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Bring your homeschool students out to Eagle Creek Park to explore, hike, picnic, and learn!  Visit both nature centers and explore the park grounds for educational experiences on your own, or sign up your group of students for one of our environmental education program offerings.  Most programs are $4 to $5/student, with a minimum charge of $40.  Visit the Field Trip Page for more information on topics and scheduling.  We also offer programs throughout the year ​specifically for homeschool students.

 
To be added to the Homeschool Jamboree email list, please contact Dawn Van Deman at dawn.vandeman@indy.gov or 317-327-1198.
Program choices and registration details are usually emailed to the list approx. 4-5 days before the first day of registration.  Please note, registering for a homeschool program does not automatically put you on the general email list. 
 

Homeschool Hikes Winter/Spring 2013

 
January 16 (Wed) Homeschool Winter Hike, 10am-11:30am at the Earth Discovery Center.  Bundle up for a 1 to 2 mile hike through the winter woods to get some fresh air and exercise!  All children must have an adult or guardian present on the hike.  Free with park admission, no registration required.
 
April 10 (Wed) Homeschool Spring Hike, 10am-11:30am at the Earth Discovery Center.  Join us for a 1 to 2 mile hike through the woods to see what's blooming in the park this spring!  All children must have an adult or guardian present on the hike.  Free with park admission, no registration required.
 
 

Spring Homeschool Jamboree 2013 FULL

 

As of 12:45pm on February 11th, the Spring Homeschool Jamboree is FULL with 150 students registered.  In the past we have been able to return voicemails to take registrations by the afternoon, but due to the fast pace of registration this morning we filled the program before we could get to them (it takes about an hour to listen to the 50+ messages on our voicemail).  As the Jamboree becomes more and more popular, we will make adjustments to our registration methods, and for fall will do our best to make it clear that leaving a voicemail does not guarantee you will be registered.  Our apologies if you had a frustrating experience.

 

What:  8th Annual Spring Homeschool Jamboree  - students attend 3 to 4 environmental education classes in an exciting, educational, and fun-filled day. (Maximum 150 students)
Where:  Eagle Creek Earth Discovery Center within Eagle Creek Park
Date:  Friday March 22nd, 2013
Time:  10am-2:40pm
Ages:  8-18
Cost:  $10/student due at time of registration, plus $1/fee per transaction.

Registration:  begins on Monday, February 11th at 9am.  If space is still available, the last day registrations will be accepted is Wednesday, March 20. Please call 317-327-7148 to register.  The first day of registration can be very busy, and popular classes may fill early.  We will do our best to make the process as fair as is physically possible; thank you for your patience, and your enthusiasm! 

 

 

Information to have handy before you register:

  • Complete names and ages of students

  • Address and phone number

  • Email address – this will allow us to send your students their class schedules before the actual day of the event, as well as notify you of any last minute changes due to weather, etc.

  • Six class choices for each student (see below for class topics) ranked in order from 1 (first choice) to 6 (last choice).  Students will be assigned four of their six choices.  We try to get each student into their top two choices if at all possible, and assign choices 3 and 4 as space and time slots allow.  If there is a class your student particularly wishes to attend be sure to designate it as their #1 or #2 choice.

  • Payment information - we accept Master Card, VISA, Discovery, and American Express over the phone. 

PLEASE READ:

In accordance with city policy there will be NO REFUNDS.  If you cancel before March 15, 2013, you will receive a credit to your account that can be used for other Indy Parks programs.  In addition there is a $1 transaction fee for each transaction (i.e. if you sign up 4 students, you will be charged the $1 fee - $41.00.  If you call later to add an additional student, there will be a $1 fee for that transaction – $11.00.)

 

Schedule of the day:

 9am-10am

Students may begin arriving for check in (please note, you do not have to arrive at 9am – this is just the earliest we will be ready to check you in, if you’d like to avoid the 10 o’clock rush), where they receive name tag with class schedule and locations.  All parents need to come inside with their students for check in.

 10am        

 All students should be present for final check in

 10:20am    

 Students gather in front of building for welcome and instructions

 10:30am-11:15am

 CLASS #1

 11:25am-12:10am

 CLASS #2

 12:10am-12:55am

 LUNCH (outside or EDC hallways - please bring a sack lunch)

 12:55pm-1:40pm

 CLASS #3

 1:50pm-2:35pm

 CLASS #4*

 2:40pm

 Student pick up.

