Bat rehabilitator talks to Longswamp Boy Scout Pack 575

Longswamp Pack 575, Den 2, from Mertztown, received an education in bats.
Longswamp Pack 575, Den 2, from Mertztown, received an education in bats.

The boy scouts of Longswamp Pack 575, Den 2, from Mertztown, received an education in bats on a recent Friday night.

Stephanie Stronsick was the educator. Stephanie works as a Naturalist at the Wildlands Conservancy in Emmaus and volunteers as Aark’s bat specialist. She is the only animal rehabilitater in PA that specializes in bats. Both organizations are non-profits.

The presentation was at scout Kane Weller’s house, and began with a power point presentation which included some interesting facts like the largest bats eat fruit, an average bat can eat about 500 bugs an hour, and only 3% of bats are vampire bats, and they prefer cow and chicken blood to people blood.

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After the presentation, the scouts assembled bat boxes prepared by Ron, Kane’s dad. Den Leader Sherry Sexton said the project will help them earn their Handyman activity badge. Each Scout took a bat box home, four were donated to Stephanie for the Wildlands Conservancy and three were donated to Longswamp Township Park. The boys hung them at their next den meeting.

As if things were not interesting enough, Stephanie also brought along a tarantula which a couple of boys were brave enough to hold! They had to be very careful. Because of the tarantula’s body weight, if it were to fall, it would most likely die.

The evening ended with a bon-fire and s’mores.