Ria began the first activity 'Design your own walk', by giving each group a nature area to bring their friends to visit! They had to design an email advert to entice their friends to join, and then role-play the start or end of the walk. The groups also came up with many useful things to consider before, during and after the walk, which can be viewed on our collaborative Google Document.
Here are some photos of our participants having fun during the role-play!
Group 2: Pasir Ris Mangrove boardwalk in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends
Group 4: Berlayar Creek Boardwalk in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends
Group 3: Lower Pierce Trail in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends
Group 5: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends
Group 6: Pulau Ubin in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends
Group 1: Rainforest Trail at Botanic Gardens in June for your ‘urbanite’ friends
During the break, participants crowded around the display tables to collect the freebies! Can you guess what were they looking at?
The intricately drawn animal stickers, designed by Andrew! Aren't they cute?
Chay Hoon also brought more of her clay models for us to awe over! They are mostly anatomically correct, except for the googly eyes, which maxed out the cute factor!
See these cute animal puppets? Ria and a group of volunteers sewed them to be given out at the Festival of Biodiversity last year!
These drawings were made by kids who attended the Naked Hermit Crab walks. Very colourful and creative!
After the break, David kicked off the series of talks with his presentation on guiding with specimens, from his experiences with the Toddycats. David pointed out some important differences between specimen and field guiding. One major takeaway for me was that you really have to know your stuff when specimen guiding, as there is no excuse for you not to know the plant or animal beforehand!
As mentioned, the upcoming Festival of Biodiversity will be held on 12th and 13th July 2014, and will be all good time to unleash your newly learnt specimen-guiding skills, so do look out for more information closer to the date!
Next, Chay Hoon shared with us her journey of making clay models! It all started when she wanted an accurate depiction of her favourite animals, nudibranchs! Nudibranchs lose their striking colours when preserved in solution, so she thought of using jumping clay to make animal models. It proved pretty popular with kids, and she ended making more and more clay models at various events and workshops, such as during the Raffles Museum Open House.
Finally, November showed us even MORE ways to share our love for nature to the general public. One way is through the use of social media, such as the meme-inducing mantis shrimp comic by Oatmeal. Once a popular meme catches on, the Internet will do the rest! So why not create a meme for our native wildlife?
Cute googly-eyed plushies not only attract curious bystanders, the process of making them also helps to bring people together, as November shared about her experiences making plushies with her mother!
It is important to remember that behind all the glitz and glamour the message does not get lost in translation! Ultimately, we want the visitors to bring back an awareness and appreciation for what you do, and what you are doing it for! In the last activity, we encouraged the groups to come up with a wacky ways to share in unconventional situations. Check it out in our Google Document!
Before we end the workshop, we wanted to show our appreciation to SOTA and The Green Beans for providing us with the venue and being such great hosts! Ria presented the Wild Singapore coffee table book to the teacher-in-charge, and a bag of plush toys to Vanessa, the main organiser for The Green Beans.
This three-day workshop was certainly an unforgettable experience for me, thank you Ria, Vilma, November, Pei Yan and the participants for making it happen! I do hope that more nature guiding workshops will be held in the future to benefit the next generation of aspiring guides!