Tag Archives: Earth Day

Step up to the ‘Change the World’ Challenge – Support Dani’s Dreams

useDSC_0674We’re all looking to “change the world”…the funny thing is we don’t realize that every day our actions, big and small make a difference in our families’ lives, our schools, our jobs and our communities.

Kids are often told they are too young, that they must wait to “change the world.” But at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center kids are changing the world every day – by learning, by growing and by caring about God’s great creation.

Events like Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Challenge, “Dig It” day, “Remember Our Roots” tree day, Children’s Museum Nights, Weird Animals presentations at VBS, and Girl Scouts Badge Days are only possible through the generous donations of Southern Hancock families, businesses and community members who support innovative education activities for our children.

Next up, Dani’s Dreams will be developing the Butterfly Garden and adding a pavilion for the “Butterflies Up Close” project this August. Teachers and Scout Leaders who would like more information on how to be a part of the project (at no cost), email director Donna Griffin at dgriffins96@gmail.com or call 640-4430.

CLICK HERE to SIGN UP  to register for the eighth annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run, donate or become a business sponsor .

Even if you can’t be there Aug. 1 for the walk/run, you can still register or donate and get a one-of-a-kind T-shirt. Groups of 10 or more who sign up can get their name on the back of the race T-shirts.

Download registration forms for the Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run:




How does a paper airplane fly? Find out Friday at Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Challenge!

Grandparents and grandkids  – the challenge is on this Friday at Dani’s Dreams! Kids, get your grandparents and have some old-fashioned fun from 3:30-5 p.m. on April 17. Crafts, activities and fun are planned. One stop on the challenge is the “How Far Can It Fly? station. Here are some tips on how to soar above the rest!


imgresWhat makes a paper airplane fly? Air — the stuff that’s all around you. Hold your hand in front of your body with your palm facing sideways so that your thumb is on top and your pinkie is facing the floor. Swing your hand back and forth. Do you feel the air? Now turn your palm so it is parallel to the ground and swing it back and forth again, like you’re slicing it through the air. You can still feel the air, but your hand is able to move through it more smoothly than when your hand was turned up at a right angle. How easily an airplane moves through the air, or its aerodynamics, is the first consideration in making an airplane fly for a long distance.

Join in the fun for Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Challenge!

Come to Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center April 17, 3:30-5 p.m. for the Earth Day Grandparents/Grandkids “Change the World” Challenge.
Area children will team up with their grandparents to make crafts, take a “How well do you know me?” quiz, plant bulbs and just have old-fashioned fun with bubbles, by making a paper airplane and sharing a Frosty Boy ice cream treat. Every team that completes the challenge will receive a prize!
In celebration of Earth Day, families will also learn about Dani’s Dreams upcoming Butterfly Project, how their home can be a Certified Wildlife Habitat, and about the importance of sustainability to protecting the planet.
Those attending will also be able to cast their vote for the winning T-Shirt Design for the Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 1 at New Palestine High School.
All Southern Hancock Children are invited to take on the Earth Day Grandparents/Grandkids Change the World Challenge. For more information, log onto http://www.danisdreamsoutdooreducationcenter.com, Like us on Facebook or email dgriffins96@gmail.com

Making memories, learning, growing and discovering our roots…

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Discovery, learning, growing and hands-on activities were the order of the day at the sixth annual Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Dedication Event April 10 at the outdoor education center at Zion Lutheran School in New Palestine.

The warmest day of the year so far was prime time for children and their parents and grandparents to enjoy several outdoor activities and each other’s company, including:

1) A Nature Detective hunt, where children gathered information on butterflies, birds, dinosaurs, weather and photosynthesis. All winning names were placed in a random drawing for an I Spy birdhouse. The Day family won the birdhouse! Watch for future reports on Dani’s Dreams website and Facebook page from the Day birdhouse.

2) Mini Greenhouses – kids and their grandparents took home dirt and seeds and will now get to “Watch ‘Em Grow!”

3) Thanks to the participating families who planted bulbs, one of the gardens at Dani’s Dreams will bloom this summer with colorful gladiolus flowers! Check out the plants’ progress over the summer on the website and Facebook page.

The first round of voting took place for this year’s T-shirt design and essay contest for the Dani’s Dreams Walk/Run Aug. 2, 8 a.m. at New Palestine High School. Finalists will be chosen and placed online where everyone can vote for their favorite!

