Bear Facts

Show Article Summary

Show Full Article

At the zoo it is easy to make kids think in new ways and discover alternate or funny meanings in the simplest settings. Yes, there is the serious side of learning about nature, animals, climates, and so on but there are times to teach, kid around, and just have fun as well.

On this trip, Isaiah started the North Carolina Zoo walk by surprising me. He decided he needed to be The Navigator and promptly asked for the map of the walkways. He then turned to his brother and asked him,

“Jeremiah, what do you want to see?” The answer was “bears” and Isaiah confirmed that was what Jeremiah wanted to see first.

Why does this surprise me? Well for one this was the first time Isaiah took the lead and wanted to be the trailblazer. He looked at the map, examined at the trails in front of us, and chose the right way every time.

Secondly, though he may have wanted to see something else in the zoo, he asked his brother first. He then proceeded to guide us to the bears and, yes, we did see other things along the way but the focus was on getting to and seeing the bears. Isaiah wanted to treat his brother.

Kids grow up too fast but it’s really amazing how much they are willing to take on.

Of course, then there is the “Pa” side of the adventure…

Isaiah and Jeremiah were walking on the main trail from North America toward Africa to try and see the grizzly bear. The trail zigged left and right as we walked on and at one point the trail made a u-turn on the way to the bears.

The sign posted informed us this was the “Bear Trail” so I immediately let the boys know we were on a “Naked Trail” (not one of my best play on words…). Jeremiah, being the younger brother, did not quite get it and Isaiah looked at me like I was loco (could be an accurate assessment). So I explained it to Isaiah, “You know B-A-R-E trail” and waited. Sure enough you could see the wheels turning, the spelling sounded out, and the meaning made crystal clear. A smile on his face let me know he got it.

Sometimes what we say has more than one meaning.  It is a useful skill to be able to discern the context and setting of a statement before we run off willy-nilly and make prognostications about “hey did you hear what so-and-so said?” In today’s world of news, fake news, rumors and gossip it becomes increasingly important to really understand what is being said.

So there you have it. Surprised by Isaiah’s eagerness to lead based on a request by Jeremiah, and a bit of “Pa” silliness to help the boys begin to discern meanings of what is said. Leadership, Service, and Communication…some of the bear-necessities in today’s world learned by a visit to the local zoo.

Zoo Notes: Did you know that purchasing annual passes to the local zoos have several benefits? Of course the primary reason is the support you provide to help the zoo exist. But from a personal perspective…

One, you can go to the zoo anytime for any length of time for a whole year. Two, you can just relax on each trip instead of fretting that you need to stay long enough to have the daily pass “pay for itself.” Three, an annual pass provides you with the ability to visit other zoos and science centers at discounted fees. And four, if you happen to be a grandparent, you can purchase an annual pass that provides entry for you, your spouse, one additional adult and all the grandchildren (the same goes for the NC Zoo family plus annual pass). Check with your local zoo to see what benefits you might be unaware of but would help you decide to purchase an annual pass.

At the zoo it is easy to make kids think in new ways and discover alternate or funny meanings in the simplest settings. Yes, there is the serious side of learning about nature, animals, climates, and so on but there are times to teach, kid around, and just have fun as well.