Get ready! It’s time to register for this spring’s Homeschool Jamboree! Homeschool Jamboree is THE homeschool event of the year for kids ages 8-14. This event takes place at Eagle Creek Park’s Earth Discovery Center and is a day full of adventures.

If you haven’t been before, here’s how it works. Families choose four classes and rotate every 45 minutes. Classes take place from 10:00 — 2:35, with a sack lunch in the middle. You can drop your children off, or stay with them if you prefer. This event often sells out quickly, as space is limited, and you must register in advance. I recommend registering the day it opens, which this year is March 6 at 9:00 a.m. Registration ends at 5:00 p.m. on March 17, or earlier if it fills up. Register online or by calling 317-327-7148 (not until March 6 at 9:00!). If you call you MUST speak to a representative, leaving a message does not count as registration.

To register online (information taken directly from email):

1) Go to www.indyparks.org
2) Click the grey “sign-in” button in the upper right hand corner if you already have an Indy Parks account, or click “create an account” to create a new account. If you have registered for programs at Indy Parks before (including previous Homeschool Jamborees), and you get the error message: “Login name ’email@email.com’ is being used by another account” you will need to sign in with your email address and click “forgot password.” A temporary password will then be emailed to you. If you need additional help please call customer service at 317-327-7275.
3) Enter information in your account for all students you will be registering by clicking “Change Information about Family/Friends.”
4) Once you have created your account, click “Register for Programs / Activities” under Online Services. Next to the green “Search” button enter course code 11835.
5) Click the green “add to cart” button
6) Select the family member you would like to register from the drop down menu (if your student’s name is not there, you will need to go back and edit your account to add that name).
7) Answer course prompts by selecting your six class choices. If you would like your student to stay in the same classes with a sibling or friend, please enter those names at the prompt. If some of the class topics do not show up on the prompt list, it means that class topic is full.
8) If you are registering more than 1 student, click “Register Another Participant for this Activity”
9) Once you have registered all of your students, click “checkout” and enter your payment information.

Classes to choose from:

All About Animals
This program will focus on animals that can be found in Indiana including many that can be found right here at Eagle Creek Park. You will learn about the various roles, interactions, and importance that each contributes. Many interesting facts will be shared with time for questions during the talk.

Archery
During this introduction to archery, learn the basics about safety, terms to know, and then try your hand at shooting! No prior shooting experience necessary. There is a maximum 12 students per session. For safety reasons, no one under the age of 10 will be allowed to register in this program. Registered participants and their supervising adults will be the only people allowed at the program. Sorry, we cannot accommodate tag alongs.

Birds of Prey
Indiana’s Birds of Prey have many adaptations that make them such great hunters. From super speed to amazing eyesight, these birds are equipped to survive in the wild. Get a chance to see our live raptors up close and personal as we talk about all the adaptions that make these birds so fascinating!

Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace refers to a set of outdoor ethics promoting conservation and positive recreation decision making. You will learn how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly through games and hands on learning as Camptown teaches you the seven Leave No Trace principles.

Let’s Get Batty!
Bats are interesting, beneficial, and misunderstood creatures. This session will be led by staff from the Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab. You will learn about bat habitat, behavior, and adaptations, and play an echolocation game.

Little Creatures
Are you quicker than a beetle? Sneakier than a salamander? Put your detective skills to the test as we explore the forest, observing and collecting information about small animals and the habitats in which they live. Who knows what we may discover; moths, millipedes, snails, snakes, woodpeckers…

Nature Journaling
Students from Ball State will once again be offering their nature journaling workshop. Their goal is to educate and get children excited about exploring the natural world around them, while encouraging them to capture what they find in a visual journal. This program will help develop visual communication skills through the art of sketching.

Orienteering
Learn to use a compass and navigate a scavenger hunt designed by staff from Hendricks County Parks & Recreation. It is helpful if students are able to read or have a parent with them. This lesson is outside, so dress for the weather.

Signs of Spring Hike
Go on a forest hike to look and listen for signs of spring. We hope to see the first emerging wildflowers, listen for birds singing their excitement for the return of spring, and spot some insects enjoying the warmer weather. Please note that spring rains sometimes make mud on the trails. Dress appropriately.

The Amazing Honey Bee
Honey bees have an exciting story to tell and they will get the chance to do that with the help of two humans. Terry has been a local beekeeper for the last 25 years and this year he is bringing a new helper along to help teach about bees. Adah is a 12-year-old homeschooler who is active in the Hendricks County 4-H Honey Bee Project and has been an apprentice beekeeper with the family hives for the last three years. With their help, you will discover how honey bees impact our lives. They need our help just as much as we need theirs!

Tree Climbing
Maximum 12 students per session. Get a bird’s eye view of the park while getting to know your trees. Join us “Up a tree without a paddle.” Learn to climb a tree using arborist equipment. *Due to the popularity of this class, please do not choose this topic if you’ve already done Tree Climbing in previous Jamborees, so everyone can get a chance to participate.

Tree ID
Learn how to identify trees! This is more than a brief walk in the woods while trying to learn trees by memory. You will learn how to go through the step-by-step process of identifying the trees of Eagle Creek Park. About half the class will be the step-by-step process of learning how to identify a tree you do not know, and the second half will be in the woods putting to use what you have learned.

Wild & Wacky Weather
Are you ready for a windy, wet, and oh so wild adventure to learn about the weather? Students will conduct some weather experiments inside, discover how the water cycle affects weather, and observe the weather conditions outside. Students will explore what makes weather wonderful and wild!

Wonderful World of Worms
Deanna Garner from IDEM will be bringing wriggling worms to Homeschool Jam! Throughout the program, you will be able to observe real worms to see how they move and to learn about their physical characteristics. You will also find out how worms can turn food scraps into compost through vermicomposting.