by Deborah McMaster
Lady Hawke Storytelling jumped off the page to me from the Gloucester County Freeholders’ 2015 Park Events Guide. New to the area, this brochure was a welcome surprise in my mailbox. I grabbed my Sharpie to circle interesting ideas for my daughters and me to do with the four youngest grandchildren this summer. Several possibilities on every page – what a great family-oriented place to live!
Friday, July 24, 2015 I took off work for five of us to have some Family Fun at Fasola Park (Where’s that?…Answer: Deptford, and easy to find). A beautiful hot summer day, Laura Kaighn (Lady Hawke) was telling her stories under the pavilion. The children sat on the floor at her feet as she told us about the mischievous Raven Child. Next a story about holding up the sky – the favorite of all three of my grandchildren. Then my favorite about a special grandmother gift to Laura when she was a child. Remarkable was that there were no children neither wandering around nor running. Of Cherokee and Celtic heritage, and with a degree in education, Lady Hawke has been capturing children’s attention for 20 years!
After the stories Laura allowed the children to see and touch various artifacts such as shells or rocks, puppets, and the “grandmother gift” itself that she brings to display. Alissa and Marissa especially liked the bunny fur. Some books were available for purchase so we got the one with Lady Hawke’s collection of short stories. Marissa began reading it as soon as we left the storytelling area.
As you can see upon visiting the website http://ladyhawkestorytelling.com, Laura is passionate about “getting the word out” in many forms, especially enhancing education in children and young adults. Her affinity for Native American culture, nature and positive messages came through in her choice of stories for this event. We certainly hope to hear more of her!
I must add a few words about the Fasola Park – we love it!! There is a water-sprinkler area. Restrooms are inside a building. There are swings, including a larger plastic one with rubber padded ramp underneath for a handicapped or wheelchair-bound child! There are colorful things to climb on and in, made of a plastic or rubber material that doesn’t feel hot to touch even with the sun beating down! Better than monkey bars for smaller fry, some pieces are wide with foot-holes and more solid surface space to climb on. Most with the rubber padded surface underneath. All in all, this is a top-notch family play spot in South Jersey.