End of Summer Celebration
How did August arrive already? This summer has been a blast at Botetourt County Libraries! Let’s take a look at what happened this summer, and how we’re finishing up.
We kicked off our Summer Learning Challenge at Troutville Elementary in May, then dove into our “Read Beyond the Beaten Path” camping/outdoors theme.
We loved the hands-on learning experiences for kids. Our Camp Ready Craft Series taught kids the science behind fun camping skills. We made camp bandanas, ice cream, solar oven s’mores, leaf luminaries and pasta artwork. In addition, we explored the outdoors in our Animals & Plants of Botetourt Series, learning fish printing, animal track identification, and tree identification. Speaking of animals, we loved the visits from Little Critters Petting Zoo and Mill Mountain Zoo!
Survival skills aren’t just for kids. All ages enjoyed learning how to forage wild edibles in their backyards and tips for getting the most out of a float down the James River with local author Bruce Ingram. Botetourt’s Search & Rescue team taught us key safety and survival skills on the trail, and Compress & Shock shared AED and CPR skills.
Libraries love authors! Local author Ken Conklin shared the life of local legend Norvel Lee. We hosted several virtual authors, including Scott Lenga’s talk on “Hope Amid the Holocaust” and children’s authors R.L. Stine, Ben Philippe, Traci Chee, Mary Pope Osborne, and Lauren Wolk. We shared more stories from great authors in weekly StoryTimes for preschoolers and in a special S’mores & Scary Stories event at Buchanan’s Town Park.
We were privileged to bring in more special guests in person. Joe Cobb shared the history of a local cemetery’s preservation, and Andy & Judy Daigle entertained us with rousing folk music. On Bigfoot Day in Eagle Rock, Bil Lepp told us hilarious tales amid a day full of fun activities.
A highlight of the summer was the StarLab inflatable planetarium, hosted through the generosity of the Botetourt Family YMCA and Bonsack Baptist Church. Kids loved seeing the night sky and making up their own stories and constellations!
Meanwhile, our Summer Learning Challenge participants have been busy logging their reading, entering book reviews, and diving into activities to earn badges and tickets toward awesome prizes.
It’s not over yet! Join us at the Blue Ridge Park on Saturday, August 13, at 6 p.m. for our End of Summer Celebration! We’ll have outdoor crafts and a dunk tank for winners to dunk their favorite librarians (from our library or their school).
Also at this final event, we’ll announce our Summer Learning Challenge prize drawing winners! Winners can pick up their prize that evening (or at their local library later if they can’t attend). We can’t wait to see who goes home with a 12-person tent or kayak! Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to stick around after sunset and enjoy the popular movie “Encanto,” hosted by our awesome Parks & Recreation department.
Don’t forget to log your reading, and we’ll see you on Saturday, August 13!
~ Julie Phillips, Director
Botetourt County Libraries