 
*Students attending the 90-minute “Drop by Drop” class will have a total of 3 classes for the day.
 
 

Spring 2013 Program Topics:

Printable 2013 Spring Homeschool Jamboree Class Choices (pdf - letter size)

 
 

Drop by Drop (inside) During the session we will explore how water is used and how we affect our water.  Hands-on experiments will give students a chance to explore waters properties, how water moves through the water cycle, and the movement of water in the watershed.  This class takes two sessions (90 min).  

Insect Lives (inside)  What makes insects so interesting, awesome, and unique?  What important roles do they play in our lives and in the world around us?  Come discover answers to these and other fascinating facts from a local entomologist!

Indiana’s Natural Resources (inside) Come and learn about some of  Indiana’s Natural Resources through history from the French/English fur trade, and timber resources, to coal, natural gas and limestone.  Also learn how these natural resources were formed by the Earth.  Please note:  Class topic contains mention of fossil formation and geological time scales.   

Nature Crafts (inside) This class is for creative kids!  We are going to be using nature’s finest works of art to create our own masterpieces.  Your students will be going home with many craft projects they will create themselves and many ideas for more projects to work on at home.  In this class we are all artists…naturally!  

Indiana Mammals (Inside) Raccoons, squirrels, and deer are only a few of the mammals that call Eagle Creek Park home.  Find out what other mammals are native to this area and how to identify them by their tracks and scat.  We will look at different furs and skulls and even meet a real live mammal.
 
Basic Wildlife Photography (inside and outside) How can I get a photograph of an owl or a loon, a fox or a coyote? A bird flying, a deer jumping or a duck taking off from the water? We will review the basics of aperture, shutter speed, composition, light and more. Learn some tips and tricks for taking award winning photos even in your own back yard. You will need to have your own camera and know where everything is on it. This class will be divided into sessions for ages 8-12 and 13-18. Dress for the weather.
 
Birdwatching for Beginners (Outside) Go on a fun hike and learn how to use binoculars with Southeastway Park Naturalist, Janet Creamer.  We will be learning field marks, how to identify birds by sound and cool facts about some of the common birds that visit Eagle Creek Park.

Basic Tree Climbing (Outside) Get a bird’s eye view of the park while getting to know your trees.  Join us in “Up a tree without a paddle”.  Learn to climb a tree using arborist equipment.

Leave No Trace (Outside)  We all love to get out and enjoy the parks. So come and participate in some activities that will teach you, how to keep the parks looking beautiful and pristine for future generations. Come learn, while talking part in engaging activities that show the importance of your actions. 

Little Creatures (Outside) Are you quicker than a beetle?  Sneakier than a salamander?  Put your detective skills to the test as we explore the forest, observing and collecting information about small animals and the habitats in which they live.  Who knows what we may discover; moths, millipedes, butterflies, snails, snakes, warblers, woodpeckers…. 

Pioneer Fire Starting (Outside)  For the pioneers, the ability to start a fire with the materials at hand was vital to their survival.  This session will focus on fire building without matches.   

Boating Safety (Outside) Join Conservation Officer Jeff Wells in a brief introduction and overview of the duties of a conservation officer and water/boater safety. This program will involve both class discussion and demonstration with students on a canoe without ever getting wet. Each participant will learn about general safety concerns around water and water related activities. 

Maple Syruping (Outside) Learn the basics of making maple syrup on a small scale in Indiana!  We will cover pioneer and native American history, time of year, tools and equipment, tapping, collecting, cooking, filtering, testing and bottling, and best of all, tasting! 

Tree ID Hike (Outside) Hike Eagle Creek trails and learn to identify trees by their bud and bark characteristics.

 
 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to stay with my student or can I just drop them off?   

You are welcome to stay with your student and attend the event, or you may also drop them off.  You know your student the best - some children are mature enough to attend Homeschool Jamboree on their own, while others may need you to stay with them.  Students are responsible for finding their way to their classes and have a 45 minute lunch period on their own.  We have several adults around to assist and monitor students throughout the day, but if you have any concerns about your child's safety, maturity, or ability to follow instructions and stay with their class, please plan on attending the event with them.  For a few classrooms with limited space, you may be asked to wait outside in the hallway.  If you will be dropping off your student, we will ask you to fill out emergency contact information at the time of check in.  

