Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

  • Mood:

Poem: "The Lair of the Dragon Scouts"

This poem came out of the November 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "teaching new skills" square in my 11-5-18 card for the Family Ties Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Soupshue. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series. It spans several years through spring 2015.

"The Lair of the Dragon Scouts"

Elowyn Castellanos had
faced her share of challenges.

She grew up in Salem, Missouri,
married right out of high school, and
still went to college where she earned
a degree in parks and recreation.

After two years of marriage,
she still wasn't pregnant, so
as a graduation present she
tried fertility treatment and
promptly conceived twins.

Brenton and Brooke were born
small but healthy, and they were
nothing alike other than sharing
a newborn capacity for noise.

Elowyn's husband Lyman had
wanted children every bit as much
as she had, or so they thought.
Once they arrived, though, he
found them more than he could
handle, and left within a year.

That left Elowyn struggling
with a pair of infant twins.

She started a chapter
of the Caterpillar Scouts at
the Dent County park system
in which she worked, introducing
babies to nature at their own pace.

That included an indoor play room,
an outdoor playground, and a set of
portable playpens for further exploration.

When Brenton and Brooke learned
to walk on their own, Elowyn started
a chapter of Butterfly Scouts.

Now they had a play room
designed for preschoolers
and a bigger playground with
features for sand and water play.

That worked fine for a few years,
but then two things happened.

First, Brenton and Brooke got
interested in reading and writing, and
outgrew activities meant for toddlers.

Second, Brenton developed an odd patch
of discoloration between his eyes,
which soon turned into a swath
of metallic green-gold that
spread across his face.

Elowyn took him to SPOON,
where a reader explained that
he was developing dragon traits.

That made Brenton frustrated,
while Brooke felt left out.

So Elowyn brought out makeup
and decorated everyone's face.

She painted a dragon snout
on Brenton and vines on herself.
She let Brooke choose shiny stickers
that looked like scales, and found
golden dragon horns to wear.

A month later, Brooke didn't need
the stickers anymore, because she
was growing scales of her own.

Elowyn went back to SPOON
and learned that Brooke was
developing mermaid traits.

Also both of the twins
were getting bored.

Elowyn hunted around for
other children's clubs, but
the local Activity Scouts didn't
start until age seven, and they
weren't exactly enthusiastic
about including superkids.

Desperate, she searched online
and found that it was much easier
to start a chapter of Dragon Scouts,
which had more of a nature theme
and covered ages two and up. At five,
her children would be Dragon Pups.

That turned out to be lots of fun.

Each meeting consisted of three steps:
going on a nature walk, doing a craft,
and having a snack afterwards. There
was also a book-of-the-month club
you could join, which thrilled the twins.

Elowyn liked the opportunity to combine
children's imagination with practical things
like STEMZ education, first aid, and
community service while having fun.

They also made new friends.

Vander Lunn showed up with
his daughter Beccany, also five,
although they lived in Sligo instead
of Salem. They didn't care about
the twins having unusual traits.

Dragon Scouts are kind to all,
real or mythical, big or small.

It was nice to see someone
actually living up to their ideals.

The Lunns knew about a cave
they said would make a perfect lair
for the Dragon Scout meetings.

It lay in Littlerill Park, which
had a family picnic center and
a nature playground along with
trails winding along bluffs and
forests above Littlerill Branch.

Elowyn and her family met them
there, then hiked to the cave.

Tucked under a hill, it was
shallow but spacious inside,
with a wide oval mouth
and a dry gravel floor.

Everyone peered at
the cave crickets with
their humped backs and
their long, skinny legs.

They dubbed it Dragon Cave,
and then they celebrated.

Vander read from a book
about cave paintings in Europe,
and they all crumpled brown paper
to draw herds of bison and horses.

For a snack, they had Toddler Trail Mix
and talked about making your own.

It was fun to see new places,
learn new things, and
make new friends.

For all the challenges,
Elowyn thought her life was
turning out great after all.

* * *


Brenton Castellanos -- He has fair skin, sherry-brown eyes, and short brown hair with reddish highlights. He is right-handed. He is five years old. Brenton is the son of Elowyn and Lyman, older twin brother of Brooke. They live in Salem, Missouri. Brenton and Brooke are mirror-twins. He is organized, stubborn, and fascinated with fire. She is disorganized, easygoing, and enchanted by water. Their mother Elowyn does her best to keep them both alive and tolerating each other.
Origin: His superpowers are growing in slowly.
Uniform: Play clothes. He likes muted shades of gray, green, and gold.
Qualities: Good (+2) Naturalistic Intelligence, Good (+2) Organization
Poor (-2) Stubborn
Powers: Dragon Physiology (developing)
Motivation: To collect things.

