SCHUYLER FALLS — John and Heather Trombly and their dog, Nahla, pack up their gear and leave Champlain all summer long.

"We try to go camping every weekend, actually,” Heather said.

“It's the only way we can relax. So Friday, Saturday, Sunday, we go to Buck Pond, Fish Creek. We try to do the free campsites by Paul Smiths because they're private and they're enjoyable.

“Sometimes, our son will join us, and his wife and their baby. They're from Grand Isle."



This Friday, they were at Macomb State Park, where Heather ended up on s'mores assemblage at “Nature and Nostalgia,” an old-fashioned campfire, hosted by Kristin Collins, park naturalist.

It was an opportunity for all ages to disconnect from devices and reconnect with each other.

“It was sort of thing that people talked about that we used to do,” Collins said.

“I kind of thought it would be something fun and different for people that maybe hadn't done something like that since they were kids and want to bring their own kids.”


Activities included a sing-along and games.

“I have some cheesy camp songs,” Collins said.

“My favorite is called 'I Met A Bear.'

"I have a couple of games that we can play. It's old stuff like the telephone game depending on the ages and who shows up.”

She talked about nocturnal animals such as bats, raccoons and owls and passed around a beaver pelt as well as other assorted furry pieces. 


“There are actually a lot of beavers in that park,” Collins said.

“They just have a good habitat there in the pond. There's a lot of activity there.”

She played a series of recordings, so campers could distinguish the cries of a barn owl, screech owl and great horned owl.

“It has a classic owl sound,” of the latter Collins said.

“They all don't go who-who, but that one does. The barred owl says who-cooks-for-you. That's how you remember the barred owl.” 

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