The Curtain Falls at Maidstone State Park

It was definitely a summer to remember. A summer filled with ups and down, joys and frustrations and a whole lot of campground misadventures. Of the top of my head we had:
- A camper drive a hatchet into his foot;
-Feces smeared all over the mirrors at our Day Use restroom;
- 6 police cruisers make their way into the park to expel a group of unruly and disrespectful campers;
-10-15 car batteries die;
- and a bear steal steaks and a gallon of milk from a camper’s cooler.

On the upside, there were most certainly more positives than negatives. Except for a few minor snafus and set backs along the way, it was a great season. We had a great staff and overall, great park guests. We were paid many compliments in regards to how much the park has improved over the years. And new guests loved the park as well.

Could it be our staff and management? Could it have been the fact we received Park of the Year honors last year? Could it be the surroundings and way the grounds were maintained? Could it have been the revitalization of the Naturalist program? Or could it have just been the phenomenal views and natural surroundings that encompass the area?

For some it could have been one, some or all of the above. I do, however, feel that the programs offered added to the overall experience and ambiance of the park’s atmosphere. It seemed to help shape and/or reshape attitudes held towards the park. All programs offered were meant to educate, entertain and inspire children and adults alike.

That being said, this past weekend we held our very own Maidstone State Park Labor Day Fun Fair. This was essentially a culmination of everything we have created throughout the entirety of the summer.

Stations were set up and a variety of topics were covered and activities were made available to participants. Stations included:

  • A welcome center which offered a prize drawing, free books and a coloring page (which asked the participant tell us their favorite memory of Maidstone)
  • The second station was labeled Preparation. It included handouts pertaining to camping tips, bear awareness and safety tips and a Smokey the Bear giveaway section.
  • The Next Station was labeled Navigation. This section offered our Maidstone Treasure Hunt, a Scavenger hunt, a create your own binoculars section and a Find Your Way in the Woods Using Nature display.
  • An Imagination station which contained displays portraying what individuals can do to create items using recycled materials.  It also had an area where guests could learn about gardening and also create their own jewelry and/or rock/leaf art.
  • There were also game available and a pet costume contest
 Throughout the event prizes were awarded to all participants and even more prizes were awarded to those whose names were drawn from the hat. It was an entertaining and educational day for both children and parents alike.

It was sad to see the last Fun Fairee leave as we knew this would be the final program of the season. We are unsure if any of us will return next year and just hope that as staff turns around, the programs old and new, will still be offered to Maidstone State Park guests. Although we truly are off the beaten track and still have amazing scenic and recreational opportunities, it is the programs that give that little extra something. That something extra that not only educates, but inspires a new generation of minds to take care of our parks and open their eyes to the need for future guardians of nature and the environment.

So to all of our guests, we thank you for a great season and hope you return in the coming years.

By, Eric Bouchard, Assistant Ranger, Maidstone State Park

Comments

  1. To the great staff at Maidstone!

    my wife, myself and my grandson want to let you know what a great job you do there!! This year will be our fith year to come back, I look forward to August all winter! Last summer was the first that we had problems with noisy party people, we told the ranger on duty when were leaving and he said he'ld take care of the problem. I wish I had been there that night to see if they were quiet. It wouldn't stop us from coming back!!

    I hope you all have a safe and great winter! See you the first week in August

    Josh, Sharon and Rylie

    ReplyDelete

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