Thursday, August 9, 2012


Bowling for Rhinos went fairly well.  We had hoped for more bowlers, but we still had 30-some.  It was a weird day weather-wise with our first strong storms in ages, so I think that kept away some of the people who were driving from a distance.  We made decent money at our raffle table, got good overall donations and will eventually send in more money than last year.  Improvement is good.  The other fundraiser I'm working on, the Vote for Your Favorite Animal contest, is going really well!  We started in April with four popular zoo animals each month and visitors putting money in a donation box with the animal raising the most money moving on to the Final Four.  We've averaged just over $100 each month which is twice as much as I expected.  I figured the donations would be mostly coins, but they are mostly dollar bills!  This month I put up signs at each of the Final Four's enclosures.  (The Final Four are Arthur the lion, Vaska the tiger, George the Aldabra tortoise and Silver the horse.)  I changed over the animals on July 29th (3 days early due to Bowling for Rhinos preparations) and in 11 days we've collected more than $130!  I usually empty the money once a week, but between last Thursday and this Tuesday the collection tubes were so crammed full I had to empty them early.  I don't know if our August visitors have been more generous, if people are more excited about the Final Four, if the signs (EVERYBODY knows visitors don't read signs!!) actually are helping, or what?!  We even had a lot of donations on free day this week!  I can't tell you how many free days we've had that thousands of people attended and not one dollar was added to our donation box.

I've been keeping busy at work preparing for the opening of our new Australia area.  We moved all the animals to their new enclosures this week. Well, except the 250 budgies that can't be moved until Friday...  The emus are loving their new area, the swans are still a bit nervous and the wallaby hasn't actually been inside the yard yet.  I'm guessing he will love the yard and that it will be a MAJOR challenge to get him to come inside at night.  The area itself is really nice and I'm looking forward to everything being in place and it being open to the public.  The tiger cubs are still doing well and are learning to walk much better.  It's getting harder and harder to shift the mama tiger without cubs following her.  They are still too little to be scampering around out in the yard, but they're starting to really play with each other and are getting stronger every day.  I'm sure they will be ready in the next few weeks or so.  I can't wait!  I want EVERYONE in the entire world to see these adorable cubs!

The kids are in their final two days of Camp Zone.  They get a weekly schedule that I pin to the bulletin board in the kitchen.  Kaylin was looking through past weeks and was disgusted that the theme weeks have barely changed in the 7 years she's attended this camp.  She was REALLY disgusted at the theme "Wayback Machine" because that doesn't even make sense!  Bu-but, Mr. Peabody and Sherman?  Y'know, Bullwinkle?  No. Kaylin didn't know.  And she looked at me like I grew another head. And when I explained it to her she thought it was even more stupid because kids her age have never watched Ballthingy. Bullwinkle! Whatever...  Kaylin took it upon herself to make new or at least revamped theme weeks.  She even filled out schedules with new ideas.  The counsellors thought her "book" was hilarious and called their boss to come see it.  Mr. Steve has always loved Kaylin and every time I run into him at the park district offices, he talks about her latest scheme.  He REALLY loved The Book.  He went on and on about how he's going to use some of her ideas next year and laughed at how Kaylin told him how she'll change things when she has Mr. Jimmy's head counsellor job.  It cracks me up that her biggest career goal is to be a counsellor at a summer day camp where the current counsellors are either college students or young teachers struggling to find their first full time job and needing to make a buck during their off-season. 

Logan is coming down with the traditional right-before-school-starts cold.  Last year Kaylin was sick the entire week before school started, missed the entire week of Riverplex Camp and I was worried she'd miss the first day(s) of school.  I don't remember exactly what she had, but it involved never-ending fever and antibiotics.  I hope Logan's cold is just a cold and that the rest of us don't get it and especially that it doesn't develop into something worse! 

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