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P.G. YMCA Indian Guides and Princesses
Bowie, Maryland

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December 2001                                                     Patuxent Nation

Wow, can you believe it’s December?  How is everyone helping out at home to prepare for the upcoming holidays?  Are you helping your parents to get ready?  Are you doing anything special to decorate your house?  This is such a wonderful season for all.

I’m wishing for a winter with lots of snow!  Do you know how animals prepare for winter?
Below is a list of animals that do something special to prepare for the winter season?  Can you name what each of the following animals do to prepare for winter or during winter?  (answers are on page 2)
· Bears
· Squirrels
· Geese
· Skunks
· Snakes
· Snowshoe rabbits
· Chipmunks



I would have to say that our Annual Sleepover at the Y was a success.  A good time was had by all Indians.  8 parents and 9 kids came this year…. a great  turnout.  The Indians had fun playing all sorts of games, from M&M Bingo to the Parachute as well as decorating the cookies.  I would like to offer a special thanks to Fawn Pettigrew for the delicious pancakes to wake up to.

Our JanuaryNation event will be Ice Skating at Allen Pond on Sunday, January 13th 
from 1:00 - 3:00 pm.  Bring the whole family out and come skating with all of us.

Here are a few riddles for the season!!!
What is Frosty the Snowman's favorite breakfast cereal? Answer: Frosted Flakes
Why did Frosty cross the road? Answer: To melt on the other side.
Why do birds fly south for the winter? Answer: They sure can't walk.
What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Answer: Frostbite
What kind of candle burns longer, a red candle or a green
Answer: Neither, Candles always
               burn shorter
What does a ghost wear in the winter?  Answer: Boo-ts.
If athletes get athletes foot, what do astronauts get? Answer: Mistle-toe.

December 2001                    page 2                               Patuxent Nation

Why Do Bears Sleep in the Winter

A long time ago in the days of the Indians there was a tribe, a very poor tribe.  They saved all their food for the winter.  One night a bear came along and ate all their food.  This happened many nights.  The people in the tribe were getting sick and tired of this.  They went to the wish teller and told him that something was eating their food and they didn't like it!  The wish teller discovered that a bear was eating the tribe's food.

The people of the tribe complained about not having any food to eat over the winter, so the wish teller thought and thought about what he should do.  He asked the spirits to put a spell on the bear so that the bear would sleep in the winter and not eat their food.  He discussed the plan with the tribe.  The tribe thought it was brilliant!  So one night while the tribe was sleeping the wish teller cast his spell on the bear.

That is the real reason that bears sleep during the winter.  Every winter the tribe has plenty of food to eat.

Some Interesting Tidbits!
Did you Know…….

American Indians invented toboggans.  Toboggan comes from the Algonquian word odabaggan.  The Indians made their toboggan out of bark or animal skins stretched tightly over wooden frames.  They used their toboggans to pull their goods, and also their sick, elderly, or babies; which they would bundle up very warm in deer-skins.

The American Indians were also the greatest innovators of the snowshoe design.
The Athapascan Indians of the American and Canadian west coast, and the Algonquin Indians brought the snowshoe to its greatest peak of perfection.  The plains Indians also used the snowshoe for wintertime travel and hunting.  By using snowshoes, Indians were able to travel faster overland than the game they were hunting.

Answers of Animals Winter Habits!

Bears, skunks, chipmunks and even snakes hibernate the winter.  In the fall, these animals get ready for winter by eating extra food and storing it as body fat. They use this fat for energy while hibernating.

Geese fly south for the winter.

Snowshoe rabbits grow a new thicker white fur which keeps them warm and helps them to hide in the snow.

Squirrels do not hibernate, but find shelter in holes in trees or logs.  They huddle close together to stay warm.  Squirrels gather extra food in the fall and store it to eat later.