Saugeen Nature Young Naturalists Meet

January 16, 2016

Once a month, on Saturday mornings, the Saugeen Young Naturalists get together to have fun and learn about nature. On this cold January morning, the activity was an indoor one. The chil- dren were learning about White tailed deer and the First Nations skill of making moccasins. Kim Saunders, their leader, had cut out patterns to fit each child and was teaching them how to put the footwear together.

The children arrived one or two at a time, and Kim immediately set them to work learning how to make the sinew thread that is used to sew the moccasin pieces together. While they tried this technique, she showed them hides of other animals like Caribou, Elk and Buffalo.

Kim had sewed the vamp (top) to the bottom for one of each pair, so that she could check the fit for each child. Once she was sure the moccasin would fit, Kim set each child to work sewing the trim on the back part of the shoe and finishing the heel section. There were lots of questions, and ‘How do you do this?’ s, so she was kept busy demonstrating techniques. Luckily, many of the parents had stayed for this event, so they were able to help the children with their project. There were also some chatter and shenanigans, but generally the children were happy to try their hand at making a pair of their own shoes. Kim also described how moccasins were good for walking quietly in the woods so that you could see more animals.

After all the children had finished their first moccasin, and several of them immediately put it on, Kim showed everyone how to sew the vamp on the second one. For this shoe, each child would sew the whole thing from start to finish. Snacks were available so everyone could have a break. Once all the moccasins were finished, everyone put theirs on and stood with their feet together so that parents could take pictures. There was some dancing and jumping around to feel how com- fortable and light they were, then kids and parents said their goodbyes and trickled away.

The Young Naturalists meet every month, usually at Sulphur Springs Conservation Area, or other outdoor venue, to learn about plants and wildlife and sometimes about how people used to survive living in the wilderness, off the land. If you and your child are interested, go to for more information about meetings. Adult naturalists also meet twice a month for indoor and outdoor meetings. The next meeting, at the Sulphur Springs CA office showcases Allan Kempert of Hanover talking about bats.

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I the undersigned, wish to have my child
participate in the following activity
sponsored by the Saugeen Naturalists. As part of registering my child, I hereby agree as follows:
1. That I acknowledge that there are inherent risks associated with this activity and that my child could sustain personal injury through participation in this activity and I am hereby accepting to take that risk on behalf of myself or my child.

2. To save harmless and keep indemnified the Saugeen Naturalists and the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority and their respective agents, official servants and representatives against all claims and actions, costs and expenses and demands, in respect of injury, loss or damage or death to myself or my child’s person.

3. That I acknowledge that in this situation volunteers are involved in supervising this activity and that I shall accept the responsibility of observing my child’s participation in this activity and should I have any objection to the manner in which my child or myself are being supervised or instructed, I accept the responsibility to remove myself or my child from this activity.

This agreement shall be binding upon myself, my heirs, executors and assigns.