Student Pick Up Procedure – due to the large number of students, it is not practical to have a formal check out procedure.  The end of Homeschool Jamboree can be very busy, with lots of students, parents and cars moving in and out of the parking lot.  Please talk to your students ahead of time about safety - you may wish to determine a pick-up spot in advance, or meet them at their last class location. 

 

If I am staying with my child, can I bring my younger children along? 

Yes, you may bring younger siblings with you to Homeschool Jamboree, all we ask is that you remove them promptly from the program if they become restless or disruptive.  Be aware that a few of the program sessions involve longer hikes that may not be suitable for younger children.  There are several playgrounds and hiking trails in the park that you are welcome to enjoy during your visit, and you may wish to bring along books, toys, or other items to keep younger children entertained.  

 

My child is seven, can I still sign him up for HSJ? 

Even if your child is working at an advanced level, this is a very long day for younger children and we strongly recommend waiting until they are at least eight before attending.  Our absolute cut-off for signing up for Homeschool Jamboree is 7 1/2 years (must turn 7 on or before September 22, 2012).  

 

My child is seventeen, will she enjoy this event? 

Many of the class topics and programs are ones that we offer for a wide range of ages, children through adult.  Most students tend to be in the 8-13 age range, but older students with an interest in nature and the outdoors usually have a great time.  We try to offer a few new classes each session, but students who have attended several Jamborees already may start to find it repetitious. 

 

What if the weather is bad; will you cancel the program? 

Homeschool Jamboree is a rain or shine event - we only cancel if weather conditions are dangerous - thunder, lightning, extremely high winds, etc., and since Indiana weather can change very quickly, we may not know until the day before or even the morning of the program.  Cancellation information and updates will be emailed to registered participants and posted on this page as soon as it is available.  We do not generally cancel for rain or cold temperatures.  Since many of the program sessions are outdoors, please check the weather forecast carefully and dress accordingly.  

 

Will we have to pay the gate entrance fee to get into the park?

Gate admission is included in your registration fee.  Please check in with the gate attendant at the 71st or 56th street gates with the name(s) of your registered student(s).   

 

What about lunch? 

Please have your students bring a sack lunch.  Lunches can be carried with students, or may be dropped off in the pantry after check in.  Due to cold weather over the last few Jamborees, students have been allowed to eat lunch in the hallways of the EDC rather than having to go outside.  Because of their excellent behavior and clean up afterwards (thank you!), lunch will be allowed either inside or outside, regardless of weather.  Students are not directly supervised during the 45 minute lunch period, although we do have volunteers walking around to assist students during this time if needed – please take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to stay with your students for the day. 

 

Can we find out what classes we got into before the day of the event? 

When you sign up for the Jamboree, we have you choose your top four classes with two alternates.  In order to fit everyone into as many of their top choice classes as possible, we must wait until almost everyone has registered to start assigning classes (it's like a giant, complicated, jigsaw puzzle).  As soon as the Jamboree is nearly full, we will assign classes and send out schedules by email.  Even if you are on the general Homeschool email list, please leave your email address at the time of registration if you wish to get your class schedule early. 

 

If we don't like our classes, can we switch them the day of the event?   

Due to the nature of the program and the high number of students, we are unable to switch classes the day of the event.  Make sure when registering that your students will be happy with all six of their class choices, and if there is a class they particularly wish to attend indicate it as their #1 or #2 choice.  We will do our best to make adjustments if there are extenuating circumstances (i.e. student sprained ankle the night before and is not able to go on hikes, but still wants to attend), but please be aware that staff will be very busy at the beginning of the event as we get nearly 150 students signed in and off to their first classes, so we may not be able to address your concerns immediately.  

 

Why don't you offer more Homeschool Jamborees at different times of the year? 

To be able to offer the variety of class choices that we do, we pull in favors from staff at Indy Parks Outreach, Holliday Park, Southeastway Park, Garfield Park, IDEM, IDNR, Camptown, our talented Indy Parks Volunteers, and countless others.  Most of these parks and organizations become extremely busy from spring through fall with school field trips, daycamps, park visitors, etc.  Early spring and late fall are the best compromise for the event - the best variety of presenters are available, and we try to push the date as close to busy season as possible to give us the best chance for good weather. 