Kids, don’t forget to talk to your grandparents and get their stories for our “Remember Our Roots” memory book. We are compiling childhood memories and stories over this year. Send them to Zion Lutheran School, in c/o Dani’s Dreams or post them online at the Remember Our Roots at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center’s Facebook Page.

Remember Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School  is open every day to spend some quality outdoor time with your family!

Remember When You Were A Kid?

when i was a kid interview sheet Tomorrow’s “Remember Our Roots” celebration kicks off a year of activities, learning and fun at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center, with kids taking the lead and connecting to their roots – their grandparents.

“We’d play catch, we’d play marbles, we’d play tag and baseball and football and throw snowballs in the winter, and we’d help each other do stuff- that was all fun,” said Cole Allen Vandygriff’s grandfather, Dido said in an email. “Sometimes we’d go to parks to play or even to the river (where we weren’t supposed go to) and even if we got hurt sometimes it was still fun to be with my friends. I guess our guardian angels had to work overtime sometimes but they did a good job.”

All grandparents and their grandchildren are invited to share their memories in the Go Green Center tomorrow, 3:30-5 p.m. either on video or by filling out the “When I Was A Kid” story form. The stories created, as well as the posts and pictures uploaded to the “Remember Our Roots” Facebook page, will be placed in a memory book for the end of the year.

We’ll also be planting bulbs, constructing mini-greenhouses, gathering knowledge on a nature detective hunt and creating family tree stories about life when grandparents were children.

Studies show that environmental education improves student achievement in core subject areas and also makes students more interested in learning overall. What’s more, getting kids outside and active promotes a healthy lifestyle that is essential to fighting obesity and reducing symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder, depression, and stress.

And for all generations, nothing beats being outside, enjoying God’s wonderful creation, and spending precious moments with family – join us!



Outdoor Experiences Bring Learning to Life – Join Us!

Scientists and researchers will tell you that children who have hands-on, real-world activities better understand concepts and processes. At Dani’s Dreams empowering children and giving them innovative opportunities to grow, to explore and to discover is the heart of our mission.20140407_220813

This Thursday from 3:30-5 p.m. children will be learning, growing, running, laughing and sharing those experiences with the most important people in their lives, parents and grandparents – simple basic enjoyment of the wonders of God’s creation.

Share your childhood story.

Plant a seed together and watch it grow over time.

Listen to the birds.

Feel the breeze.

Remember your roots.

All those families who complete the Nature Detective Quiz will be in a drawing to win an I Spy birdhouse. They can watch the birds in their backyard and also make reports on their activities and share that with others on Dani’s Dreams website and Facebook page.


Families, You Can Find the ‘Treasures of the Earth’

useDSC_0425Hancock County families can beat cabin fever and shake off the winter doldrums with a family “treasure hunt” Feb. 26, 6-8 p.m. at Zion Lutheran School’s gymnasium. Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center is sponsoring an evening of free, educational and entertaining activities designed for families to learn and interact together when the Children’s Museum comes to New Palestine, with the National Geographic’s “Treasures of the Earth.” Zion Lutheran’s PTL will be providing concessions during the event.

A few of the 7 activities and interactive presentations planned:

Tools of Discovery Examine and identify authentic tools in an archeologist’s pack: pointed trowel, margin trowel, line level, folding ruler, hand sifter, brushes and more. Learn how each tool is used in an archaeological excavation.

Secrets under the Sea For years, no one recognized the “rocks” and coral in 10 feet of water in the Caribbean Sea as a pile of 26 cannons among pieces of anchors. Assemble a science experiment and take it home to observe and learn about what happens to metal objects in saltwater environments.

Tomb Readers Families will translate hieroglyphs in a pharaoh’s cartouche to discover who was buried in the longest, deepest, and most complete tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.

No Dream Too Big in 2013 at Dani’s Dreams

“No dream is too big, no dreamer too small,” says the movie, “Turbo.” At Dani’ Dreams, a lot of little hands plant the seeds of big dreams through innovative activities and events each year at Hancock County’s only outdoor education center.

Teachers, Scout Leaders, and other community groups, contact Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center to schedule your specially designed educational opportunity. We’ll tailor your experience to your needs at NO CHARGE. Contact Donna Griffin, director, at dgriffins@netzero.com or 317-640-4430.

