Toddycats’ last event of 2012 – Nature Interpretation workshop

On the last Saturday of 2012, a special volunteer enrichment course “Introduction to Nature Interpretation” was conducted by Ron Yeo, a very experienced nature guide. During the workshop, volunteers learnt that guiding is all about M.A.D, which is short for Message crafting, Audience and Delivery of the message. Ron shared many of his guiding experiences and tips on how to be an effective nature guide through a lively and enthusiastic delivery!

Guiding is all about "MAD"

Guiding is all about “MAD”

One hour into the workshop after the lecture, each participant had 30 minutes to prepare a script on an organism to be presented as though they are guiding. This script section was an invaluable lesson as each participant tried to put to practice the points mentioned and everyone received individual feedback on how to improve their guiding skills. The workshop was indeed an insightful one and everyone picked up some great nature guiding tips. As a guide, we must remember that factual accuracy of one’s message is of utmost importance too. If you wish to find out more, Ron has kindly put up a blog post on Nature Interpretation for Beginners at his blog (http://tidechaser.blogspot.sg).

Imagine the water bottle is a pitcher plant! Brandon Ang telling us more about the pitcher plant.

Imagine the water bottle is a pitcher plant! Brandon Ang telling us more about the pitcher plant.

Gladys Chua's script was on the sand bubble crab!

Gladys Chua’s script was on the sand bubble crab!

Benjamin Lim sharing about the flat worm!

Benjamin Lim sharing about the flat worm!

In order to complement the classroom training, a handful of us went down to Tanah Merah for an intertidal walk to explore marine life in Singapore. During the intertidal walk, we saw a variety of organisms such as the bigfin reef squid, cuttlefish, stonefishes, sea stars and crabs!

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The weather was good and the tides were low enough for us to observe many inter-tidal organisms

We saw two bigfin reef squids (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)!

We saw two bigfin reef squids (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)!

Cuttlefish (Family Sepiidae)

Cuttlefish (Family Sepiidae)

Stonefish was one of the animals that we encountered. We were extra careful not to step on any of them accidentally!

Stonefish was one of the animals that we encountered. We were extra careful not to step on any of them accidentally!

Common sea star (Archaster typicus) with 4 and 6 arms!

Common sea star (Archaster typicus) with 4 and 6 arms!

After two hours and as the tides were rising, we concluded this fruitful last activity of 2012.

In 2012, the volunteers of Raffles Museum Toddycats had a wonderful and memorable year participating in various exhibitions and activities! Highlight events of the year include the

1. Inaugural Festival of Biodiversity which was held at the Singapore Botanic Gardens in May where Toddycats! was one of the many participating organisations. It was a really large-scale exhibition which involved many of our volunteers sharing stories with the public and showcasing our native biodiversity and habitats present in Singapore.

2. Otter Cycling Trail which was a new enrichment activity for Toddycats volunteers. This guided cycling event dreamed up by Otterman and executed by Ottergirl (Meryl Theng) was conducted in July. The participants rode from Changi to Punggol with stops in between with guides to share about the birds, wild pigs and otters that can be sighted along this route!

As 2013 commences, we look forward to being part of many exciting exhibitions and also to conduct more volunteer enrichment programmes. If you would like to join in the fun and volunteer, please sign up as a toddycat at http://toddycats.wordpress.com/join/. For more updates on our events, you can check out our Raffles Museum Toddycats Facebook page or Raffles Museum Toddycats blog.

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