Bailey’s Budding Naturalists

In 2017 the Bailey Budding Naturalists was a one-week program, and 30 children participated. In 2018 the program was seven weeks in length. This was accomplished for three reasons: (1) the generosity of the people, organizations, and businesses in the South Haven Community who donated over $13,000; (2) working with the South Haven Public schools and its summer programs; and (3) working with the Youth Development Company.

Because of the community’s generosity, the Museum was able to hire an Education Coordinator and two Nature Guides. And by working with the schools and the YDC and their staff, almost 400 children participated.

The children studied plants, made leaf rubbings; painted t-shirts and backpacks with nature designs; learned about herbs; walked the woods listening for birds; made bird feeders; broke open rocks to discover treasures; and of course, had a daily snack. The biggest complaint was, “Why can’t we stay longer?” Another child did not like Thursday (they studied plants), but really liked Friday (they studied and broke open rocks). And lastly, there was the child who thought the bread was too sweet.

The evaluation asked one question: “Was this a good week or a best week?” Over 80% thought it was a best week. Everyone else indicated it was a good week.




  • Weeks 1 & 2 were at the Museum from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.
  • Weeks 3 & 4 were mornings at Maple Grove School and afternoons with YDC.
  • Week 5 was spent with the Migrant children. They came to the Museum via the trolley, participated in the program and stayed for lunch.
  • Week 6 was mornings at Maple Grove School and afternoons at the Museum
  • Week 7 was with Books and Songs by the Beach and installing the BBN summer sculpture