We recently had a fantastic group of Girl Scouts visit Frog Hollow and their transformation in attitude during their visit was fabulous.
The group arrived at 3:45 pm, and the air was heavy with 100-degree heat. They piled out of the car and I watched as the ten-year-old girls exchanged un-enthused glances with one another, and immediately complaining to their parents that is was “SOO hot here,” and asking “how long are we staying?”. Right away, three of them announced they had to use the restroom, but then refused once they learned that a porta-potty was the only option.
As I welcomed them to the farm, one girl screamed and ran, we soon found out she had felt an ant climbing up her arm, the others looked disgusted. One proclaimed, “I hate ants, mom!” I thought to myself, “Oh boy, this could be a long afternoon…”
We started down the orchard path and I quickly heard an excited voice, “Stella, that bird has a yellow head!” and another, “Look at that tree with the red flowers”, I turned and they were examining the pomegranate tree, full of vibrant blossoms, as bird darted around in the grass. We continued on, and I announced that we had a surprise in store for them- we were going to pick apricots to eat. With wide eyes they asked, “Do we get to eat them?” I smiled, “of course!” They rushed into the row of trees that were loaded with rosy orange apricots. I explained that they could each pick 4 fruits, so they better choose wisely. I watched as they smelled, touched, and carefully observed the fruit, pondering which four would be theirs. I heard giggles, saw feet running between the trees. Just like that, they had forgotten all about the heat and the bugs. Once I announced it was time to leave the apricots and continue on to our tour of the garden, they begged me to stay in the trees just a few minutes longer.
One of my favorite things about kids is how easily they change their minds. I think too often, adults are stuck on their perceptions and opinions, unwilling to have new experiences. When the girl scout troop left the farm two hours later, they told me over and over again “how cool” this place was. “Can we come back?” I hope I can learn a thing or two from their willingness to try new things, and I bet I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
– Farmer Kristin