In the eyes of so many people, we are defined by the employment that we hold and for the past 4 years, most of the community has seen me as the Director at Pok-O-MacCready Outdoor Education Center. I proudly wore this title and did my best to compliment the center’s academic programs with community programs to keep me, albeit in a prophecy fulfilling manner, connected to all of you. The community program that I was most proud of was the Cabin Fever Lecture Series, particularly the events presented in February and March of this year.
In February of 2011, I had been turned down by all of the people I had approached to present at the lecture series. While the presenters for that year turned out to be just fine, I set my sites on 2012. Kristen Kimball, Carl Heilman and Steven Kellogg had all declined in 2011 but told me to try again the next year and when I called to schedule them again, they all came through.
My pride in the 2012 series was contagious in the community and at all of our presentations the crowds were all expectedly larger than we had for any similar events previously held at Pok-O.
In the second week, we welcomed Steven Kellogg, a local celebrity that any parent in the area knows by his work. By the end of the night, I came to realize that the work that Steven Kellogg creates is not just for kids.
When Steven arrived, he inquired about the make-up of the crowds we typically welcomed. Since we started at 7PM and the weather was less than ideal that night, I worriedly told him that it may be more adults than he was typically accustomed to seeing. Mr Kellogg assured me that he could adapt his presentation for any age audience.
When he began to talk to the packed house, it was clear that he was off his normal script, talking to us like the adults that we were. But soon, he fell into the emotional patter of the presentation that he gives to children all over the country. The audience became even more-engrossed with this switch, all of us also falling back into our own childhood as Mr. Kellogg worked through “The History of the Grogg”. Each action of the story that he told so well was accompanied by a fresh sheet of posterboard and a drawing made on the spot, bringing to life the words that the author spoke.
At the end of the night Steven stayed around and gave away all of the pictures he had made that night, autographing each for the smiling throngs that stayed after to get a piece of the magic that we had witnessed.
Harvest Halloween Festival
As this winter begins to set its sight on the valley, I am happy to see a similar event on the horizon. Steven Kellogg will be performing one of his famous interactive stories at the Harvest Hallo’ween Festival on Saturday October 20th at the Lakeside School in Essex, located at the corner of Cook and Leaning Rd.
Now that I have moved out of my role at Pok-O and am reestablishing my identity in the community, the first (and proudest) moniker I will go by is father. And, with that role, I am happy to see such a dynamic event as this happening where my family can share in the joy that Steven Kellogg can bring to all ages. This event will not only feature Steven Kellogg, but also many family oriented activities, all within the comfy confines of Black Kettle Farm, home of the Lakeside School.
For more information please call 963-7385. See you a week from Saturday!