Fossil Posse Adventures offers online learning for kids | VailDaily.com
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Fossil Posse Adventures offers online learning for kids

Free sessions cover creatures that roamed the Earth millions of years ago

Billy Doran, founder of Fossil Posse Adventures, poses with one of his summer camp participants while holding a replica of a jaw of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Photo courtesy of Fossil Posse Adventures

Parents, take a break from online schooling and go “old school” — “old” as in prehistoric times with Fossil Posse Adventures.

Fossil Posse Adventures in Wolcott, created by longtime locals Billy and Lily Doran, provides dinosaur education for youth ages 6 and up. Here, youngsters learn about these prehistoric giants that walked the Earth and walked in what is now Eagle County millions of years ago.  

You can usually find Billy, who is an animated creature himself, leading talks about creatures from Triassic, Jurassic or Cretaceous eras at his day camps in Wolcott during the summer. He also amazes families with his knowledge and unique displays on the Beaver Creek Plaza during FunFest on Saturday afternoons during the winter.

Due to schools resorting to online measures during the COVID-19 shutdown, Billy decided to take his talks online and help the kids mix up the curriculum a bit.

“We do school visits in the Vail Valley and on the Front Range, but we thought why not take this to the kids in their homes?” Billy said.

Nearly 60 kids are tuning in for each class from coast to coast and the numbers grow each week.

Billy and Lily go live from their home in Edwards via Zoom on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. Billy gets in front of the camera with all his props. Lily mans the chat screen and delivers the questions for the Q and A portion during the second half of the session.

“I didn’t want to call it a class because I want the kids to think of it more of an adventure they are going on with us two days a week,” Billy said.

Topics range from armored dinosaurs like the stegosaurs to raptors and megalodons. During the session on April 17, Billy was showing large teeth from a megalodon and comparing it to the teeth from a great white shark.

Although he has studied paleontology, Billy likes to call himself the play-leontologist instead of a paleontologist.

“I never claim to know everything and I like to share that there is always more to learn with the kids,” he said

One of the most fun things for Billy to see is the kids’ reactions.

“On the computer screen, I can see their eyes light up, their jaws drop or see a look of amazement. They are so into it,” he said.

Classes are free and to access the next session go to Fossil Posse Adventure’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Fossil-Posse-232133126826970/. They have also set up a Youtube channel if you want to watch past episodes. For more information, visit http://www.fossilposse.com.


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