 
 

Homeschool Bird Jam 2013  FULL

 
May 3 (Fri) Homeschool Bird Jam, 10am-2:40pm at the Ornithology Center.  Spend the day at the Ornithology Center, learning all about birds.  Bird Jam features a variety of classes and fun activities.  Call 327-BIRD to register and pick class choices.  Registration starts Wednesday, April 3 and ends Wednesday, April 24.  Space is limited to 80 students.  $10/student, ages 8-18. 
 
 

Fall Homeschool Jamboree 2012 FULL

 
Update 11/1/12  The weather for Friday is looking chilly but sunny - low 35F, high 49F.  Dress warm!
 
Update 10/29/12  The email of student class assignments went out on Monday, Oct 22 to all registered participants.  If you did not get your email, please check the junk/spam folders to see if it was diverted there, or contact dawn.vandeman@indy.gov
 
As of 3:30pm on September 17, the 2012 Fall Homeschool Jamboree is full, at 150 students.  This has been our busiest registration for a Jamboree so far - we thank you for your patience and enthusiasm.  We are working on the dates for our 2013 Spring Jamboree and Spring Bird Jam already - details coming soon. 
 
We are extremely excited to host our 8th Annual Fall Home School Jamboree at the Earth Discovery Center.  Below is some important information to help make the day go smoother for everyone.  Thank you and if you have any questions please feel free to call 317-327-7148 or e-mail Dawn Van Deman dawn.vandeman@indy.gov  or  Andrea Hopper andrea.hopper@indy.gov

 

Dawn Van Deman, Eagle Creek Park Naturalist

Andrea Hopper, Supervisor of Nature Centers

 

What:  8th Annual Fall Homeschool Jamboree  - students attend 3-4 environmental education classes in an exciting, educational, and fun-filled day.

Where:  Eagle Creek Earth Discovery Center within Eagle Creek Park

Date:  Friday November 2, 2012

Time:  10am-2:40pm

Ages:  8-18

Cost:  $10/student due at time of registration, plus $1/fee per transaction.

Registration:  begins on Monday, September 17th at 9am.  If space is still available, the last day registrations will be accepted is Wednesday, October 31st. Please call 317-327-7148 to register.  Please note:  leaving a message on the answering machine will not reserve your spot in the Jamboree, and some class topics may be full before we can return your call.  The first day of registration can be very busy, and popular classes may fill early.  We will do our best to make the process as fair as is physically possible; thank you for your patience, and your enthusiasm! 

Information to have handy before you register:

  • Complete names and ages of students
  • Address and phone number
  • Email address – this will allow us to send your students their class schedules and waiver forms before the actual day of the event, as well as notify you of any last minute changes due to weather, etc. 
  • Class choices for each student (see attachments in both Word and PDF formats, or information is also available at www.eaglecreekdiscovery.org on the homeschool page) ranked in order from 1 (first choice) to 6 (last choice).  Students will be assigned four of their six choices; if there is a class they particularly wish to attend be sure they designate it as their #1 or #2 choice.
  • Payment information - we accept Master Card, VISA, Discovery, and American Express over the phone. 

 

 

PLEASE READ:

In accordance with city policy there will be NO REFUNDS.  If you cancel before October 19th, 2012, you will receive a credit to your account that can be used for other Indy Parks programs.  In addition there is a $1 transaction fee for each transaction (i.e. if you sign up 4 students, you will be charged the $1 fee - $41.00.  If you call later to add an additional student, there will be a $1 fee for that transaction – $11.00.)
 

Schedule of the day

 9am-10am

Students may begin arriving for check in (please note, you do not have to arrive at 9am – this is just the earliest we will be ready to check you in, if you’d like to avoid the 10 o’clock rush), where they receive name tag with class schedule and locations.  All parents need to come inside with their students for check in.

 10am        

 All students should be present for final check in

 10:20am    

 Students gather in front of building for welcome and instructions

 10:30am-11:15am

 CLASS #1

 11:25am-12:10am

 CLASS #2

 12:10am-12:55am

 LUNCH (outside or EDC hallways - please bring a sack lunch)

 12:55pm-1:40pm

 CLASS #3

 1:50pm-2:35pm

 CLASS #4*

 2:40pm

 Student pick up.

 *Students attending either the 90-minute Orienteering or Who Dirtied the Water classes will have a total of 3 classes for the day.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do I need to stay with my student or can I just drop them off? 

