By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald
With snow on the ground and temperatures in the 30s, this winter day camp was bound to be fun.
On Friday afternoon, around 25 children and some adults gathered at Russell Wildlife Area north of Oskaloosa for a winter day camp during their break from school.
Ashley Brooks with the Mahaska County YMCA After school Fun Club said nine children with the club attended Thursday’s winter day camp.
“It’s really important to get them out and just learn a lot of different things and get to know the environment and how to treat the environment the right way,” said Brooks.
Although it may be cold and can impede drivers from time to time, the snow on the ground Friday at Russell Wildlife Area provided a lot of fun for the children.
“It’s good that we have a little snow out here today,” Brooks said.
One of the activities at Russell Wildlife Area on Friday afternoon should be familiar to most people — building a snow man. However, this snow man was made with a flat top in order to hold birdseed, noted Laura De Cook, a naturalist with the Mahaska County Conservation Board.
The day also included an indoor screening of the children’s animated movie “Ice Age: Continental Drift” complete with popcorn for those in attendance, noted De Cook.
De Cook also pointed out that the children had an opportunity to play checkers using game pieces frozen in ice.
Although the winter day camp is intended to be fun, it’s also an educational opportunity, said De Cook. She said the most important part of the winter day camp is to get children out playing in the snow and using their imaginations.
De Cook said she and Kathy Rothfus, who operates the YMCA After School Fun Club, have worked together before. Rothfus serves as youth coordinator with the Mahaska County YMCA.
“We look forward to coordinating some more activities together so kids can enjoy and learn about the outdoors in a less structured setting than school,” said De Cook.
Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at email@example.com.