Delaware mineralogical society

A Delaware 501(c)(3) non-profit earth-science educational organization


DMS "Blue Rockers" Junior Group Page

Welcome! As of June 8, 2015, we have revamped our Junior Members Program. Now known as the "DMS Blue Rockers!", our new Junior Chair, Mary Ann Levan, has setup a series of educational advancement contained in  the 'Future Rockhounds of America' Program through the American Federation of Mineralogical and Societies. Specialty age-appropriate fieldtrips will be part of the program. In fact, we just held our first trip on August 4, 2015 to collect fossils at Big Brook, NJ! What fun that was!

We will hold monthly Saturday meetings, usually two hours in length, from 1-3pm. All children and their parents are welcome to see what we are about and join us. Membership is open to all who are interested.

Printable Membership From (.pdf)

"The new DMS youth rock hounding club, the Blue Rockers, have a home at the Delaware Museum of Natural History (DMNH)

Events 2017

We have been holding meetings designed for the youth members for some time now. These meetings will be on Saturdays from 1 to 3 pm at DMNH (see fall schedule below). The Blue Rocker meetings will be full of fun learning activities designed so our young members can work toward earning badges in the Future Rock Hounds of America program

Meetings will be run by Mary Ann Levan, Junior Program Chair- assisted by other DMS members. Mary Ann is trained as a scientist and an educator, and has experience teaching in a Montessori school, working as a cub scout leader for over 10 years, and is now employed by the Delaware Nature Society (DNS) as an outdoor educator. She has run “Mining and Minerals” summer camps for DNS, and also helped design geology programs to meet the third grade public school curriculum standards. Combining this experience with the interest and knowledge of “all things rock, mineral and fossil” of the DMS club as a whole, this program has a lot to offer to our young members.

The Blue Rocker meetings are in addition to the usual DMS club meetings. DMS club meetings are on the second Monday of the month; Blue Rocker meetings are on the Saturday just before these Monday meetings. Of course, all youth members are always welcome at the Monday meetings, too.

Blue Rockers Winter-Spring Events Calendar

Tom Pankratz organizes almost all of our field trips. If you are interested in any of these, please email him and cc me. (Tom), (Mary Ann)

2017 DMNH meetings resume: .

Saturday January 15, 2017: Meeting CANCELLED for this Saturday!


Snow/sleet/ice//slippery roads starting at 1 pm.... is this for real? I am guessing that no one wants to sit with me in a windowless back room of the museum fretting for 2 hours while ice builds up on the roads home today!!! darn it all...

Anyway, I am seriously depressed to have to announce that the stupendous fossil meeting at which we will all make stories about belemnites, create our own fossil casts from molds we create in clay,
and watch a video about the cephalopod relatives of our state fossil will have to be postponed until Saturday February 11 1-3 at DMNH.

Feel free to call me to complain. ;-)

Mary Ann
302 757-4468

Saturday February 11, 2017:

Saturday February 11 for a Blue Rocker meeting at the museum from 1-3 We will be working on a display case for the March show (see below) and covering a few activities related to a new badge (to be determined).

Weekend of March 3-5, 2017:

Plan to work a shift at the March club show, the weekend of March 3-5 (Friday setup, Saturday and Sunday show sales and symposium and breakdown). The club show theme this year is “Quartz, of course”. Last year, the Blue Rockers learned to create a case of specimens to enter into the club show. The case was a big success- it was titled “First Finds”, and showcased the first specimens collected by the junior members. We can do several things this year, so please think about these options: We can do another group case (I would like to) with the quartz theme. You can do your own case with the quartz theme. You can do your own case with any theme that matches your personal collection. If you plan to mount your own case to enter into the show, let Mary Ann and Esther Kerns (she does all of the show case paperwork) know what you are planning so she can save a case for you.    Junior Booth Volunteer Signup Sheet (PDF)

March Show a Great Success!

The March Show was a fantastic success. Blue Rockers helped work both the Junior Sales Booth and the glorious Wheel of Chance throughout the weekend.

With the show located this year at Arsht Hall, visitors to the show entered into a beautiful, spacious atrium. Visitors milled around this atrium, visiting the club sales tables and exhibit cases. This was a nice arrangement to showcase the activities of the organization.

The Junior sales table and the wheel were steadily busy throughout the weekend, and this was reflected in the huge sales total of well over $3,000. Junior members worked the sales table, stocking, selling, organizing, and generally delighting us all with their hard work and great skills with the public.

It is a great thing that the club has members who are so willing to sign up to help with the booth, for set up, tear down, and the long, busy hours of sales throughout the weekend. Special thanks to Bob Benson and Herb Close who worked every minute of the weekend! Youth members who helped out were Austen and Guthrie Specht, Tim McCann, William and Seth Donnelley, Tullia Pizzini and Adam Carraccia. Alex and Will McCarthy helped Willard out with the wheel!

Saturday, April 8, 2017:

Meeting from 1-3pm at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. We will be working on our Lapidary Badge.

Blue Rocker Saturday April 8 and May 6 Meetings at the Delaware Museum of Natural History
Saturday afternoons, 1 – 3 pm. RSVP requested so Teddi can plan materials for the activities!

