On Wednesday June 2nd I traveled to Elmer Wolfe Elementary School in Union Bridge MD for a boomerang presentation. It was a three hour drive from home and I left extra early so I could check out the field where I was supposed to do the demo, and also have time to warm up.
The school program for the day was all about Australia. The students made didgeridoos from paper towel tubes, tasted Vegemite and tried their hand at aboriginal inspired artwork. By the time I was set to start, they were well versed in all things Australia.
Photo: Dot Art by the students.
Showtime! All the students came out the back door and were seated on the grassy hillside by the field. The school supplied a sound system and had me set up with a personal microphone. No matter where I went, the students could hear me.
Photo: The students of Elmer Wolfe
I started out showing aboriginal items such as didgeridoos, bull roarers, aboriginal art and kylies or throwsticks. I even did a demo throw of a kylie, which the students cheered for. What were they going to do when I threw a returning boomerang? I found out quickly.
Photo: Dave showing aboriginal stuff.
I started out by showing and throwing a 24 inch wide Bob Burwell traditional. The cheers were heard again as it returned to me. Then I started showing all kinds of boomerang shapes including bats, butterflies, kangaroos, cats and more. Every time I threw there was a cheer. Every time I caught there was a louder cheer. When I missed the was the sound of a dejected “awwww”. I finally got out a 36 wide boomerang which the students really loved to see thrown.
Photo: Throwing the Burwell traditional.
Now it was time for their help. The teachers from each class chose students to actually learn to throw. I had two students at a time, each getting two tried with some backyard triblades. I’ll never forget the one boy saying: “I never threw a boomerang before”. Some students did really well, especially as the older students got their chance;
Photo: Students getting instructions.
When someone from each class had a chance, some of the teachers wanted to try. I almost think they were as excited as the students. I was going to have a Q&A session at the end but the students all voted to have me throw the big boomerang a few more times.
After the program many students came to thank me for being there and to tell me how much they enjoyed it. I must say I was pretty excited myself because of their enthusiasm. I was hot an tired and had a three hor drive home but was pretty pumped up for the drive. What a great day.