Snowdon offers off-site interpretive programs throughout the year. Various topics are available including Falcons, Owls and Black Bear Awareness. Programs are offered at no-cost to the public, but donations to cover travel expenses, etc. are appreciated.
Call Snowdon at 208-634-8050 for information about booking a program.
Traveling TruNk Program
Snowdon expands its educational reach with the Wild About Wildlife! traveling trunk program. The McCall-Donnelly Education Foundation and the J.A Wedum Foundation have funded the development of six unique trunks to help youth learn about area wildlife and birds, and to prepare projects that demonstrate wildlife stewardship.
Who Can Participate?
Each traveling trunk is available on loan at no cost for a period of up to 2 weeks, to classes, camps, clubs, and other youth groups in McCall and the surrounding communities. Since 2014, the trunks have been made available to groups in other counties across Southwestern Idaho. Call us to reserve a trunk and to arrange transportation.
Of Special Value to Schools…
Curriculum materials align with Idaho Content Standards in Information and Communication Technology, Science and/or Language Arts.
Value to All Groups
Why It’s Important
Myths and misconceptions, as well as misinformation generated from emotionally-charged wildlife issues, negatively impact the development of children’s attitudes toward wildlife stewardship. This program uses a best-practice approach to foster safe and responsible interaction with wildlife, and provide a leadership platform to empower students to inform and inspire a future generation of environmental stewards.
Service to the Community
Each borrowing group is asked to create an age-appropriate project that demonstrates what has been learned and/or shares good wildlife stewardship practices with others. A video/still camera is provided in each trunk, although any media can be used. Snowdon will facilitate publication of project media if desired.
The Following Trunks are Currently Available:
Corvids (ravens, crows, jays, magpies)
Canids (wolves, coyotes, foxes)
Diurnal Birds of Prey
Mustelids (wolverine, weasels, badgers, otters)
What People are Saying About the Traveling Trunk Program
Donnelly Elementary School
“Learning about owls is always a highlight for my kindergarten students. Partnering with Snowdon for our unit on owls took our learning experience to the next level. The hands-on materials in the traveling trunk had my students hooked right away. Their natural curiosity was stirred, and the items fueled their two-week inquiry. Meeting Merlin was absolutely thrilling for my students. The day Merlin came to visit, the students’ excitement and engagement was palpable. His visit brought our learning to life and encouraged critical thinking in such an authentic way. Merlin inspired nearly an hour’s worth of genuine questions from five-year-olds, which is a very rare thing!”
– Beth Helfin, Teacher
Roots Forest School
“Meeting Merlin was a magical experience for our students! It was so special for them to be able to observe an owl for that amount of time and Merlin absolutely sparked their interest in owls and other birds. Meeting an animal that had been injured and rescued also provided the students with a more concrete understanding of the work that happens at Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary. The educational trunks from Snowdon have been so helpful for our program. Our students and staff have enjoyed the ability to interact with the materials in the trunks, whether they are real feathers or bird feet or a mold of a bear track. The traveling trunks give us the opportunity to dive deeper into a subject and learn more about a specific animal than we would otherwise be able.”
Ponderosa State Park
“Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary is a wonderful partner of Ponderosa State Park! When Merlin comes for our interpretive programs- he regularly draws crowds of over 100 park visitors! Merlin has come for our summer evening programs and our World Migratory Bird Day- events that both park visitors and locals alike adore! Snowdon’s educational trunks have also been a part of these events enchanting and sparking curiosity in the minds of our visitors both young and old! We are so thankful to have this partner to enhance our educational programs at Ponderosa State Park and further engage and educate the public in our surrounding wildlife and natural resources!”
Payette Lakes Community Association
“An absolute highlight for both the PLCA 4 Kids After-School Program and Summer Camp is doing outreach education with Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary. Our students, who range in age from 5 to 14, are always captivated by Merlin the Great Horned Owl and the hands-on learning experiences provided by the team at Snowdon. We’ve used the education resources (pelts, skulls, books, DVDs, stuffed animals and more) in the traveling trunks for multi-day lessons to learn about local fauna. Snowdon has also led owl pellet dissections for our groups and created a scavenger hunt at the sanctuary for our students to gain a better understanding of what is happening there. Our community is so lucky to have such a wonderful organization in it!”
“Our students had a wonderfully immersive and engaging experience at Snowdon. Pulling knapweed from the property was both a great lesson in service , as well as a wonderful experiential learning opportunity regarding invasive species. Meeting Merlin the great-horned owl, the red-tailed hawk and a little baby squirrel were highlights for our students– It was amazing how quiet the students got when we were shown the baby squirrel! Our host and educator, Sierra, was exceptionally knowledgeable and very patient with the many questions from our students. Thanks, Snowdon!”
Barbara R. Morgan Elementary School
“Partnering with Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary brings learning alive to the first grade students of Barbara R. Morgan Elementary School. The wildlife trunks inspire awe as students notice, explore, question, and come to understanding around the structure and function of animal adaptations. The highlight for students (and parents) of exploring the Snowden campus through a scavenger hunt was intensified by the instructors who so knowledgably and kindly introduced us to Kai and, later, Merlin – raptors with harrowing stories but happy endings. And dissecting owl pellets shortly after meeting Merlin was nothing short of revelatory for 6 and 7 year olds with shouts of, “I found a skull!!” and “Here is a femur…”