Referring to my previous blog post on hosting a First Green event during this pandemic, we must get creative on how to host a field trip while keeping safe distancing in place. My last blog described how to use technology by recording your learning lab from your computer then delivering it through the schools remote learning platform. In this blog, I would like to highlight a couple First Green events that took place “in person” here in the Northwest.
In October, I met with Jeff Gullickson, CGCS at Kalispell Golf & Country Club in Spokane, Wash. We were originally going to video Jeff doing a learning lab without the presence of students. He took it a step further and coordinated a downsized event with a local school that had previously participated in First Green field trips.
To reduce the exposure, there were only two learning labs, one was taught by himself and the other was taught by the teacher, who also works as Jeff’s horticulturist during the summer. The golfing activity was not included this time around. Masks were required at all times by all of the individuals as well as cleaning stations for frequent hand sanitizing. Two labs were taught and the field trip was completed in 30 minutes.
The other First Green event was hosted by Kyle Watt of Awbrey Glen Golf Club in Bend, Ore. Kyle took my idea of the learning pod and combined it with their clubs Junior Explorer Series program. Kyle had just five kids attend but as you can see from the photo, it was pretty easy to maintain distancing.
Kyle had a full agenda which started with the history of the golf club as well as a facility tour. He explained the different features of the property that his crew maintains then pointed out all of the wildlife that inhabits the golf course. He then covered the science that goes into maintaining the grass and talked about the necessary nutrients required for healthy grass. Using a soil probe and a hole cutter, he could demonstrate right in front of the kids what a soil profile was, and how water moved through it. Irrigation was a topic as well as the types of mowers that were used.
As you can see, Kyle was able to pack a lot of information in a pretty short period. This was Kyle’s first, First Green event and was the perfect way to get his feet wet. He’s now looking forward to hosting another event this spring!
We can make these field trips as simple or complex as we feel comfortable. The common line here is that the kids had a blast and were able to come out to the golf course. I’ll be looking forward to assisting Kyle on some more field trips in the near future!