to 12:

Myrick Mudders-Start your summer off right with a splash in the Brandywine Creek! Bring your mud shoes and swim suits -- leave all homework behind! Swim and seine for awesome aquatic creatures at Laurel ’s Preserve, spend a day on the creek kayaking, and wrap-up the week with a splash’tacular tubing trip! You will have time to dry off between water adventures at the Myrick Center participating in outdoor games, mud obstacle courses, and explorations with your friends.

And for older kids:

Something Fishy – with Overnight-If you like to fish, or want to learn how to fish, this is the week for you! Learn about different types of equipment and how to use it while exploring some great freshwater and saltwater fishing spots. You will learn the art and science of fly casting and how to tie your own flies. You’ll fish at several local ponds and in the Brandywine Creek. On Thursday you’ll head to coastal Delaware for an overnight camping and saltwater fishing expedition. You’ll fish off a pier, in the surf and aboard a chartered fishing boat in the Delaware Bay for some offshore fishing. Along the way, learn about saltwater and freshwater ecosystems and fish biology. Even if you participated in the past, there’s ALWAYS more to learn! Your guide for this unique journey will be an avid outdoorsman and naturalist, BVA/RCVA’s very own Executive Director, Jim Jordan.

For more information, you can call them or find them online at I’ll feature more summer outdoors activities for kids in the coming weeks. If you’d like yours highlighted, e-mail me at

Outdoor enthusiast Lisa Lightner lives in Avondale.

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