Our family went to Branson recently and spent 2 weeks there doing things around the area. We didn’t go to any of the shows, even though many people thought that was the reason why we were going there.
Our main reason for going there was to attend a seed planting festival in Mansfield, MO. But as things progressed in our planning of this trip, we decided to stay in Branson at a condo because it was cheaper than staying in a hotel for 6 nights in Springfield, so we opted to rent a condo for 2 weeks and then drive to Mansfield. So after the decision was made to go to Branson, Mo, the hunt was on to find things to do that were cheap or better yet free in the local area.
One of the things we found was a fish hatchery. It has been years since our family has been to a fish hatchery, so this went our list of things to do. My main objective for going to the fish hatchery was to let the kids see what a fish hatchery was and see the fish.
Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery
I was quite surprised when we arrived at this fish hatchery, it was bigger than what I had expected and it also had a visitors center that had some educational displays. The last one we went to just had ponds dug out of the ground. This one actually had concrete pools and there was several rows of them. I have never seen a fish hatchery that was so big.
One of the pools at the fish hatchery.
Anyway I am digressing. When we were in the visitors center one of the displays was about how to tell a male trout from a female trout. I saw this and thought OK, this is just not something I care to read about. But one of my children saw this and read it. Then proceeded to show us which fish were males and which ones were females. Just in case you are wondering, you tell a male from a female by the way their mouth and jaws are situated.
Trout swimming in an tank at the visitors center.
Later on in our vacation, this same child realized there were trout on our wall pictures in the condo and proceeded to tell us that the fish were female and why. After this I thought, “Gee, I thought we brought the kids to the fish hatchery to see the fish, but no, there was actually learning going on here.” This makes a homeschooling mamas heart grow with pride. We are learning while on vacation! Score!
When we returned home, I realized we had trout on our shower curtain in the bathroom. Then to my surprise, my next thought was, “Gee, that is a female trout there staring at me.” I had a good laugh at this one, I guess I learned something at the fish hatchery also via my child.
The moral of my little story is: You never know what learning opportunities are going to present themselves and when, so go out and do those educational things while on vacation. You never know what your kids might end up learning.