Yesterday about 50 second grade students came to the Sugar Bush. After participating in 4 teaching stations and eating a pancake and sausage lunch, we headed into the woods to collect sap.
These children were not too experienced in the woods. Despite a strongly worded and illustrated take-home paper on how to dress, only a third of them wore boots. And a mother showed up in WHITE pants.
With the snow melt and rains, the ground was muddy. No, that is an understatement. A significant portion of the woods was a sinking, sucking, smooshy mire. Now that can be fun with the proper attire and mindset.
I discovered one little boy filling his sap bucket with standing water. I asked what he was doing. He said that sap was mostly water, so he found an easy way to fill his bucket. I can't imagine if he had poured that mess into the collecting tanks that feed the evaporator.
Another volunteer heard a little boy screaming for help. He walked over and found him with his arms wrapped as far as possible around a tree, standing on its root bulge in his socks. He walked right out of his sneakers when they stuck in the mud. The volunteer rescued the boy's shoes, which the boy grabbed and ran to the outbuildings as fast as he could.