by Kim Sodano & Gerianne McGowan

The story of the Monarch butterfly…an annual journey that spans a continent, three nations, and multiple generations of monarchs…captures the hearts and minds of people of all ages.
(Journeys MTN, 2010)

13042201Our thoughts when we heard about a workshop about the Life of the Monarch Butterfly was, “What could someone possibly teach us about caterpillars and butterflies that could take 15 hours?” To our surprise they were able to intrigue us on these beautiful creatures.

Walking into the building at Raritan Valley Community center, the first day we saw two large tents surrounded by cages of butterflies. We were told to come in and feed the butterflies. Really?!…feed the butterflies?

With the instructor teaching us how to properly catch a butterfly from its cage, we brought it over to the tent where we were shown how to feed them using a tooth pick to pull out it’s proboscis and feed it juicy juice. We were then introduced to the butterfly enthusiasts that came from all over the U.S. and Canada to volunteer their time to teach. Each one of them loved and cared for these butterflies and caterpillars, as if they were their own children.

We thought, “Wow!, we would never get that carried away…” Until we found ourselves on the side of the road searching for caterpillar eggs and milkweed plants to bring this journey of hope to our classrooms.