The following column is by Merchants Ch9oice Payment Solutions President Art Lieberman.

Art Lieberman

As the spring season approaches, I’ve been reading in trade publications about how campgrounds can provide interesting activates for their campers. Some of the ideas are just wonderful. Many of the events are fun and some are of a crafty nature involving participation by the campers. A few are even educational.

I have been watching the trade shows for new and innovative new games or other entertainment ideas which will either attract campers to particular venues or keep them charmed while camping.

At the joint regional campground meeting for areas 3 and 4 of the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association which took place last week in Selinsgrove, a small town in central PA, I met Cheri Heimbach who had an exhibit booth directly across from ours. Cheri had brought two “associates” with her that attracted most of the attention at the show.

Cheri is a Master Falconer with 35 years’ experience working with these strange and fascinating birds. Her companions were Bandit, a small male falcon only a year old and Sanora, an 8-year-old Harris Hawk. The latter creature was quite large and impressive.

Sanora didn’t stay long because she seemed to be a little jittery, especially when she spotted the 6 foot bear replica that was sitting in the aisle. Bandit, however, stayed for the entire 4 hours and even enjoyed a meal of part of a rodent.

The reason for Cheri’s presence at the event is that since her retirement, she now is a full time Falconer and appears at programs for schools, scouts, sport shows, renaissance fairs, festivals and, apparently, campgrounds.

She lectures to children and adults alike about hawks, owls and falcons from around the world. She actually customized the programs she presents to each event and the makeup of each audience in attendance.

Although Cheri lives in central PA she does travel to parts of New York, New Jersey and some areas on the East Coast of the United States.

Needless to say that Cheri and the birds were the hit of the show and attracted attention from children and adults alike. I can’t help feeling that She and her birds would be a hit at campgrounds. The children who attended the event in Selinsgrove, PA just couldn’t help from coming to her table and talking to her and and Bandit.

Cheri can be contacted at 570-966-9539 or at 570-713-5442. Her e-mail address is cheri@dejazzd.com.