Well, this is a first for us. A family of supporters each want their very own nest!
A couple from Montana that live here part time and support the camp full time contacted us recently to talk about a very special adoption.
First the back story!
Kathern and her husband Robert spend their winters in Playa Blanca in order to escape the snow and cold of their ranch up north. Given the long Montana winters, they escape just some, not all, of the cold snowy weather, often leaving snow in the early winter and returning to the final snows of spring!
They have been coming to Playa Blanca since before the Turtle Camp was founded. Soon after the camp began, Kathern visited and become hooked. She is what we would call an unofficial volunteer. Even though she is not on our volunteer list, she is always on the lookout for turtles and turtle tracks.
She has often called us to report tracks leading to a nest or turtles on the beach along one of her lengthy walks. In one case, she helped our patrol volunteer locate and rescue the eggs of a nest she had seen. In another case she gathered up neighbors to surround a group of about 75 baby turtles that were crawling to the sea right in front of the beachfront community where she and Robert live. They worked together to keep the babies safe and even leveled out some of the sand in front of the little crawlers to make the long trek little bit easier.
Another one of her unofficial volunteer activities is beach cleanup. Walking on the beach daily for exercise, Kathern will come back with bags full of trash and recyclable items, even alternating direction daily for maximum effect. This does so much to protect the turtles’ habitat, and we are so fortunate to have Kathern and several other like-minded and dedicated folks who help keep our beaches clean.
Now about the family!
Some years ago, Kathern and Robert’s 3 grown children decided that instead of exchanging Christmas presents among themselves and their children, they would pool the money and find a charity where they could donate their ‘Christmas Presents’. In the past, they have helped one of our local schools here. A visit to the school by the grandchildren really impressed upon them how fortunate they are.
Except for one of their grandchildren, everyone in the family was here to celebrate a milestone birthday of Robert’s and one of the activities they participate in while here, was…a baby turtle release! They have seen the work we do first-hand, and this year they selected us to receive their ‘Christmas Present’. We all thought it would be great fun to put the donation towards adopted nests for the whole family! Each of the four adult couples and every one of the eight grandchildren will be the proud parent of their own baby turtle nest!
We were very touched to hear Kathern tell us a story about one grandson. Two years ago, he was given a small amount of spending money to buy Christmas gifts for his two siblings. His parents suggested that he use this money for someone less fortunate. So he asked his grandmother if she could buy some soccer balls for the local school children instead. You can really see how this dedication to helping others has passed from generation to generation in the Evans family!
Since it is the end of the season and we will probably not have a nest for everyone before it ends, we decided together with Kathern and Robert to wait until the beginning of next season. This way everyone will have their nests found within a short time of one another. Do we see a game for the children – whose nest will hatch first? Sorry to say, you will all have to wait till July or August for pictures of their nests, so stay tuned!
We will be sure to write an update blog as their family adoptions go from nest collection to hatchling release.