The dull look in the children’s eyes was lifted when Smokey Bear came through the double doors from the fire department’s garage…
On, Monday, August 8, 2011, the CWPP team visited a Girl Scout troop at the Deep Run Fire Department to give a presentation on fire safety in honor of Smokey Bear’s birthday. Upon their arrival Michael began introductions with a short story of Smokey Bear’s history. Then Katrina led an activity on fire prevention, campfire safety, and handed out a fire safety video, coloring book, and activity book to each child. After successfully completing a household fire prevention worksheet, candy was also handed out by Michael and Katrina and immediately inhaled by the Girl Scouts.
Meanwhile, the other two crew members, Jim and Tim, were busy preparing Smokey Bear. Tim eagerly volunteered to transform into everybody’s favorite woodland creature, minus Jim ~ his favorite is Woody the Woodpecker. Jim lead Smokey (Tim) through the dark and dirty garage filled with obstacles. The girls were asked to call Smokey three times, getting louder and more excited each time. Once Smokey Bear arrived, the children immediately lit up. They exploded with cheers as he entered the room and began to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him. The other three crew members could not hold back their laughter as Tim entered the room as Smokey Bear. One younger brother was too scared to go up to Smokey and needed help from his father. He became ecstatic when Smokey gave him a high five and a hug.
After a quick appearance and many pictures, Smokey had to depart to fight a fire (Tim had to take a break from the blistering sweat).
Then the crew handed out balloons to be blown up and have the children draw Smokey’s face on it. Each balloon had an individual mouth piece to help blow the balloon up. The girls quickly discovered that the mouthpieces made an interesting noise when air passed back through it from the balloon. Needless to say that blowing up the balloons became an event in itself. As the children were working on their balloon portraits, Smokey came back from fighting his fire to model for them as well as to take more pictures with the children and their balloons. One girl even gave Smokey her balloon to remember her. Smokey departed off into the sunset with a dance, cheered on by everyone. The Girl Scouts and family finished the celebration with birthday cake and ice cream to fuel their evening sugar binge.
The crew thoroughly enjoyed their first community outreach event and look forward to participating in future community events.