Treasure the date

JERRIE CAGE Spring Fling Program Chair
Sean Jones, a park ranger with the Texas Parks and Wildlife, will inform patrons about hunting at the Hamilton Extension Education Association Spring Fling, held on March 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the St. John Lutheran Family Life Center.

Remember those treasure hunts you relished as a child? Guess what — you can do it again! Sean Jones, Park Ranger with Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) will tell you how at the Hamilton Extension Education Association (HEEA) Spring Fling from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 30 at St. John Lutheran Family Life Center on Highway 22 East in Hamilton.

The outdoor activity, comparable to hide-and-seek, benchmarking, trig pointing, orienteering, treasure-hunting, letterboxing, scavenger hunting and way marking, holds a particular appeal not only for individuals, but also for families because of the healthy exercise, togetherness, and fresh air it delivers.

“Geocaching,” the new name for the activity, is “catching” on not only here in central Texas, but all over the world. Several versions exist, from simply finding one of the caches with your mobile Global Positioning System (GPS) device and recording your find, to permission to remove one of the little trinkets from the waterproofed container and leaving behind one that you picked up in a previous discovery. Want to do the hiding? You can do that, too.

Jones finished high school and college in Oregon, but got to Texas as fast as he could, hired by the State of Texas in 2010. He has guided Stumpy Hollow Hikes, an hour-long trek to explore the flora and fauna of the Inks Lake area near Burnet, a perfect way to spend the late morning in the hill country.

And he has handled the “Twilight Paddle: A Sens-ational Adventure,” also at Inks Lake State Park. The event is set up to discover how using each of the five senses will help voyagers experience the mysteries which infiltrate the twilight. Canoes, kayaks, life jackets and paddles are provided, or participants can bring their own. Open to ages 18 and older; canoeing or kayaking experience is required. A strong flashlight is mandatory, as well as shoes that can get wet.

If you can’t wait to meet and talk with Sean at Spring Fling on Monday, March 30, you can reach him at sean.jones@tpwd.texas.gov. Or follow his schedule on Twitter (@InksLakeSP) and Facebook for all the latest information about Inks Lake State Park events.

Spring Fling lunch is at 11:45 a.m., a huge buffet of salads and desserts for $8, and for no further sum you can immerse yourself in the full program with us from registration at 8:30, to silent auction winner announcements at 3:00, and the rest of the day filled with intriguing speakers, the music of cherubs from St. John Lutheran Preschool, 19 featured vendors, door prizes galore, and the best hostesses west of the Mississippi.

Let me know if you have questions about the event or about our extension education clubs, at jerriecage@gmail.com or 254/372-3165. Otherwise, I’ll hope to see you the last Monday in March.