Monday, September 21, 2009

International Coastal Clean-Up Day 2009

Part of being a Scout is being a Good Citizen...and part of being a Good Citizen is helping keep your planet clean. On Saturday, we had the opportunity to help in International Coastal Clean-Up Day. It's a day where people all over the world get together to collect trash off the beaches and record what was collected to help educate the public on the dangers of littering. WE were helping at two separate sites on Key Biscayne...Bill Baggs State Park and Crandon Park and Nature Center.

I was able to take not only Girl Scouts, but a couple Boy Scouts as well. In fact, it was a family event, so I took my whole family!! Even little Nicolette was there to help!! And I wasn't the only one...Karen (my co-leader) brought her kids, the Tylers had their whole family, as did the Rosales'! It was GREAT!!

I was really excited to go...not just to help out, but also to try some new tricks with my camera. Kaliayah was ready to go, too.

"C'mon, guys!! Let's GO!!!!"

Savannah was ready to work, too...giggly even early on this stormy morning. There was we had to wait for the storm to stop before we went out on the beach.

Abi and Savannah played games with the kids while waited for the lightening to stop...Red Rover, Tightrope Challenge, and I Spy.

Michelle and Jessica were really just happy to sit and chat.

Once we got started, Girl Scouts really went to town. They were dedicated and committed to "Making the World a Better Place" Here is Oriana hauling a bag of trash off the beach.

Of course...some weren't as helpful...mainly the teenagers that need the service hours to graduate. Karen was supervising...but as you can see...Karen was REALLY in need of some Cafe con while my girls toil away in the background, Kaitlyn, Emily Tyler, and Alex Perez hang out and chat a bit.

While Karen and Heidis' group toiled away at Crandon Park, the rest of us were gettin' crackin' at Bill Baggs.

Girl Scouts ROCK!!!!

While cleaning up at Bill Baggs, I was able to play with the macro feature on my camera. I took this picture of a giant banana spider. This guy was about as big across as the tip of my middle finger to the base of my palm. I wanted to put my hand next to it so you'd have a comparison, but although I'm told these giant spiders are "gentle" and hardly ever bite...I was too chicken to get that close. A couple of my Girl Scouts offered to do it, but I refused. Can you imagine me explaining that to someones mom?!?!?!?

This is no ordinary pile of is a sea turtle nest. And as you can's occupants had just hatched the night before. We saw these nests every few feet up and down the beach...all with shredded leathery turtle eggs and tracks leading out to sea...

Again...I used my macro to take some close-ups of the eggs. The kids were amazed to pick up the shells and feel that they were soft...sort-of like a deflated balloon...

Serving others and your community is really it's own reward...but having another incentive isn't bad, either...and our incentive was free passes to the Miami Seaquarium for all International Coastal Clean-Up volunteers!! It was SO HOT and humid that we headed straight for the Dolphin and Killer Whale show in hopes of getting splashed!!
At the show, I got to try out the Sports feature of my camera...where it takes several shots ion a few I got some great ones of the killer whale and her trainer showing their stuff!!

Here's another one...

After the show (and a good soaking), we wandered around the park and looked at the various aquariums and exhibits. One highlight was the manatees. Abi was VERY happy to see "Manatee" is her camp name (she earned it for being so sweet and gentle).

All in all...yucky weather was a great day helping our community and environment. I'm so proud of my Scouts and my family and the families of those that participated for being so socially conscious and setting a good example of service!! Together, we can "Make the world a Better Place!!"

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