On Tuesday, December 1, Story Elementary students went "over the river and through the woods" to pick out a Christmas tree!
It was a brilliantly sunny and blustery day as the students headed into the woods by the Story Fish Hatchery, guided by Ken Watkins from Thorne Rider Youth Camp. He led us on a beautiful and snowy hike from the Fish Hatchery to the youth camp where we met up with Fire Chief Meineke and Firefighter Kevin Coffman.
Chief Meineke and Mr. Coffman brought the muscle and machinery, and Mr. Watkins allowed the students to walk through the youth group's forest property and pick out a perfect Christmas tree. After some debate, students made their choice and gathered around to watch Mr. Coffman cut it down.
When the Christmas tree was down and ready to go, Mr. Coffman quizzed students on how they could tell the age of the tree. They knew the answer was to count the rings, and count they did. Our tree turned out to be somewhere in its 30s.
Cheif Meineke then called the students over to show them a recent mountain lion track. He explained how mountain lions, being part of the cat family, walk with their claws retracted, which is how you can tell the difference between their tracks and a dog's track. He also pointed out the "halo" around the print, where the cat's fur contacted the snow. The kids really enjoyed learning more about the natural wonder right in our own backyard.
Finally, we hiked back through the woods and returned to school to warm up with some hot chocolate. Cheif Meineke and Mr. Coffman weren't far behind, ready to trim and set up our tree. Now the gym smells like pine and Christmas spirit is truly in the air! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Chief Meineke, Kevin Coffman and everybody at the Story Volunteer Fire Department, as well as Ken Watkins from Thorne Rider Youth Camp. We are so grateful for all of the generosity and care you show our school!