Sep 28th, 2011

My Welcome to the Garden — Journey to Gourd Quest

by Garrett McLees  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, PR & Marketing Intern

Hi, I’m Garrett McLees, the new PR & marketing intern here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. A hardworking and studious graduate of Virginia Tech, I take every job seriously and do my best in whatever I do. Last week, my first at the Garden, I headed tothe Children’s Garden to learn about a new event that the Garden is starting — October Oddities.   As part of the month-long celebration of everything “odd” I found out that instead of the traditional KidQuest, treasure hunt that the Children’s Garden staff creates,  we’ll  have a Gourd Quest instead. And this was my first assignment and the topic of my very first blog post. As I drew nearer to the Children’s Garden, I realized there was something else I had to do first. The Children’s Garden Tree house was calling my name.

During my childhood, my parents had never taken me to the Children’s Garden at Lewis Ginter.  Even if they had, I wouldn’t have seen it — it wasn’t built yet.  As I climbed the ramp to the accessible-to-all CWD Kids Tree House, I thought about how silly I might look. Here I am all grown up, having just begun my very first internship, and I am winding my way up to see a tree house at the Children’s Garden.

But, I didn’t care.

As soon as I entered,  I was transported back to the simpler days of my childhood. I rushed to the window to take in the view of Syndor Lake, and snapped a few pictures, then I looked up and took note of how high the ceiling was.  I walked around the Tree House a few times, sat in the rocking chair in the middle of the room, taking it all in, until I remembered my original mission. I needed to learn about Gourd Quest.


My view from the tree house in the Children's Garden.

My view from the tree house in the Children's Garden.

I made my way back down from the Tree House and met a few of the of the Children’s Garden educators. They were all very friendly and happy to share with me the exciting details of the upcoming October Oddities events — specifically Gourd Quest.

I learned that Kid Quest, the engaging scavenger hunt activity for our younger visitors, is featuring a very special fall theme this year.  Starting October 1st, children and families can explore the Children’s Garden while keeping an eye out for interesting and unique gourds, including the mini white boo pumpkin, caveman’s club, and apple gourds.  Once kids find all the gourds, they can turn in their Gourd Quest sheet for a prize. As part of October Oddities, Gourd Quest is free with Garden admission.

As I left the Children’s Garden, I took one last look back at the tree house and thought about how much fun it would have been for me to have been able to enjoy Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden tree house and events like  Gourd Quest when I was growing up.

Look for more updates about other features of October Oddities in my next blog post.

This October, I hope that you’ll bring the kids by for some “odd” fun.

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