Guest post by Nancy Dobias
You never know what delightful memory will be dredged up when you go to Myakka River State Park. For me it involved all those chaperoned field trips of long ago.
I first noticed two limpkins carefully surveying the grounds to make sure all the little ones under their charge had not wandered too far away from where the school bus was to pick them up for the return trip back home. After all, they were responsible for getting this highly-charged group rounded up and back on the bus with no missteps in between.
Naturally the principal was off to the side assessing how well they were managing this task.
Herding the little ones into a tight group, the next order of the day was roll-call. One by one they began to shout out their last names...."Franklin, O'Hara, Thomas, Lincoln...."
Once all were accounted for, one by one they paraded up the slope to join their teachers at the top of the road.
"This has to be a 1st or 2nd grade group," I thought. "They are far too orderly to be any other grade." I guessed. "If they were Junior High, I know they would still be talking down below," I thought. As soon as the group got to the top of the road, their teachers once more made sure all had arrived safely before they proceeded further. Naturally there were a few stragglers but that gave the lead teacher a chance to make sure the road was safe for the little ones to cross.
I checked to see if the principal was still watching the orderly progress of the students but I noticed he was annoyed that the stragglers did not arrive with the rest. He looked as though he was ready to come charging over to chew them out.
Fortunately for the slow-pokes, they weren't that far behind. As soon as the last one arrived, out onto the wet road the group went. Forming a tight cluster, they quietly and methodically followed their teachers to the other side of the road.
I could see one of the teachers must have gotten a question by one of her little charges as they were making their way across the road, but she did what all teachers do, she stopped, politely listened, then answered and afterwards safely brought her group to join her colleague at the school bus pick-up zone on the other side of the road.
I'm sure it was a long tiring day for the teachers. The rain was coming down in buckets but they still had to intergrate the activities of the group with what they were learning in the classroom as well as to assume the responsibility of all those young lives. To the kids it was another story. They were out of class, with their friends, allowed to talk quietly, run (if no one was looking) and best of all, nobody cared if they ate a bug or two. Life sure is good!!