Making connections at Love Local, Love Albion outdoor events – May 2021


May 27, 2021

With the pandemic challenging people to stay connected, Love Local, Love Albion is a safe way to connect with the community again outdoors.

Camping is a lot of fun and the various presentations during Love Local, Love Albion at Stoffer Plaza were to help people prepare for summer fun whether camping, hiking, or just exercising outdoors.

The Scouts took turns demonstrating how to use a camping stove, how to start a fire without matches, how to create an emergency signal, and other skills. Attendees to the demonstration even got to sample what rehydrated camping food tastes like and see how potable water is created when out on a hike.

“I am very proud of these four scouts.  They were able to speak very knowledgeably about outdoor survival and hiking skills that they have learned in the past couple of months.”

“We are looking forward to attending a week of summer camp at Cole Canoe Base in late June. When they will be able to put these skills in practice,” said David Huber, 158 Scout Leader.

Troop 158 BSA members Landon Evans, Ian Verbeke, Garret Hawley, and Senior Patrol Leader Nathaniel Mageria demonstrate how to make potable water.

The first connection came when the scouts joined other audience members to hear about the great places to hike around Albion such as the Whitehouse Nature Center and what to pack for a one-day hike or week-long or longer hikes. Director of the Whitehouse Nature Center Jason Raddatz gave people an idea of what you want to put into a day pack, water, and a fully charged phone being up high on the list.

He reminded everyone that there are lots of trails to enjoy at the Whitehouse Nature Center and support from the visitors center too.

Scout Master David Huber encouraged the children that were in the audience to become scouts no matter where they are because they will learn new and fun things no matter where they live.

Zumba instructor, Michelle Warren demonstrates moves at the Zumba class at Stoffer Plaza during Love Local, Love Albion. Warren said Zumba is ideal for all ages.

Matt Jackson, presenter at Love Local, Love Albion takes the group on a hike along the Albion River Trail. He shows everyone what the trail signs look like in Albion.

Matt Jackson, a hiking enthusiast shared stories of his hikes such as in the Appalachia’s, and how hikers learn to survive on what little they take on long hikes.

Along the way, Jackson pointed out plants to the adult and kids and giving them a first-hand look at poison ivy.

The second connection came when Jackson took people along the Albion River Trail and a grandmother, Carol Konkle, was hiking next to someone who happened to give piano lessons and now her grandchildren will be taking piano lessons from him.

Konkle then took the children to Dickerson’s to pick out their music books.

Connection number three happened when one of the attendees of the YMCA Zumba class went to Superior Nutrition in Albion and discovered their shakes while trying to find something to drink downtown after a joyful and rigorous workout and exclaimed to the store owner, “I live in Albion and didn’t know this was here.”

“I live in Albion and didn’t know this was here.”

Dana Smith, Albion, was happy to have another opportunity to enjoy Zumba in Albion.

“I love to dance and I love being active, but I am not good at staying disciplined with it.”

“I love to dance and I love being active, but I am not good at staying disciplined with it.”

Hiking wasn’t the only fun for Cameron Davis and Christian Davis during Love Albion, Love Local. They got meet Al the Albion Squirrel from The Recorder and his creator Aiden Wade. (courtesy photo)

Other fun connections included people stopping to get their picture with the Recorder’s Al the Albion Squirrel.

This photo was taken in front of Stirling Books & Brew and where people also got to meet Al’s creator Aiden Wade.

The kids were excited to learn that they too could draw their own comics just like Wade.

They could also talk about pets with Carol Smith from Friends of Albion’s Animals.

Representatives from the Love Local, Love Albion shared that the monthly events are about connecting with the community and finding ways to enjoy all that Albion has to offer including from each other.

Thanks to the support of the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce, Albion Downtown Marketing will continue to host other events at Stoffer Plaza in the summer, frisbee golf lessons in June, and a cardboard kayak decorating contest are just some of the events.

The YMCA has continuing classes at Albion College’s Body & Soul Center will be back in July to do cardio drumming in Stoffer Plaza.

For more information on Scouting, Troop 158 meets every Monday night on the 3rd floor of the First United Methodist Church of Albion, 600 E. Michigan Ave Albion.  7-8:30 p.m.

Photos by Sylvia Benavidez except as noted.  Photos and story copyright, The Recorder.

This story is reprinted with permission from The Recorder.
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