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YOUTH RESOURCES REPORT
By George and Rena Everett
June/July 1999 Lodestar (SFMS Newsletter)

FROM THE JUNIOR POINT OF VIEW 

This month's column takes a different slant, in hopes of giving the readers some insight into what makes junior rockhounds tick. I interviewed three Juniors, asking each one of them the same questions, and came up with some interesting things. The questions were: "How did you become interested in rocks?" "What is your favorite part of being a Pebble Pup?" "Is there something that you would change if you could?" "What advice would you give other 'Pups' or adults that would like to plan a program that is "really neat" for the 'Pups'?"

I interviewed Kelly (age 9) and Jennifer (age 12) Baldwin, two-year Pebble Pups in the Memphis club. Kelly said that she began picking up rocks and fossils from gravel in her playground at school, and she really got interested in them. Her dad, Mike, heard about the rock club; they tried it out and liked it. She likes the fact that they are told a lot about rocks and you get to go on a lot of field trips. She wouldn't change a thing in her club, but she did wish that they could go on a "diamond trip"' to Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Her advice to other juniors and their sponsors is, "Field trips, field trips, field trips". 

Jennifer's fascination with rocks began when she was very small. She would find neat rocks- and bring them in to her mom. Her interest became serious when her family attended a fair where there were several mineral booths, and she saw that the world of rocks and gems was virtually unlimited. They bought some rocks there and then joined the Memphis club. Her favorite things about the meetings are that you get to look at rocks that regular people never even knew existed and you get to go on field trips. She likes the club like it is, but she, too, wishes they could go on more field trips -- especially far-away ones. Her advice to others is to first look at the color and the beauty of rocks and then go out and hunt. 

The messages were essentially the same: If you want to get kids, go where they are and talk to them and show them interesting things about the rocks. Then tell them about your gem and mineral club and their activities and field trips. Field trips seem to be the number one item on the girls' lists, and on many others, I'll bet. Parental support is a must: Kelly's dad found out about the rock club and suggested that they try it out. Jennifer brought rocks to her mom and Mom showed her that she was interested, too They sort of took each other to the first meeting, but, of course, the parents had the final word on this. 

These girls are already hooked on rocks, but their insights just might help those of us looking for another lure to attract other children to the wonderful world of rocks and minerals. 

Another interview next time. 

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