 Check out the first five of the Top 10 Dani’s Dreams memorable moments in 2013 (in chronological order):

1. April 12 Earth Day Dedication Event

useDSC_0847The highlight of Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Event was a special presentation by Mrs. Deb Weiler’s fourth grade students at Sugar Creek Elementary in New Palestine. They are partnering with Dani’s Dreams on a composting project and are the perfect example of how young people can truly “Dream It – Do It” and share that knowledge with others. Thanks so much Mrs. Weiler and her smart and caring students – Sarah Adam, Sierra Patrick, Madison Schmitt, Mia Thomas, and Laney Scott.

2. Opening of Go Green Center

useDSC_0836Dani’s Dreams is all about growing, discovering, becoming – little seeds are planted, take root and reach toward the sky. The Go Green Discovery Center opened April 12, 2013, is in the seedling stage, changing and morphing to meet the needs of Hancock County schoolchildren. Now it is the site of meaningful, environmental activities, crafts and demonstrations for all students in Hancock County. Watch it Grow!

3. Dream It – Do It! T-shirt Design and Essay Contest Winners Chosen

First Place - Ali Kinder
First Place – Ali Kinder

Hancock County students put their talents and creativity on display for the annual Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center T-shirt design and essay contest for 2013. Ali Kinder, a student at Zion Lutheran School is the winner of the T-shirt design contest. Kinder’s design was featured on T-shirts for the event. Second place went to Katie Taylor, a fifth grader at Zion Lutheran School and third place winner was Rylee Morris, sixth grader at Zion Lutheran School. The students’ interpretations of the “Dream It – Do It!” theme brought color and life to race T-shirts and even jump started a new organization that brought peace, comfort and hope to others – Emma Mann’s Peace Bear Project. Emma is the 2013 Essay Contest winner. Brock Turner, 2013 Lutheran High School graduate received the Dani Griffin Innovation in Education Memorial Scholarship.

4.  Northern Night Concert kicks off Sixth Annual Dani’s Dreams Walk/Run

DSC_0171Up-and-coming band, Northern Nights set the stage Aug. 2 with a benefit concert at Zion Lutheran School. The next morning, more than 100 runners/walkers braved a damp summer morning to race/exercise on the cross country course and stadium track at New Palestine High School to raise funds for environmental education in Hancock County.

5. Dani’s Dreams Club Activities

useDSC_0154Dani’s Dreams Club took root in 2013, as members filmed an informational video and environmental reports, planted and tended vegetables and flowers in the Community Garden and went on a bug expedition. Join Dani’s Dreams Club when it expands this year to include an online component as well as the popular after school events and activities. Be a part of our reporting team, which will be covering environmental issues in videos to be aired in the Go Green Center and also creating an online newsletter.

Check out the next post for the other five Top Memorable Moments at Dani’s Dreams in 2013!

Create, Explore, Discover – Dream It, Do It!

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More than 30 students from Zion Lutheran Sugar Creek and New Palestine elementary schools became Nature Detectives, went digging for fossils, arrowheads and bones, learned about the water cycle and created bird feeders and other crafts April 12 at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center’s Earth Day Dedication Event. The afternoon was topped off with Mama Nita’s pizza, a supporter of Dani’s Dreams, and a special Dani’s Dreams video report by Katie and Kara Morris and Sarah, Emily and Sam Adam. A special thanks goes to all of Dani’s family who helped to make the event happen and who are the heart of Dani’s Dreams — you are all fantastic people!

Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center is a resource for Hancock County schools, teachers, Scouts and all community groups for hands-on, innovative environmental education opportunities and state standards-based activities and projects. We’ll design a one-of-a-kind tour, activity or project for YOUR CLASS, based on YOUR NEEDS at NO CHARGE. Email dgriffins@netzero.com or call 317-640-4430 – Dream It, Do It!

Celebrating Earth Day – Making Ideas Happen at Dani’s Dreams

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Recycling and the water cycle became hands-on learning experiences for Zion Lutheran School students thanks to Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center. Dani’s Dreams partnered with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to bring special Earth Day presentations to all grades on April 12.

Preschool through grade four students learned how to recycle and saw the products made from recycled materials. Students in grades 5-8 became water drops and traveled through the phases of the water cycle, picking up beads for their water cycle bracelets

Thanks to Stacy Jones, of IDEM who conducted the presentations.

Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center is a resource for Hancock County schools, teachers, Scouts and all community groups for hands-on, innovative environmental education opportunities and state standards-based activities and projects. We’ll design a one-of-a-kind tour, activity or project for YOUR CLASS, based on YOUR NEEDS at NO CHARGE. Email dgriffins@netzero.com or call 317-640-4430 – Dream It, Do It!