Salem is in Dent County, the next one west of Iron County, not far from Bluehill.

Brooke Castellanos -- She has fair skin and dark brown eyes. Her straight hair falls just past her shoulders, streaked in lighter and darker shades of brown. She is left-handed. She is five years old. Brooke is the daughter of Elowyn and Lyman, younger sister of Brenton. They live in Salem, Missouri. Brenton and Brooke are mirror-twins. He is organized, stubborn, and fascinated with fire. She is disorganized, easygoing, and enchanted by water. Their mother Elowyn does her best to keep them both alive and tolerating each other.
Origin: Her superpowers are growing in slowly.
Uniform: Play clothes. She likes bright shades of green, teal, and blue.
Qualities: Good (+2) Going with the Flow, Good (+2) Naturalistic Intelligence
Poor (-2) Disorganized
Powers: Mermaid Physiology (developing)
Motivation: To explore things.

Elowyn Castellanos -- She has fair skin, brown eyes, and long wavy hair streaked in lighter and darker shades of brown. She is ambidextrous. She is 25. Elowyn graduated from the Susan Blow Community College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Parks and Recreation Management plus certificates in Missouri Park Service and Early Childhood Development. She works for the Park Service in Dent County, organizing and presenting family programs. She wears practical clothes and prefers rich mixed colors such as teal, magenta, and mustard. She and her family live in Salem, Missouri.
Elowyn is the ex-wife of Lyman and mother of five-year-old fraternal twins, Brenton and Brooke, who are mirror-twins. He is organized, stubborn, and fascinated with fire. She is disorganized, easygoing, and enchanted by water. Elowyn does her best to keep them both alive and tolerating each other, a challenging task for a single mother. She married right out of high school and went into college. When she and her husband had not produced a pregnancy after two years of trying, they chose fertility treatment as a college graduation present and promptly conceived twins. But that proved more than Lyman could handle, and he left within a year of their birth.
Qualities: Good (+2) Coordination, Good (+2) Easygoing, Good (+2) Mother, Good (+2) Naturalistic Intelligence, Good (+2) Park Service Organizer
Poor (-2) Overextended

Parks and Recreation Management - Associate of Applied Science Degree
The Parks and Recreation Management (REC) program is designed to provide students with practical skills essential for entry level in Parks and Recreation Management or to transfer to a university program in the same area. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to design and provide park and recreation activities to the general and special-needs populations.
Associate of Applied Science • 64 cr.
To earn an AAS in Parks and Recreation Management, the student must complete 16 general education requirements, 18 credits of core requirements, 21 credits of required electives, and 9 credits of unrestricted electives.
Communications • 6 cr.
• ENL 101 College Composition I • 3 cr.
• SPT 120 Public Speaking • 3 cr.
Mathematics • 3 cr.
• MAT 103 Business Math • 3 cr.
Discipline Studies • 7 cr.
Per the AAS Discipline Studies List.
• BIO 105 Environmental Biology • 4 cr.
• PSY 240 Developmental Psychology • 3 cr.
Core Requirements • 18 cr.
• REC 120 Leisure and the Quality of Life • 3 cr.
• REC 150 Outdoor Pursuits • 3 cr.
• REC 210 Leisure Delivery Systems • 3 cr.
• REC 220 Introduction to Youth and Nonprofit Agencies • 3 cr.
• REC 285 Introduction to Travel and Tourism • 3 cr.
• REC 290 Marketing Recreation and Tourism Services • 3 cr.
Required Electives • 21 Cr.
Student must complete 21 credits from the following:
• AGR 114 Forest and Range Plants • 3 cr.
• AGR 115 Forest and Range Ecology • 3 cr.
• ENL 234 Native-American Literature • 3 cr.
• GLG 101 Introduction to Geology I-Physical • 4 cr.
• GLG 102 Introduction to Geology II-Historical • 4 cr.
• HPE 161 Land Navigation and Wilderness Survival • 2 cr.
• HPP 111 Map Reading • 0.5 cr.
• HPP 112 Survival Skills • 0.5 cr.
• HPP 114 Plant Identification • 0.5 cr.
• HPP 116 Missouri History • 0.5 cr.
Unrestricted Electives • 9 Cr.
Any unduplicated 100 or higher level courses.

Missouri Park Service Certificate • 18 cr.
• Foundation of Parks and Recreation • 3 cr.
• Recreation Management • 3 cr.
• Community Recreation • 3 cr.
• National Resource Recreation Management • 3 cr.
• Wilderness First Aid • 3 cr.
• Emergency Response Skills • 3 cr.

