The Diamond Hunters Demonstration Get Together 2007

By Donna Nolte

June 3rd was a fun filled day at Donna Noltes’ in Omro, Wisconsin….and when rain came down in buckets it filled the ditch…….so kids and adults in bare feet and 131# dog named Gunner  found worms and splashed to their hearts content in it………

The Diamond Hunters demonstration get together was set up for the youth and their families had a chance to try all sorts of aspects of our great hobby of rocks and minerals.  Carl Mauritz demonstrated faceting by bringing his machine and going thru the steps.  Carl answered any questions they asked.


Randy Mauritz thrilled the kids by having them work on gem trees…using stone, wire and colored stones. 

 Ed encouraged those around.  Ron Smith of Greenbush Gold Prospectors demonstrated gold panning using real gold, (he donated it and vials) and seed garnets and Carl brought a large amount of various other gemmy things and gold they panned out and the kids got to take it all home…gold and gems.

Dan and Barb Broder had the kids make stepping stones using various colored pebbles which they took home…..these folks all donated all the materials. 

Kevin Ponzio showed us something  really cool……how to hold, hammer and break stone so we have specimens on the shelf, not all those piles of stone outside.

Ray Danhauer was here to help with lapidary machines…….we had polishers and buffers set up on the deck while tumblers and saws in the shed were set to run. We had leather stamping, aluminum foil demo, etc but we actually ran out of time to do everything……….too much fun goofy stuff happening.

During our pot luck lunch break the whole fleet of Omro Fire Department arrived, sirens and fully garbed, to answer to a neighbor that had a gas leak in her hot water heater……answering her door with a cigarette in her mouth! 

Mike Keck had made a volcano, and after showing how vinegar and baking soda (red cake coloring for lava) would erupt the kids took it a step further in the living room……..they corked the volcano with marshmallows and made it really erupt!

During the showers going outside they made sand bracelets and necklaces………

toured the cases and rooms of rocks………looked at the fluorescent case with the black light……when the rains stopped we did silly stuff like having an egg toss (adults and kids making memories),

Gunner tried to steal the eggs and ended up eating all the broken ones…….with music like the Peppermint Twist, Wooly Bully and other Chiropractor favorites

to spur us all on…….a limbo contest found everyone crawling under on their backs,

and a Miners Relay had people putting on one snow boot and one work boot, hard hat and earmuffs, etc and putting stones in their backpacks …….sure funny to watch! 

Randy Mauritz and Brian Galster used the Maierhafers geode cracker to open all the geodes…the kids went home with them except for two….Carl took half of one with a sphalerite on and also the prize of the day, one with long crossed wires which I selected for them to crack. 

All families were given at least two 5 gallon pails of various stones I picked up across the USA on various trips….all pails had at least a couple treasure pieces in them.  We didn’t have time to spread them out and identify them but that’s what winter is for………..we had a fire with hot dogs and smores to close the evening…….and the grand finale was a pesky skunk that went under my deck …and this all happened in an old tin sardine can trailer with a open field across the road so size and weather can’t hold a good group down folks….what I liked was the adults and kids playing and sharing together ……….thanks to all that made this possible by giving their time and donating materials.  We’ll continue some of this on our next outing/weekend camp over June 22-24 at Hawkins, where Wisconsin funnels glacial drift coming down from Michigan and Minnesota ……some really neat stuff has been collected there including a carnelian spearhead, huge agates, chicken scratch and jaspers. Just thought I’d post how adults and kids can have fun together learning and sharing in this hobby.