Wheatscouts participants celebrate arts and nature

EGGSCELLENT CRAFTING: Wheatscouts had the opportunity Saturday to dye eggs with patterns by placing flowers on the eggs before coloring them with an onion skin based dye. "I liked doing this because it's all natural and how cool the eggs look afterwards," said Wheatscout Livia Beckwith, who said she likes the program because all of the fun activities, the music and the dancing. (Pioneer photos/Adam Gac)

EGGSCELLENT CRAFTING: Wheatscouts had the opportunity Saturday to dye eggs with patterns by placing flowers on the eggs before coloring them with an onion skin based dye. “I liked doing this because it’s all natural and how cool the eggs look afterwards,” said Wheatscout Livia Beckwith, who said she likes the program because all of the fun activities, the music and the dancing. (Pioneer photos/Adam Gac)

REMUS — Instead of watching Saturday morning cartoons or getting a head start on their chores, a number of area children put on their dancing shoes and their arts and crafts aprons and participated in the monthly meeting of the Wheatscouts.

The Wheatscouts meet at 11 a.m. on the second Saturday of the month at the Gladys Wernette building at the Wheatland Music Organization. The program only takes place during the school year, according to Bruce Bauman, who played the fiddle Saturday while the kids learned traditional dance techniques after dying eggs with onion skins and flowers.

“We take the summer off and then the program starts again in the fall, after the festival,” he said. “There’s no admission. You don’t have to join; you just have to show up.”

The meetings of the Wheatscouts don’t always center on music, but even when it’s in the background, music is a part of the experience, Bauman said.

“The tunes can be infectious. If you get the right kid, it can start them on a path to learning how to dance or play music,” he said.

Area resident Deb Gorby said the Wheatscouts program is a “hidden gem.”

“I like that it’s not committal, which is great when you have younger kids,” she said. “If you can make it, you can make it. If you can’t, you can’t.

“We were looking for something to do with our kids when we moved down to Lakeview,” she continued. “I knew about Wheatland, but I had never heard of Wheatscouts. It’s been great – we’ve been coming for two years.”

Emily Doebler learned a number of dance styles when she was in school before becoming involved in the Wheatland dancing scene. Saturday was her first time teaching dance through the Wheatscouts program, and she’s excited to help out again.

“It’s very inclusive. Super inviting,” she said. “I like seeing the younger kids here. Often people associate traditional dance with older people, but I think it’s really important we incorporate young people – they’re the ones who are going to take it on to the next generation.”

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Posted by Adam Gac

Adam is the Pioneer City/County Reporter, covering government in Mecosta County. He can be reached by e-mail at agac@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8347.

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