Monday, July 20, 2009

A Puppet Show in the Park

I said good bye to my brother in Ardmore this morning. (That blog entry is being written---stay tuned!!! Lots of great things to report!) He drove south to Dallas and I drove north to Sulphur. And just before I got to work, I called to thank him again for a great weekend and to make sure he was on his way and ok. In our conversation he asked what I had planned for today....I told him I wasn't sure but I have lesson plans to write and Satch's book to finish. We hung up as I pulled into work....

Lauren and I came in and were getting ready for the day when she said, "You know, I just remembered that we have a children's program at Cold Springs this morning!" After a short deliberation as to what to do, we decided on the puppets. I had heard about the puppets, but hadn't seen the puppets so I was excited about that. Lauren got the portable puppets and stage in the back of the pick up and truck and we were off.
The script is about woodland creatures of Chickasaw and shares such facts as the prehensile tail of opossums and why a skunk's smell is so important to them. It was very cute. And all done through puppets. The main character is Ranger Beth, who is just so tired of hiking that she sits down for a moment to rest. As she rests, she has all of these interactions with the woodland creatures. It really is quite cute.
We got the table and stage set up and were pretty ready for business. CW, our camphost in Cold Springs, went roving to let people know that our program was happening and I roved to a few camp sites, as well as talked to two cars full of kids.
We got started and had 29 people! Our audience was mainly little kids (4-7?) and their parents, but there were a few nine and ten year olds too. Lauren gave them an intro to the Park Service and Chickasaw as a National Park using the arrowhead, and then we got started!
The puppet show itself is about 10 minutes long. Our audience was quiet and attentive and afterwards, the kids came up and tried the puppets for themselves. It was very cute.
After our show, three fathers and six boys came walking up to ask if we would do the show again. Lauren and I looked at each other and said why not? This time, I got to introduce the Park Service with the arrowhead---I know I wasn't as fluid as Lauren but I had a great time talking about the arrowhead, the Park Service, and Chickasaw as a National Park. The kids were really interested in the Park Service and were really on the ball. And there was one after my own heart who just kept asking how to get the shirt of NPS employees. We told him he would just have to become a Park Ranger. He definitely was open to the idea.
We ran the puppet show again. This time our audience was a little more interactive, adding in sounds of the animals or trying to guess who the next puppet to appear would be.
It was quite a successful morning---38 people in all for our morning program!
And, who, did Lauren find in the truck that morning that tied it all together? Her Abe Lincoln finger puppet which had been missing since the Fourth of July when he went with us to put up the flags on Lincoln Bridge! Puppets, puppets everywhere! :)