By JENNIFER MORRISSEY
This fall, families will have the chance to enjoy additional educational programming for children, including an event that celebrates the nocturnal animals at Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP), a Day Camp program for Thanksgiving week and two new Girl Scout badge workshops. There are ongoing opportunities each month for families to engage with nature at MTRP; those can be found on the events page of the park’s website, mtrp.org.
Creatures of the Night
On Sunday, Oct. 27, join us for a free event that celebrates the nocturnal (and crepuscular) animals of Mission Trails. This free program will include craft making with Ranger Julie Aeilts and Native American tales about nighttime animals. Storyteller Cathleen Chilcote Wallace (Luiseño) will be joined by her son, native flute musician Brandon Chilcote Wallace (Luiseño); both are members of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. Brandon’s music will accompany Cathleen’s stories, which will be shared in the Visitor Center’s outdoor amphitheater.
Come early, at 3 p.m., and enjoy our monthly Family Discovery Walk with our trail guides. Ranger Julie will host crafts from 3:30-4:30 p.m., and the Native American storytelling begins at 4:30 p.m. This month’s Family Discovery Walk will be one hour so that participants can make crafts before the storytelling begins. Though this event is free, registration is required. Find the registration link at mtrp.org.
During Thanksgiving week, the MTRP Foundation will reintroduce a Day Camp program for children in second through sixth grades.
Developed by the MTRP Foundation’s Lead Educator Amber Goslee, the camp will allow children to have an in-depth experience of the park. Children will learn about the plants, animals, ecosystems, history, and geology of the park. They will also be trained on basic hiking skills, further their appreciation of the outdoors and nature, and learn how to protect and preserve Mission Trails and other wild places.
Camp will be held Monday, Nov. 25, through Wednesday, Nov. 27, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with optional aftercare. There are a limited number of spaces, so register soon through the MTRP website at mtrp.org. The Mission Trails Regional Park Day Camp program is supported by the David Gautereaux Memorial Educational Fund.
Girl Scout badge workshops
Beginning this month, the MTRP Foundation will offer two Girl Scout badge workshops at the park. Brownies will be able to work with the foundation’s educators to receive the Eco-Friends badge, and juniors can earn the Junior Naturalists badge. Our badge workshops will show the girls how we can enjoy wild spaces like Mission Trails while protecting the land and the creatures within it.
The cost is $18 per Scout and the workshop dates are listed below. Register at mtrp.org/gs.
Brownie Eco-Friends Badge Workshop
Sunday, Oct. 20, 2-4 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 1-3 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 24, 2-4 p.m.
Junior Animal Habitats Badge Workshop
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 1-3 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 10, 2-4 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2-4 p.m.
— Jennifer Morrissey is executive director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation.