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Camping with a Purpose
As much as I love to camp, I also love to help out the environment. This gives me the ability to help preserve the “wilderness and wildlife” for my children while enjoying my camping trip. I know this may not be for everyone. Most people think that citizen research takes too much time, they are not smart enough or that their role will really not make a different and in doing so choose not to do it. But believe it or not, scientists need outdoor enthusiasts help. We know what is going on. I mean, we are out there enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer and we also know when something is not right.
Ok, you may be thinking I really do not want to have to go through training, etc. I mean I just want to go camping and enjoy the peace and quiet. If you are thinking about this, let me tell you story. For older people, this story can bring tears, laughs, and maybe a jar. The story starts with a warm, summer night outside. You just got finished a big slice of watermelon and you have gone in to ask your mom for a glass jar with lid. Your mom gets you that jar with a lid and you begin to poke holes in the lid with a metal ice pick. Your mom reminds you that you are not going to bring your jar in but you know you will. You really want to enjoy Mother Nature’s nightlight.
So away you go out into the darkness with your jar. You begin to collect little globes of light or Lightening Bugs. In my case, my dad always told me I needed to add grass to make the Lightening Bugs feel at home. So, I would add grass, small sticks, and some of my mom’s flowers. Once I had decorated the interior of the jar, I was ready to catch my Lightening Bugs.
Well, this is what life was like when I was a kid but things are different and scientists really do not know way. This is where you come in. The Clemons Vanishing Firefly Project is a citizen scientist project for all ages. It would be a great way of introducing your kids to science while enjoying the great outdoors and quality family time. Joining this research program would give you a chance to share your own firefly story with your kids before they are all gone. Hopefully through this research we can prevent this disaster from happening and firefly stories can continue alongside the campfire.