 

You are welcome to stay with your student and attend the event, or you may also drop them off.  You know your student the best - some children are mature enough to attend Homeschool Jamboree on their own, while others may need you to stay with them.  Students are responsible for finding their way to their classes and have a 45 minute lunch period on their own.  We have several adults around to assist and monitor students throughout the day, but if you have any concerns about your child's safety, maturity, or ability to follow instructions and stay with their class, please plan on attending the event with them.  For a few classrooms with limited space, you may be asked to wait outside in the hallway.  If you will be dropping off your student, we will ask you to fill out emergency contact information at the time of check in. 

 

 

Student Pick Up Procedure – due to the large number of students, it is not practical to have a formal check out procedure.  The end of Homeschool Jamboree can be very busy, with lots of students, parents and cars moving in and out of the parking lot.  Please talk to your students ahead of time about safety - you may wish to determine a pick-up spot in advance, or meet them at their last class location. 

 

 

If I am staying with my child, can I bring my younger children along?

 

Yes, you may bring younger siblings with you to Homeschool Jamboree, all we ask is that you remove them promptly from the program if they become restless or disruptive.  Be aware that a few of the program sessions involve longer hikes that may not be suitable for younger children.  There are several playgrounds and hiking trails in the park that you are welcome to enjoy during your visit, and you may wish to bring along books, toys, or other items to keep younger children entertained. 

 

 

My child is seven, can I still sign him or her up for HSJ?

 

Even if your child is working at an advanced level, this is a very long day for younger children and we strongly recommend waiting until they are at least eight before attending.  Our absolute cut-off for signing up for Homeschool Jamboree is 7 1/2 years (must turn 7 on or before May 2, 2012).  

 

 

My child is seventeen, will she enjoy this event?

 

Many of the class topics and programs are ones that we offer for a wide range of ages, children through adult.  Most students tend to be in the 8-13 age range, but older students with an interest in nature and the outdoors usually have a great time.  We try to offer a few new classes each session, but students who have attended several Jamborees already may start to find it repetitious. 

 

What if the weather is bad, will you cancel the program?

 

Homeschool Jamboree is a rain or shine event - we only cancel if weather conditions are dangerous - thunder, lightning, extremely high winds, etc., and since Indiana weather can change very quickly, we may not know until the day before or even the morning of the program.  Cancellation information and updates will be emailed to registered participants and posted on the www.eaglecreekdiscovery.org homeschool page as soon as it is available.  We do not generally cancel for rain or cold temperatures.  Since many of the program sessions are outdoors, please check the weather forecast carefully and dress accordingly.

 

 

Will we have to pay the gate entrance fee to get into the park?

 

Gate admission is included in your registration fee.  Please check in with the gate attendant at the 71st or 56th street gates with the name(s) of your registered student(s). 

 

 

What about lunch?

 

Please have your students bring a sack lunch.  Lunches can be carried with students, or may be dropped off in the pantry after check in.  Due to cold weather over the last few Jamborees, students have been allowed to eat lunch in the hallways of the EDC rather than having to go outside.  Because of their excellent behavior and clean up afterwards (thank you!), lunch will be allowed either inside or outside, regardless of weather.  Students are not directly supervised during the 45 minute lunch period, although we do have volunteers walking around to assist students during this time if needed – please take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to stay with your students for the day.

 

 

Can we find out what classes we got into before the day of the event?

 

When you sign up for the Jamboree, we have you choose your top four classes with two alternates.  In order to fit everyone into as many of their top choice classes as possible, we must wait until almost everyone has registered to start assigning classes (it's like a giant, complicated, jigsaw puzzle).  As soon as the Jamboree is nearly full, we will assign classes and send out schedules by email.  Even if you are on the general Homeschool email list, please leave your email address at the time of registration if you wish to get your class schedule early.

 

 

If we don't like our classes, can we switch them the day of the event?   

 

Due to the nature of the program and the high number of students, we are unable to switch classes the day of the event.  Make sure when registering that your students will be happy with all six of their class choices, and if there is a class they particularly wish to attend indicate it as their #1 or #2 choice.  We will do our best to make adjustments if there are extenuating circumstances (i.e. student sprained ankle the night before and is not able to go on hikes, but still wants to attend), but please be aware that staff will be very busy at the beginning of the event as we get nearly 150 students signed in and off to their first classes, so we may not be able to address your concerns immediately. 

