How to talk to people: Jr. Stewards table at the Long Beach Aquarium

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It’s really awesome to see kids developing leadership and communication skills as they grow and mature. The Bolsa Chica Junior Stewards recently conducted some outreach at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach last Sunday, March 6 for their semi-annual Scout Day. We set up a Bolsa Chica table with lots of pictures and artifacts. We had our replica eggs and skulls from all the birds that make their homes on the mesa. We had stickers and licorice for kids who talked to us about what we do. If they could answer two questions, they could get some licorice.

As our volunteers interacted with kids and adults, we had to discuss the three tiers of communication skills required for three tiers of people.

  • Tier 1: People who can’t talk
    Well, they can probably speak but they can’t carry on conversations. A few Junior Stewards tried to ask a 2-year-old to repeat the duties and responsibilities of a Junior Steward. Or a few tourists came by, and our kids didn’t realize that these tourists weren’t understanding the words coming out of their mouths. Lessons: If people are smiling and nodding but not responding to you, they might not speak English very well. Speak slowly and point. If a 2-year-old wants a sticker, give them a sticker.
  • Tier 2: People who can talk, sort of…
    Some kids are learning to speak for themselves. Some kids take some time to get it out of their brains. Some kids need you to repeat the information again. (Some of these “kids” are adults.) Lessons: Help them! If they don’t quite get it, give them another chance!
  • Tier 3: People who can speak and hold a 5-second conversation
    (Ok, the bar sounds low, but there were quite a few kids in the 3- to 6-year-old age range and a few tourists that came by our table.) Tier 3 folks would sometimes challenge Junior Stewards with intriguing questions. The Junior Stewards had to speak clearly and confidently to respond to these inquiries. I have seen tremendous growth in most of these kids. Their poise and knowledge is remarkable and inspiring.

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Each of the Junior Stewards brought his or her own perspective and personality to the table. Thanks to the LaParnes (Thomas, Tommy, Annaleah, and Jimmy), Kolpins (Griffyn, Sage, Marcus, and Thierry), Thorns (Jodi and John), and Zach Pocher for all the help.

Danny

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(photos from a few years ago by E. Chin)

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