Easter Egg Hunt: Treasures of the spring

Children enjoy more than sweets on a bright morning outdoors

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter



Another Egg Hunt

Missed Saturday’s egg hunts? Don’t worry; the Easter Bunny will be back Sunday.

What: Crown Park Easter Egg Hunt.

When: 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Crown Park, Northeast Everett Street and 17th Avenue, Camas.

Details: The hunt will include more than 10,000 candy- and prize-filled eggs hidden in hunting areas designated for different age groups. Event also offers Easter Bonnet and Contemporary Hat contest and Sir Launch-a-Lot, the egg-launching robot.

photoPhotos by Steven Lane/The Columbian Sara Sanchez, 4, of Brush Prairie gathers eggs during an Easter egg hunt Saturday at Kiwanis Park in Battle Ground. The Battle Ground Kiwanis Club has hosted the annual spring event for about 45 years.
photoSara Sanchez, 4, from Brush Prairie, cracks open eggs during an Easter egg hunt at Kiwanis Park in Battle Ground, Saturday, April 7, 2012. (Steven Lane/The Columbian)
photoA fire-truck siren sends kids racing for Easter eggs Saturday at Kiwanis Park in Battle Ground. Hundreds of kids scoured the park, collecting 3,000 to 4,000 plastic eggs filled with candy.
photoAddison Hughes, 2, of Battle Ground pets Sweetie, a floppy-eared bunny, before the Easter egg hunt Saturday at Kiwanis Park in Battle Ground. Local 4-H clubs set up a petting zoo at the event.

BATTLE GROUND -- The Easter Bunny arrived early in Battle Ground, filling Kiwanis Park with thousands of shiny pink, purple and blue plastic eggs Saturday morning.

Hundreds of basket-toting egg-hunters arrived at the park to search for the bunny’s hidden treasures. Before egg-hunting, though, the youngsters spent the morning reading with princesses, petting animals and playing games.

Local 4-H clubs hosted a petting zoo that included familiar Easter animals, such as a bunny, duck and chicken, and some less typical creatures, such as cats, turkeys and a rat.

Battle Ground Rose Princesses read classic stories like “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” and some less traditional titles like “The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches.”

And Prairie High School Key Club members organized games of ring toss, golf putting and beanbag toss.

As the clock inched toward 10 a.m., the kids redirected their attention toward the colorful grass.

The spring rain produced 6-inch-tall grass, making egg hiding easier for the Easter Bunny. The cool overnight temperatures had frosted the grassy field, but the Saturday morning sunshine thawed the ground in time for the hunt.

Yellow caution tape divided the 8-acre park into age-appropriate hunting areas. Kids lined the edges of the grass, trying to spy as many eggs as possible before the starting siren sounded.

Corinne Klinger, 9, and Bailey Posten, 10, of Battle Ground mapped their course as they waited.

“I usually go as far back as I can and collect as many as I can along the way,” Bailey said.

The howl of a fire truck siren sent the kids screaming toward the colorful field.

Clusters of kids raced through the field, kneeling every few steps to scoop up eggs filled with chocolate and other sweets.

After an hour of anticipation, it took only minutes of hunting before kids retreated toward their parents to examine their bounty.

Garrett Tochtrop, 8, and his sister, Hunter, 5, both boasted baskets with about a dozen colorful plastic eggs.

“It was fun,” Garrett said, as he cracked open his eggs and dumped the sugary loot into his basket.

“Our strategy was to go all the way out to the back to get them,” he said.

This was the first year mom and dad, Shelley and Eric Tochtrop, let the kids hunt for eggs on their own. The Battle Ground family has come to the event since Garrett was about 1 year old.

“Since before he could walk,” Shelley said, “he’d be out there scooting.”

The Battle Ground Kiwanis Club has hosted the annual spring event for 45 years or so, said member Jim Correy. Local businesses donated bags of candy and club members put a couple of pieces in each of the 3,000 to 4,000 eggs, he said.

Marissa Harshman: 360-735-4546; http://twitter.com/col_health;http://facebook.com/reporterharshman;marissa.harshman@columbian.com.