Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shark Week Wrap Up

Shark Week has come and gone here at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre and what a busy week it was! With Dino Day Camp, new displays and activities run by CFDC staff, we are quite tired out but happy with the results of the week!

Shark Week kicked off with a Beach Blast at the Morden Beach. There was a small turn out, as it was also Harvest Festival weekend in Winkler, but those who came out had some fun! There was crafts, face painting and a chance to dig for real shark teeth! We also hosted a sandcastle contest, and it was quite hard to choose from all the great entries. Overall, we had three winners, who each received a free family admission to the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre.

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Our delicious shark fin waffles!
On Monday we had our first Waffle Breakfast! We served close to 50 people and received almost $150 in donations. Thank you to everyone who came out and made this event such a success!

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Even Bruce got a chance to eat some waffles!
Photo courtesy of Chris Sumner (@coleco55 on twitter).  
To end off the week, we held a free Movie Night in the Museum! We had a double feature, showing "Finding Nemo" and then "Sharknado". While the attendance was not as high as we had hoped, those who came out enjoyed the movies and the free popcorn and drinks we served up. We hope to show more movies here at the CFDC in the future, so keep an eye out for that!

Dino Day Camp's Shark Week was by far the busiest week of the summer! Between the morning and afternoon sessions, there was about 25 kids registered in Day Camp everyday. Between crafts, games and snacks for the kids, everyone who came had a blast and our Day Camp coordinators are looking forward to wrapping up camp this week.

And of course throughout the museum we had special displays out specifically for Shark Week. These included a couple timelines of the evolution of sharks, as well as a display of the different kinds of sharks we find in modern waters. We also set up a display of some very well preserved shark vertebra, as well as a modern Tiger Shark jaw! The highlight of our displays for Shark Week was definitely our Squalicorax display!

This particular shark has been in our collection since the 1970's, but after taking a closer look at it and calling in a researcher to study it, it has revealed some surprising evidence. This Squalicorax is the largest and most complete specimen... in the world! We at the CFDC are obviously quite excited about this fact, and put it out for public viewing for one week; Shark Week! Hopefully you got a chance to check it out before it goes back into our collection room, and if you did not you can always book a VIP museum tour to get a closer look at it, and all the other wonders in our collection room.

Overall it was a highly successful week for the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre. We had over 400 visitors throughout the week, not including those who attended Day Camp, or the special events throughout the week. Thank you to everyone who came out, and for your special interest in sharks!

Summer is winding down but Corn and Apple is coming up so there's some special deals and events to keep your eyes out for!

Thanks for making Shark Week a "Fin-tastic" week!

Paige Ready

Museum Assistant

Friday, August 01, 2014

Hanging out with Dino Day Camp!

Today I had a nice sit down with our Dino Day Camp coordinators, Maddy Jamieson and Rebecca Pedneault, to chat about how Dino Day Camp has gone this summer!

For those of you who don't know, Dino Day Camp is a summer program that the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre runs from July to August. Monday through Thursday, the youth program coordinators work hard to provide activities, education and fun to the kids who have signed up, or dropped in. Each week has a different theme, and different activities that go along with it.

Maddy, Rebecca and I all sat down to chat a bit about camp, its highlights and its challenges.

Maddy and Rebecca both agreed that their favourite week (so far) this summer has been Pirate Week! They chose Pirate Week because they felt that they had prepared a variety of activities and crafts that kept everyone engaged and entertained. It also helped that there was a fair number of kids enrolled in the camp that week. "Having more kids allows us to play more games, do more crafts and it's also great for the kids. They get to meet new friends and it keeps them from getting bored."

As I have said, Dino Day Camp staff plan and run multiple activities for the kids. From making crafts, to giving museum tours, they make sure the days are action packed. When asked what their favourite thing to do was, both Maddy and Rebecca agreed that giving museum tours topped the list. Maddy, who is in fact in her second year of Education at Lakehead University says, "I really enjoy the education aspect of it; teaching kids about the different marine reptiles, showing them the different fossils in the collection room, I really enjoy that." Rebecca, who is in her fourth year of biology (focusing on botany) at the University of Winnipeg also agreed that she enjoys the learning and education part of the camp.

Obviously when dealing with children under the age of 10, there will be challenges. Whether it's a behavioral problem, or simply trying to find a craft that will take more than 5 minutes to complete, it is up to our Day Camp leaders to figure out a way to over come these challenges. Both Maddy and Rebecca agree that the biggest challenges they have faced are trying to figure out a way to keep everyone entertained and engaged, while also structuring a functional Day Camp. They appear to be doing something right, as they often get 5 stars on their end of week reviews!

Rebecca returned to Dino Day Camp for a second year this summer, as she help run it last year as well. This is Maddy's first year with Dino Day Camp, but has enjoyed it thoroughly. The pair make a great team!

August is the last month for Dino Day Camp, and the weeks are filling up fast. Coming up this week is Gold Rush, after that is the very popular Shark Week, and to finish off the summer we have Croc Attack! Maddy and Rebecca both want parents to know that while drop ins are welcome, it is best to sign your child up prior to the week to ensure that you get a spot. They would also like to point out that Shark Week is filling up VERY QUICKLY but that Gold Rush and Croc Attack are both great weeks that have lots of space.

Dino Day Camp costs either $20 per day or $60 for the week. Click here to check out our schedule for the rest of the month, but please note that the days for Shark Week and Gold Rush have been switched. Give us a call at the CFDC at (204) 822-3406 to book your spot!

And a special thanks to Maddy Jamieson and Rebecca Pedneault for taking the time to help me out with this blog!

Paige Ready

Museum Assistant