Many of you have probably heard of the children’s book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. The story of the flattened boy inspires teachers to recreate flat versions of their students. They are sent to friends and family that return them with pictures and stories of the places they have traveled. Last summer, Sandy Creek Nature Center flattened mascot Sandy the Frog and decided to see how far he could travel. The goal was to get visitors to take Flat Sandy on their trips and send pictures back of places they traveled.
Some of you may have met a not so flat version of Sandy at the RIW 14 in Alabama. He and Perky had a great time meeting each other. Since then, Sandy has traveled to fourteen states and two countries as well as travels in his home state! We have documented his travels by posting pictures on a map that our visitors can see as they visit our center. We also started an album on Facebook to share photos of Sandy’s adventures.
As interpreters, we want to create connections, share information and lead others to new experiences. Can taking a paper frog on your next vacation really do those things? Of course! Pulling out a paper (or plush) frog and taking pictures with it is a great conversation starter! People are usually curious and want to know what you are doing and why. Explaining about Flat Sandy gives you the opportunity to talk about the nature center, different places you’ve traveled and even about what types of frogs people have back home. Our friends, families and visitors that take Flat Sandy with them are usually traveling to new places and gaining new experiences. Taking Flat Sandy gives them an outlet to share their stories of where they’ve gone and what they’ve done on their adventures.
If you have any end of summer travel plans, you can make your own Flat Sandy. We’d love to hear your stories and adventures! Visit http://athensclarkecounty.com/5973/Nature-Center-Happenings to find out more!