 

 

Why don't you offer more Homeschool Jamborees at different times of the year?

 

To be able to offer the variety of class choices that we do, we pull in favors from staff at Indy Parks Outreach, Holliday Park, Southeastway Park, Garfield Park, IDEM, IDNR, Camptown, our talented Indy Parks Volunteers, and countless others.  Most of these parks and organizations become extremely busy from spring through fall with school field trips, daycamps, park visitors, etc.  Early spring and late fall are the best compromise for the event - the best variety of presenters are available, and we try to push the date as close to busy season as possible to give us the best chance for good weather. 
 
 

2012 Fall Jamboree Program Choices

 
Instructions:  Choose six classes total, numbered by preference from 1 (top choice), to 6 (last choice).  We will do our best to get students into their top 4 choices, but we may need to place them in one of their alternates, so be sure students like all of their choices!  Groups of up to 12 can request to stay together in the same classes.   

 

 
 

Hunting and Firearms Safety: (Inside)  Indiana Conservation Officer Jeff Wells will provide an overview of firearm and hunter safety tips.  He will instruct students on basic safety procedures when handling a firearm and emphasize the importance of always treating firearms as though they were loaded

 

Basic Tree Climbing: (Outside)(Maximum 12 students per session) get a bird’s eye view of the park while getting to know your trees.  Join us in “Up a tree without a paddle”.  Learn to climb a tree using arborist equipment.

 

Fall Hike: (Outside) Join our Volunteer Naturalists as they lead you on a wild and wonderful fall nature hike.  You will get to see what the plants and animals do to prepare for winter, listen to the crunching of leaves beneath your feet, and marvel at the different smells and sights of fall.   It truly is one of the most wonderful times of year!

 

Land Navigation: Orienteering: (Outside)(90 Minute Sessions) Learn the basic skills of using a compass and map to find your way around. This is a two hour class which will begin with your compass and how to use it. We will then try out some simple navigation to test your skills and then it’s off into the woods for trail navigation. This program is outdoors so dress for the weather. (For students age 12-18)

 

Canines and Felines: (Inside) Come learn about the wild dogs and cats of Indiana! Discover where they are, what they eat and how they live. Learn from furs and skulls, about current residents, extirpated and extinct wild dogs and cats from the Dire Wolf to the Gray Fox and the Smilodon to the Bobcat.

 

Pioneer Fire Starting: (Outside) Have you ever wondered how people started fire before there were matches? How does it work to rub two sticks together to make fire? Learn how to use flint and steel for starting a fire and see a couple of other ways you could learn to make a fire, all without matches!!

 

Teambuilding: (Outside) Come and see what you can learn about yourself, in a fun day of teambuilding activities. There will be a variety of challenges the group will need to solve. It is always exciting to see what is possible when you work together.

 

Nature: Fact vs. Fiction (Inside) True or False:  An owl can turn its head in a complete circle.  If you touch a bird’s nest, the mother will not return.   Come learn the truth about these and other popular myths as we explore the natural world separating fact from pure fiction.

 

Reptiles and Amphibians: (Inside)  Turtles, frogs, snakes, oh my!  In this fun and informative class you will get up close and personal with some of Indiana’s reptiles and amphibians.  Whether it’s scales or slime, it’s always fun!

 

The Waters Education Trailer: (Outside) Come inside the Waters Education Trailer and try to find over 100 different Indianapolis wild animals hiding in three common habitats.  You can come up close and personal with replica and taxidermy animals that while common you might not see living around you.  Some are nocturnal, some are so well camouflaged they hide in plain sight.  Wild animals fascinate us but are often difficult to see due to their shyness.  Learn about their adaptations, predator/prey relationships, and enjoy their unique beauty.  You never knew so many fascinating animals lived right in your own back yard.

 

Bald Eagles at Eagle Creek Park: (Outside) For about 100 years there were no nesting pairs of bald eagles in the entire state of Indiana.  In 2012 you have a very good chance of seeing one.   Why were bald eagles endangered in most of the United States?  What led to their recovery?  On this hike you will learn how and where to look for eagles at Eagle Creek Park.

 

Birds of Prey: (Inside) Do you know what kinds of birds are raptors?  Can owls really turn their head all the way around?  In this class, we will see live birds of prey up close and learn where they live, what they eat, and other interesting facts about their behavior.

