And, what about Buttered Corn Days? Read on . . .

Fall is in the air, and area farmers are busy in the fields, so let’s talk Safety Day Camp. For those of you unfamiliar with this event, put on by the Chamber of Commerce and local businesses, Safety Day Camp happens annually, the third week of September and is offered to area fourth graders. This year’s participating students came from Sleepy Eye, Springfield, New Ulm, Gibbon, Fairfax, and Winthrop. The Sleepy Eye Event Center played host to the 220 area students plus chaperones and showed off its multipurpose abilities.

This year the day was made up of eight learning stations, taught by various presenters from our local businesses and agencies. Those were: Germ City with VOA/SE Senior Living, Emergency Preparedness with Brown County Public Health, Stranger Danger with SE Police Department, Electrical Safety with Brown County REA, Gun Safety with Tom Pelzel, ATV Safety with Miller Sellner, Machinery Safety with Mathiowetz Construction, and First Aid/911 with SE Ambulance Service and Brown County Dispatch.

The students rotate through these areas in 15 minute increments and are exposed to the wide array of safety topics and hands-on experiences. Morning snack and lunch were donated by the Sleepy Eye Medical Center and served by volunteers.

I think as adults we sometimes take for granted the notion that kids just ‘know’ the dangers of various activities or actions, without truly breaking it down for them and answering the why. For example, ATVs have become such a norm for some of our kids these days, so I think just going over the basic steps of safety and gear, that maybe don’t always get remembered in the excitement of riding through mud and dirt, is very beneficial for our kids. Watching a hotdog start cooking because it touched a high voltage power line (simulation of course), is certainly going to leave a lasting impression about power lines and electrical safety. And Stranger Danger with Officer Waterbury made sure to drive home to our area youth: “No. Go. Yell. Tell.”, as well as discussing some tough questions about why people “steal kids.” Those secondhand experiences, expert instruction, and crucial visuals within a controlled environment, can answer the whys and hows of everyday scenarios. We are so fortunate to be able to offer this to our kids.

Of course none of this would be possible without the support of our area businesses, whether they offered a presenter, sponsored the food and day, or volunteered their time. We are so grateful to have these businesses in our community: AMPI, Americana Community Bank, Brown County Public Health Nursing, Brown County REA, City of Sleepy Eye, First Security Agency, Mark Thomas Co., Mathiowetz Construction Co., Miller Sellner, Schutz Family Foods, Schwartz Farms, Sleepy Eye Ambulance Service, Sleepy Eye Lions Club, Sleepy Eye Medical Center, Sleepy Eye Police Department, SouthPoint Financial Credit Union, Stark Farmers Insurance, and Volunteers of America/Sleepy Eye Senior Living.

On a final note, the question about the future of Buttered Corn Days has obviously become a talking point, considering the recent announcement of Del Monte closing. The Chamber Board of Directors made the decision at our September meeting to continue with this annual town celebration, albeit it may look a little different moving forward, and changes will obviously need to be made. A committee has been established to search out our best “corn sources” and we will keep you posted as we continue with logistics. So ‘Save the Date’ for August 21 and 22 of 2020 for the 59th Annual Buttered Corn Days Celebration!