Lapidary badge work! Join the fun at the Delaware Museum of Natural History to learn how to turn your purchased and collected stones into beautiful treasures. Blue Rockers will do activities toward the Future Rockhounds of America lapidary badge. This meeting will be run by our club president Teddi Silver with Alex Kane and Tuscarora Lapidary Society member Christy Potter. Teddi is a master at this craft- last year the museum had a case of her specimens on display, showing raw rock and mineral material and then finished jewelry creations.

For those of you interested in the badge program that the group uses to direct activities, here is the link
The overall manual link is here:

This is extracted from the Future Rockhounds of America Badge Manual, for the section about lapidary arts:

4. Lapidary Arts

Many rocks that look dull and uninspiring on the outside harbor a gem within. Lapidary arts allow you to unlock the gleaming beauty. As with any art, successfully completing a lapidary project requires
planning, guidance by an experienced mentor, and practice, practice, and more hands-on practice!

Please RSVP to Teddi Silver by April 5 whether or not you will be attending this meeting!

We will work on the lapidary badge at both the April 8 and May 6 meetings.


Saturday, May 6, 2017:

The May 6 meeting of the Blue Rockers has been postponed to Saturday June 3.
Nearly everyone responded that they wish that they could come to the lapidary meeting on Saturday, but they have prior plans.

The meeting has been rescheduled for Saturday June 3.
Please mark June 3, DMNH 1-3 pm on your calendar now and RSVP to Teddi Silver and Mary Ann Levan ASAP.

We are lucky that the museum was able to offer us the room in the museum for this make up date.

Here is the text that I sent out for the May meeting, this is what we will be doing in June:

Working rocks and minerals to make them beautiful- continued from April 8 meeting.
You are welcome to attend even if you could not make the April session.

Meeting from 1-3pm at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. We will be finishing our Lapidary Badge.

Lapidary Badge work once again on Saturday May 6 at the Delaware Museum of Natural History!
Led by DMS club members Teddi Silver and Alex Kane. Mary Ann will be on the sidelines.

Working rocks and minerals to make them beautiful- continued from April 8 meeting.
You are welcome to attend even if you could not make the April session.

For those who did attend the April meeting, please bring with you:
--The completed Moh’s hardness work sheet
--Your polished crinoid will finish it with a bail at this meeting

At this meeting:

--Review polishing numbers for wet/dry sandpaper
--A Genie to demonstrate polishing equipment: polishing numbers of diamond wheels vs sandpaper
--Grit used in tumblers
--How beads are made
--What’s a “slab”, how to cut from a slab
--You will also work on making your own tray pendant using decorative mineral and fossil material


Finally, make plans to attend the Monday May 8 DMS club meeting to hear Dr. Ken Lacovara talk about dinosaur hunting and the new fossil quarry/museum project that he is heading up in Rowan, New Jersey. Attendance at this meeting will be huge, so come early so you get a good seat! Check out the DMS facebook page and website for more details about this illustrious speaker.

--Mary Ann

Other Youth Opportunities

Thanks to our field trip leader, Tom Pankratz, youth members should keep an eye on the field trip schedule for family-friendly outings. Our field trip calendar is full, and Tom keeps families in mind to make sure there are trips for people of all ages.

This is true of our Monday evening general club meetings, too. Put the May 8 meeting on your calendars- Dr. Ken Lacovara of Rowan University’s Fossil Park in New Jersey will be talking about Dreadnoughtus and other dinosaurs from Patagonia.

Fossil Badge

State fossil Write Up: A requirement for the fossil badge. To earn the Blue Rocker Fossil Badge, an optional requirement is to do a short report on your state fossil for the club newsletter. Our youth group has members from states outside of Delaware! This report on the Pennsylvania state fossil was done by youth member William Donnelley.

The Pennsylvania State Fossil- Phacops rana
by William Donnelley
My state fossil is Phacops rana, a type of trilobite. It is different from most trilobites as it has eyes that are more rounded than flat as most other trilobites’eyes are. The eyes are also able to swivel, giving the arthropod an almost 360 degree view. It is also able to roll into a ball with its exoskeleton protecting it, much like an armadillo or pill bug.

Future Rockhounds of America (FRA) Badge Categories and Incentives

(your illustrious leader just noticed these)

“Future Rockhound”- all junior members of the Delaware Mineralogical Society are automatically enrolled in the national Future Rockhounds of America program and can receive the Future Rockhounds of America patch (just ask Mary Ann if you have not received one).  You are at the future rockhound “level” while earning your first 5 badges.

“Full Rockhound”: junior members graduate to the FRA Honor Roll when they complete 6 of the 20 badges available in the program.  To recognize this accomplishment, they receive a Rockhound Badge and their names are posted on the honor roll within the AFMS website:

“Rock Star”:  Youth who complete all 20 badges are awarded an enameled AFMS cloisonné pin, and are listed here,   as an AFMS/FRA Rock Star!

Remember that you can work on and complete these badges on your own without attending formal Blue Rocker meetings.  Mary Ann has to handle the badge application paperwork for you, but please feel free to work on activities with parents, grandparents, and other helpful rockhounds! 


Blue Rocker Assistant Wanted!  All club positions are required to have and work with an assistant.  Let me know if you would be able to help out Mary Ann as Assistant Junior Programs Chair.

This club is open to youth members of the Delaware Mineralogical Society. If you aren’t a member yet, it’s easy to join. Follow this link to the club membership form. For more information about the Blue Rockers Program or the club meetings contact Junior Program Chair Mary Ann Levan at

You may find photos and special details, as they develop, on our club's Facebook page.