 

Who Dirtied the Water?:  (Inside) During the session we will take clear water and allow different groups to add material to the water.  Next students will work in groups to design a water filtration system given only a limited number of materials.  The groups will sketch and write down their step by step procedures.  After their plans are approved they will put their filtration designs to the final test – can they clean the dirtied water?  This program takes up two class sessions (90 minutes).

 

 
 
  

Homeschool Bird Jam 2012

 

RegistrationRegistration for the Bird Jam begins Thursday, March 22, at 9am.  This year you may sign up in person at the Ornithology Center or, new this year, sign up over the phone at 317-327-2473.  Please be patient, especially on the first day of registration, as the Ornithology Center only has one phone line and registration will take longer since students are selecting their schedule as well as classes. 

 

Ornithology Center hours are:  Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm. 

What:  2nd Homeschool Bird Jam  - students attend four environmental education bird classes

Where:  Eagle Creek Ornithology Center within Eagle Creek Park

Date:  Friday May 4th, 2012

Time:  10:00am-2:40pm

Ages:  8-18 (max 80 students)

Cost:  $10/student due at time of registration, plus $1/fee per transaction.

 

 

Some information to have handy before you call:

 

  • Complete names and ages of students
  • Address and phone number
  • Class choices and tentative class times for each student (see attachments in both Word and PDF formats, or information is also available at www.eaglecreekdiscovery.org on the homeschool page).   Some class times may fill, so your schedule may need to be rearranged or tweaked at the time of registration.  All classes except for the “Birds of Prey” series are repeated at four different times.  Please note that some classes are only available for ages 12-18, while others are suitable for ages 8-18. 
  • Payment information - we accept Master Card, VISA, Discovery, and American Express over the phone, or cash (exact change appreciated), check or charge at the Ornithology Center. 

PLEASE READ:

In accordance with city policy there will be NO REFUNDS.  If you cancel before April 20nd, 2012, you will receive a credit to your account that can be used for other Indy Parks programs. 

 

Schedule of the day

 9:15-10am

Students may begin arriving for check in, where they receive name tag with class schedule and locations.  All parents need to be present with their students for check in to sign waivers and leave emergency contact information, if they will not be staying.

 9:30am        

 All students should be present for final check in

 9:50am    

 Students gather in front of building for welcome and instructions

 10:00am-10:50am

 CLASS #1

 11:00am-11:50am

 CLASS #2

 12:00pm-12:50pm

 LUNCH (outside - please bring a sack lunch)

 1:00pm-1:50pm

 CLASS #3

 2:00pm-2:50pm

 CLASS #4

 2:50pm

 Student pick up.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do I need to stay with my student or can I just drop them off? 

 

You are welcome to stay with your student and attend the event, or you may also drop them off.  You know your student the best - some children are mature enough to attend a Jamboree on their own, while others may need you to stay with them.  We have several adults around to assist students throughout the day, but if you have any concerns about your child's maturity or ability to follow instructions and stay with their class, please plan on attending the event with them.  For a few classrooms with limited space, you may be asked to wait outside in the hallway.  If you will be dropping off your student, we will ask you to fill out emergency contact information at the time of check in. 

 

Student Pick Up Procedure – due to the large number of students, it is not practical to have a formal check out procedure.  The end of a Jamboree can be very busy, with lots of students, parents and cars moving in and out of the parking area.  Please talk to your students ahead of time about safety - you may wish to determine a pick-up spot in advance, or meet them at their last class. 

 

 

If I am staying with my child, can I bring my younger children along?

 

Yes, you may bring younger siblings with you to Bird Jam, all we ask is that you remove them promptly from the program if they become restless or disruptive.  Be aware that a few of the program sessions involve longer hikes that may not be suitable for younger children.  There are several playgrounds and hiking trails in the park that you are welcome to enjoy during your visit, and you may wish to bring along books, toys, or other items to keep younger children entertained. 

 

 

What if the weather is bad, will you cancel the program?

 

Bird Jam is a rain or shine event - we only cancel if weather conditions are dangerous - thunder, lightning, extremely high winds, etc., and since Indiana weather can change very quickly, we may not know until the day before or even the morning of the program.  Cancellation information and updates will be posted on the www.eaglecreekdiscovery.org homeschool page as soon as it is available.  We do not generally cancel for rain or cold temperatures.  Since many of the program sessions are outdoors, please check the weather forecast carefully and dress accordingly.

