May 2017 Family Friendly Community Guide

Conservation corps in need of summer workers

Cutline: Corps workers take a break to pose for a picture. (Photo courtesy of Superior Watershed Partnership)

The Superior Watershed Partnership (SWP) is hiring more than 25 young adults (ages 18 to 25) for the Great Lakes Conservation Corps (GLCC) and the Climate Conservation Corps (CCC) for the 2017 summer field season. The SWP will also hire experienced crew leaders.

The SWP Great Lakes Conservation Corps has been steadily growing over the years and now has summer crews working throughout the Upper Peninsula, implementing projects that benefit communities, tourism, and Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. GLCC crews work on a wide variety of conservation, restoration and recreation projects while the Climate Conservation Corps is specifically dedicated to projects that help coastal communities adapt to climate change.

GLCC and CCC projects include but are not limited to community projects, coastal dune restoration, trail building, coastal wetland restoration, green infrastructure, stormwater management projects, buffer restoration, habitat restoration, tree planting, erosion control, coastal clean-ups, public access projects and more.

“Much of the real work of Great Lakes protection and restoration involves hand labor,” said Emily Goodman, SWP Corps coordinator. “It takes people, not just heavy equipment, to build a trail, or restore a riverbank, dune, or wetland. The GLCC provides training and real-world experience on a wide variety of conservation projects.”

Recent GLCC projects include building new trails and footbridges for the Noquemanon Trail Network and the North Country Trail, Lake Superior dune restoration, habitat restoration projects with the Hiawatha National Forest, Ottawa National Forest and the Partnership for Watershed Restoration, assisting with installing the first handicapped beach access in Marquette, improving habitat for the threatened Piping Plover, and restoring habitat for important pollinator species like the Rusty Patched Bumblebee and the Monarch Butterfly.

The Superior Watershed Partnership works with local units of government, community organizations, businesses and state, federal and tribal partners to identify GLCC project sites. GLCC crews are trained and supervised by experienced crew leaders and are equipped with trucks, tools, safety equipment and camping gear for overnight stays at remote sites if needed. All crew members wear uniforms and receive First Aid training along with other project-specific training prior to each field season.

GLCC crews are efficient, cost effective and achieve documented, measureable results. Crews can be contracted by the day, week or longer. For more information contact Emily Goodman, SWP corps coordinator, at emily@superiorwatersheds.org or 228-6095.

— Superior Watershed Partnership

Application period open to become exchange student

The Rotary Club of Marquette is accepting applications for students to participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Spending time abroad as an exchange student is one of the most unique opportunities available to young people. An exchange will provide opportunities to grow in new ways and experience a new culture and ideas. The purpose of the Rotary Youth Exchange program is to provide secondary school students with the opportunity to travel abroad, live with host families, and experience life firsthand in a different country, school and social environment. Exchange students will gain lifelong advantages through an expanded world view and greater appreciation of the world.

The Rotary Youth Exchange program is open to high school students, or those who have just graduated, between the ages of 15 and 18½ on departure (as of August 15 in the year of departure). The program is open to children of Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike. Exchange student candidates must be outgoing, self-confident, friendly, adaptable, adventurous, willing to learn a foreign language, with above average grades in school.

More general information is available at rye6220.org/outbound.php. Contact Judy Watson Olson at 360-6994 or jwatsonolson@gmail.com by Friday, May 5, to express interest.

— Rotary Club of Marquette

Ignoring the ‘mother button’

Shortly after our weekly long distance call to our daughter and her family, I had a sudden revelation. “I don’t’ think that they really appreciated our advice,” I said to my husband. “Am I wrong, or did you have that same feeling?”

Mothering and giving advice had gone hand-in-hand for so long that it was a shock to imagine that all the experience and wisdom gained over the years wouldn’t be welcome if it was passed on to our children when they became parents. How anxious we are to help our “kids” avoid the pitfalls and aggravations we experienced when they were growing up. We made so many mistakes and can’t wait to steer them away from repeating our errors. It’s a burning desire born of love, along with a caring and concern that keeps you wanting to give directions to our children, even when they become adults.