Certificate in Early Childhood Development • 16 cr.
This certificate provides students with the course work necessary to apply for a New Mexico Child Development Certificate (CDC), a state-awarded certificate for early childhood teachers. The New Mexico CDC has been created to meet the entry-level professional requirements for teachers who are already working in a classroom setting with preschool children. The New Mexico CDC exceeds the requirements of the national CDA Credential. It is particularly designed to assist Head Start and Early Head Start programs meet the interim staff qualification requirements. All certificate course credits apply toward an associate degree in Early Childhood Education.
Class Requirements
ECED 111 Child Growth and Development (3)
ECED 112 Health, Safety, and Nutrition (2)
ECED 113 Family and Community Collaboration (3)
ECED 114 Assessment of Children and Collaboration of Programs (3)
ECED 134L Early Childhood Field Experience (2cr)
ECED 218 Guiding Young Children (3cr)
ECED 134L is a field-based practicum class that requires 45 hours in an approved site. This certificate is eligible for Pell grants.
NOTE: ECED 111 should be taken first as it is the prerequisite for the other courses.
The prerequisite for ECED 111 is ENGL 109, English Review (this is a developmental English course) or demonstrated proficiency on the placement test administered through the Testing Center. Students can also submit qualifying ACT, SAT, AP or CLEP scores to satisfy the ENGL 109 prerequisite. Placement testing is the best way to determine accurate course placement.
NOTE: See First-Year Student Success Course Requirement on Page 8.

Vander Lunn -- He has golden skin, hazel eyes, and short black hair. He is the father of Beccany. They live in Sligo, Missouri. Vander loves nature and languages. He and his daughter often explore parks together. They make friends with the Castellanos family and join the Dragon Scouts.
Qualities: Good (+2) Father, Good (+2) Linguistic Intelligence, Good (+2) Nature Lover
Poor (-2) Abandonment Issues

Beccany Lunn -- She has golden skin, hazel eyes, and long straight brown hair. She is the daughter of Vander. They live in Sligo, Missouri. Beccany loves nature and books. She and her father often explore parks together. They make friends with the Castellanos family and join the Dragon Scouts.
Qualities: Good (+2) Bookworm, Good (+2) Naturalistic Intelligence
Poor (-2) Lonely

* * *

Read about Dragon Scouts on their Facebook page.

Salem area maps appear here. See a road map of Dent County, a city map of Salem, and Salem parks.

In T-America, Littlerill Park occupies a narrow ribbon bordered by the Meramec River on the west, the Indian Trail State Forest and the Mark Twain National Forest on the north and east, and Highway 32 on the south. It contains Dragon Cave. Here is the entrance looking in and looking out. Littlerill Branch has a wide shallow bed. Sweet Oak Trail goes through the forest. (White oak trees are called sweet oaks for the lower tannin content of their acorns.) Shady Bluff Trail winds along the bluffs.

This is the Dragon Child palette.

The Oakleaf Family Picnic Center includes a parking lot, information kiosk, showerhouse with restrooms, garbage cans, a large pavilion with picnic tables, water and electrical hookups, and more picnic tables with grills. It includes sunny and shady areas. It is adjacent to the Babe in the Woods Nature Playground.

Caterpillar Scouts is a Terramagne-American play club for infants up to age two. The club customarily includes an indoor play space in the Montessori style, an outdoor playground, and portable playpens for field trips. This introduces babies to the natural world and encourages them to explore at their own pace. By the time they can walk confidently on their own, children are ready to move up to the Butterfly Scouts.

Learn how to set up a Montessori baby room at home. At school, infants usually have a separate room.

Butterfly Scouts is a Terramagne-American play club for toddlers ages two to five. The club customarily includes an indoor play space in the Montessori style and an outdoor playground. This encourages children to learn more about the natural world, increase their independence and sense of adventure. They typically outgrow the program around the time they start learning to read and write.

Explore a Montessori toddler room at home. In school, the toddler room begins to divide activities into different subject areas.

The Boy Scouts admitted members 7 and up, and the Girl Scouts admitted members 5 and up. After the merger, Activity Scouts admitted members 5 and up, but most of the Garden troops were carryovers from the Girl Scout Daisy troops, so not every area has one. The next level up begins at age 7.

Cave crickets are also called camel crickets.

You can simulate cave painting with this paper craft.

Trail mix recipes include the Toddler Trail Mix. They can be healthy if you use nutritious ingredients.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, nature, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.