 

 

Will we have to pay the gate entrance fee to get into the park?

 

Gate admission is included in your registration fee.  Please check in with the gate attendant at the 71st or 56th street gates with the name(s) of your registered student(s). 

 

 

What about lunch?

 

Please bring a sack lunch.  Lunches can be carried with students, or can be stored in the front room of the Ornithology Center.  Space inside the Ornithology Center is very limited, so lunch will be outside – there is seating available on the deck, or you may wish to bring a tarp or blanket to sit on. 

 
 

2012 Homeschool Bird Jam Class Choices

 

 

Please put together a tentative schedule of class choices and times for each student before calling to register.  Schedule may need to be adjusted as classes fill.  Click here for a printable pdf version of class choices.

 

My Schedule:                                                             

 

10:00am Class______________________                

 

11:00am Class______________________

 

1:00pm Class_______________________

 

2:00pm Class_______________________

 

 

Birds of Prey Programs

10 students/class max. Age: 8-18

 

 

Raptor Vision: 1class 10am

Why are people with good vision called “eagle-eyed”?  Can Owls see colors?  This class will give you a chance to see birds of prey up-close and learn ways that their eyes are specially adapted for the environments they live in.

 

Diurnal Raptors: 1class 11am

Which Indiana birds of prey hunt in the daylight?  Where might  you see them in Eagle Creek Park?  This class will give you a close-up view of some while you learn about the different families of daytime raptors.

 

Nocturnal Raptors: 1class 1pm

Which birds of prey are active at night?  How are their bodies adapted for night-time hunting?  In this class you will see some of these birds up-close and learn to recognize them by sight and sound.

 

Raptor Feet: 1class 2pm

Which bird has the strongest grip?  What bird family has “reversible” toes? How does an Osprey hold onto a slippery fish?  This class will give you the chance to see feet (and birds of prey) up-close while you learn the many ways that raptors use their feet.

 

 

Field Biology

8 students/class max. Age: 12-18

10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm

 

Have you ever wondered what a Field Biologist does or ever dreamed of working with wildlife in the great outdoors?  This class will give you a brief glimpse into the work of wildlife professionals throughout the world.  Come try your hand at navigation with a GPS unit, collecting point-count and habitat data, and discuss how that data could be used.  This class will be all outdoors, rain or shine, so come dressed for the weather and prepared to get off-trail.

 

  

Basic Backyard Birds

10 students/class max. Age: 8-18

10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm

 

     "Come learn about some common backyard birds in a fun and interactive way.  Pictures of bird species will be shown and a series of questions will be raised about each one to test your knowledge.  Questions will be designed to highlight key facts about each species to likely create more interest and discussion.  The session "Basic Backyard Birds" will take place inside the building using a powerpoint presentation".     

 

Migration

10 students/class max. Age: 8-18

10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm

 

Many species of birds participate in a seasonal journey called migration. Where do they go? How far do they travel? Which bird travels over 13,000 miles? Do all birds migrate? Play a fun game and make a souvenir to take home while learning about this amazing phenomenon.

 

 

Bird Photography

8 students/class max. Age: 12-18

10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm

 

In this class we will learn the basics of bird photography. We will talk about best light, aperture, shutter speed and composition. Learn how to hold your camera, best time of the day, where to go and what to look for. These are just a few of the things we will cover in this class. Class will take place inside the building using a powerpoint presentation and time permitting we will go out and take a few photos. Bring your camera.

 

Basic Bird ID

10 students/class max. Age: 12-18

10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm

 

Do you know how to adjust your binoculars for your eyes or how to locate a bird up in a tree? Can you describe that bird and location to someone else so they can find it? You will learn how to use a field guide, how to identify birds by their size, shape, field marks and habitat. On your hike, you will practice your newly learned birding skills. Dress for the weather as you will be outside.

 

Basic Bird ID Hike

10 students/class max. Age: 8-11

10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm

 

Are all Bluebirds jays? Are Cardinals always red? Learn clues to identification, find out how to use binoculars, and then go on a hike in search of birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ċ
Dawn Van Deman,
Sep 11, 2012, 7:00 AM
Ċ
Dawn Van Deman,
Sep 11, 2012, 6:59 AM
Ċ
Dawn Van Deman,
Mar 18, 2012, 9:03 AM
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