Tara Sprickerhoff photo Edward Schiller, 7, reaches for some deadly nightshade berries to help the Invasive Species Council during a program run at the Scout Island Nature Centre for fall break.

Fall program gives children chance to ‘unplug’

Drawing and delighting in the beauty of winter at Scout Island

Clambering up bushes and pushing their way through the grass, several youth worked with the Invasive Species Council at Scout Island to remove the berries of the deadly nightshade plant – while wearing gloves of course.

It was just one of the activities at the Beauty of Winter fall break nature program provided by Scout Island and the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society.

“It provides an opportunity for kids to get unplugged and get reconnected with nature where we serve a heaping helping of vitamin ‘N,’ which is vitamin nature,” said Mary Forbes, who led the program.

As well as helping with the invasive plant – after a stern warning not to eat it – children aged 7 to fourteen scrambled around the nature centre, sketching and drawing what they saw.

Madison Riplinger, a Grade 8 student, helped guide the participants in doing pencil drawings on everything from trees, to landscapes and mammals.

“I learned that you can’t hide your talents in the ground, because if you hide your talents in the ground you are hiding what you know how to do,” said Kensani Poyser, 8, who participated in the program.

“I’ve been drawing art, deadly nightshade, grass, houses, leaves and water.”

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