Around the park

The river is rising.  For those of you in other parts of the country, you may have a better idea than I do what’s going on north of us.  I don’t tend to keep up with the national news and weather reports, but I assume there’s been heavy precipitation north of us because the dam was filled to within a few inches of the top, so they’ve been releasing water.  As a result, our river is higher than I’ve ever seen it.  I’ll try to get a picture to include in this blog.

Here’s what we’ve been up to in the last few days.  We are trying to help set up a snack bar in the Activity Center.  One of the Workampers built some counters for us with cabinet doors, but the wood was unfinished, so Thursday Mark and I worked on staining it.  Even with all the windows open, the fumes began to get to me and I got dizzy.  Mark sent me for a walk around the park to try to clear my head, but I didn’t really feel back to my old self till I woke up the next morning.  That’s some pretty powerful stuff!

Friday we had the Activity Center open all day, but most campers don’t begin arriving till after 3:00.  So while Mark and I waited for campers to come in, I designed a bird house out of a plastic milk jug.  We finally got a couple girls in who wanted to do a craft, and when they finished I asked if they’d like to go on a nature walk.  I’ve had it on my schedule for the last several weeks but had no takers until now.  I had bought some handy-dandy bug viewers and wanted to try them out.  The bug viewers look like a pair of scissors, but at the tips they have plastic see-through cups with air holes in them.  You can catch a bug, view it up close and then let it go.  We had fun doing that.  I took them by the squirrel tree, but I think the babies have left the nest now.  Then I took them to show them the tree man.  There is a tree that’s famous in this park because its base has grown in such a way that it looks like a man’s face.  I’ll try to get a picture of it sometime.

Today was the first day our new helper came to work.  Her name is Linda, and I must say she’s enthusiastic.  We didn’t have very many people coming in today, which was disappointing since Saturdays are usually our busiest days, but at least it gave me an opportunity to train Linda and assess her skills.  Her husband was working with the Maintenance crew, and when she went home for lunch and showed him a craft she had made, he was envious.  I wanted her to try some of our free crafts because those are the ones where the most teaching is involved, so she got to make a rainstick and take it home.  When I told her that Melanie wants her to help in Housekeeping tomorrow afternoon, I saw her face fall a little, but then she recovered her smile.  We all have to fill in where needed, but those of us in Activities are eager for this summer when there will be kids every day.  🙂

Here’s a picture of our river taken this morning.  The wooden structure to the right is the fish cleaning station, and usually it’s a ways back from the water.  You can see that the water is now nearly surrounding it:

The Illinois River at flood stage

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