The sudden realization that perhaps they wouldn’t welcome what we have to say seemed unthinkable. I first detected that my good advice was not being received with gratitude or delight when my normally sweet-tempered daughter cut short our conversation, just as I was warming up to list the ways to ease colic right after the birth of her first child. I chalked it up to her fatigue and lack of experience and decided to take a more subtle approach. Instead of direct suggestions, I’d slip in my motherly advice in other ways.

I told her stories about the way “someone else” had handled a problem. I sent newspaper clippings enclosed in my letters. I mailed child-raising books out to her as gifts. There was no end to my devious methods to “help” her raise her baby. “When your brother behaved that way, we learned to …” “When you were a little girl, we used to …” I was truly oblivious to the fact that these bits of wisdom were not appreciated, because my heart was directing my tongue, turning on my “mother button” whenever I felt that I had something to tell her that would make her life easier.

My head slowly began to take control and told me that the cord had been cut. My daughter wanted me to regard her now as completely in control of her own household. She really did not want advice from her mother. It was fine from her friends and her pediatrician, but her antennae quivered at the slightest intonation that implied she was not doing a super job. My suggestions provoked that reaction. She desperately wanted to prove that she was both capable and efficient. My heart kept telling me that she was a young mother, so inexperienced, and there I was, so eager to help, but I was on the way to ruining what had always been a good mother-daughter relationship.

All mothers are blessed with a built-in mother button that’s activated whenever maternal instincts are aroused. How to define it? It is an urge, an all-consuming passion to protect offspring from all possible dangers or threats to their well-being, an overwhelming need to guard our charges and make life easier for them. The mother button goes off at the slightest inclination whenever a situation arises where you can’t wait to give advice and head off difficulty. The birth of a grandchild causes a state of euphoria and provides the ultimate opportunity to utilize that dormant signal.

Give unconditional love, encouragement and moral support, but don’t comment or interfere with the raising or handling of your grandchild. Control that mother button and you will experience the greatest joy of grandmotherhood.

— Debbie Koenig

Teaching children to be good observers

Weather observation helps children be alert for changes in their environment and to be prepared. Checking the weather forecast every day on media, plus learning weather clues for their own forecast are good ways to nurture awareness. Weather affects their safety, activities and clothing choices.

Step outside, stick a leg out, or observe weather through the window. Start asking questions. Is it sunny or cloudy? Will we need to wear sunglasses and a hat today? Is the sky really cloudy, partly cloudy or clear? Are there clouds coming in?

Observe the kinds of clouds. If the clouds are thick like a blanket and it’s rather gray, these stratus clouds are holding lots of possible raindrops or snow. It could be a wet or dreary day.

If it’s a blue sky with some big white cotton ball cumulous clouds it could be a nice day to play outside. If these clouds are gray or black (cumulonimbus) we could have a storm.

If the sky is clear with just a few high wispy feather cirrus clouds, we probably won’t have rain or snow.

Observe trees and flags. Is it really windy, a little breezy, or a calm day? Check out the temperature. Will we need jackets, hats, and mittens today or can we dress for warm weather?

When children observe the weather each morning you can have a good conversation at breakfast and can plan the day and clothing choices together. There are no clothing arguments because there has been discussion about what it’s like outside, what we must wear to protect ourselves and be comfortable.

You can teach family safety rules for lightning, storms and potential frostbite. Explain what causes thunder, lightning and strong winds to increase alertness and reduce fear.

Children can paint weather pictures to hang on the refrigerator or make a calendar for the week with symbols to show the weather and temperature as seen in forecasts. Compare your observations and predictions with professionals’ forecasts.

How does the family prepare for weather emergencies? What happens if the power and heat are cut off? For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com, Facebook, Pinterest, and wnmufm.org/Learning through the Seasons live and podcast.

— Grandparents Teach, Too

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