Concetta Schirra knows lots of ways to celebrate the sun on the longest day of the year, including the making of sundials.
“It’s pretty accurate,” she said, explaining how she’s taught children to craft the old-style timepieces out of paper during previous Summer Solstice Celebrations at Salt Springs Park in Montrose.
There’s usually a catch, thanks to Daylight Saving Time, and Schirra usually waits to see if the youngsters will figure out for themselves why the sundials might be an hour off.
“I like to let the children discover things and see what they come up with,” she said.
Schirra, who is the environmental-education coordinator sponsored by Friends of Salt Springs Park, plans to have a campfire and storyteller after dark. Earlier in the day, she hopes to have a sun-viewing telescope and solar glasses as well as some games.
“It will be a relaxed, laid-back day,” she said. “It’s a beautiful place to picnic.”
Visitors are welcome to bring chairs, snacks, drinks and musical instruments. Schirra expects to have marshmallows for toasting.
For another beginning-of-summer option, the Endless Mountains Nature Center at Camp Lackawanna near Tunkhannock will host a Summer Solstice Workshop with meditation led by Bernadette Kozlowski of Light Your Fire Meditation and a guided nature walk with naturalist Rebecca Lesko.
“This is instinctive meditation, based on the idea that meditation is innate, born into us,” Kozlowski said. “We all the have the ability. It’s part of our survival skills, part of our biology. Thousands of years ago people didn’t go to a spa or a therapist. They took time for themselves. Think of how relaxed you are watching a sunset or an eagle.”
The nature walk also should be relaxing, Lesko said, predicting walkers will hear birds calling and perhaps see turtles who are in breeding season and maybe even taste the plant that provided the original flavor for birch beer.
“I’m sure we’ll talk a little about how the daylight affects different natural cycles,” the naturalist said. “We want to tie into the season and get people outside and relaxed at the start of summer.”