Problem: We’re going to the National Hunting and Fishing Day Wildlife and Forestry Festival to set up a booth. About 500 festival-goers will swim past. What can we bring that will draw them in, that will distinguish us from the other exhibitors, that will send them home thinking “I’m gonna have to check out that Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park?”
The objects we bring overlap with the fur trappers’ exhibit. The animals we bring overlap with the falconers’ exhibit as well as the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ booth with the baby alligators.
Pamphlets and fliers end up lost on the grounds of the recreation area more often than they make it all the way back to the cars.
Solution: Crafts! And more precisely, crafts that directly relate to our traveling exhibits. We have that old alligator on a stick! If we label the craft with the park’s contact information, it might just make it all the way home.
To complement the live owl, I came up with an Owl Mask. It met all the criteria in my wanted ad for a craft: It would be a memento of meeting the live owl; it would illustrate the relative size of owl eyes to human eyes; it would have the park’s contact information on the back; it would be pre-cut and ready to decorate in the interest of saving time; and it could be decorated any way the maker wanted, using markers, crayons, glitter, etc. (Okay, the glitter part wasn’t optional. We painted every eyeball with gold glitter paint.)
The mask was a raving success! All over the festival there were children wearing owl masks.
“Where did you get that mask?”
“At the Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park booth over there!”