So, here is the question of the day.... What kind of crazy person would:
1) ride 3 hours in a hot school bus (1 1/2 hrs each way) full of first graders
2) assist in supervising during activities for 2 days
3) sleep in a cabin with 6 boys and one other mom on a bunk bed that was made out of a 3 in. cheapo mattress on a piece of ply wood
4) watch over the boys as if she was their mother- making sure they brushed their teeth, ate, stayed safe, slept,get all their stuff packed, etc.
5) get dirty, muddy and sweaty
6) have a blast and do it all over again?
Who would that person be? That would be me! I went with Kenny on his first grade camping trip on Monday and Tuesday this week and it was a blast! His school has a focus on math and science, and so they require a camping trip for each grade. Kindergarten is just a one day day camp and then in first grade, they stay over night one night. By 5th grade, they stay for a week. I got to go with him as a chaperone!
Kenny had a blast and it was just really nice to spend the time one on one with him. This was possible thanks to my mom, who stayed with the other kids all day Monday while Aaron worked, and Aaron, who took Tuesday off work. Being I have so many little ones at home, it is hard to get away to volunteer at the school like I would like, so I am grateful to have gotten to do this.
Check out the collage I made! Aaron just showed me how to do it- this is a first for me. Just click on the collage to see it bigger and read the text. (Sorry the text is a bit hard to read- I am having a hard time figuring it out....)
I wanted to record some of the funny things the kids said, but I forget all but one. I will share this though, as it was quite funny. Soon after getting there, the kids collected their luggage out of the massive pile and took it to their cabins. Afterward, we all met at the mess hall for lunch. Before eating, the camp director announced that if anyone picked up the wrong bag, to just bring it to dinner and they could trade. A little girl raises her hand and says, in all seriousness,
"If we got the wrong bag, can we use the stuff in it until we get our own bag back?"
After the laughter died down, she replied that if it wasn't yours, don't use it. ha ha!
I even learned something new!!! I learned all about "Ort." Anyone know what this is? I had never heard the word before. Ort is the scraps of food left on your plate, that you serve yourself, that you don't eat. It is the waste of your meal. After each meal, all scraps left on plates were scraped into one "ort bucket" and there was an "ort report" after each meal. The kids learned how much food was wasted and encouraged to cut it down for the next meal by choosing only what they would eat, and eating what they chose. The highest "ort report" was 14 lbs. of wasted food (!!!!). The lowest they managed was 5 lbs. (of course that meal was chicken nuggets and fries- not really a meal that first graders waste... probably did that on purpose!)
The only hard part, really, was learning the boys names in our cabin. (Keep in mind, it is a city school...). There was Kenny and Joshua (Joshua was the son of the other mom in the cabin- we got along great, by the way!). This was easy enough, but it took the entire two days to get the other 4 names down and matched to the right kid. Get this....their names were (no joke)... Javon, JeJuan (pronounced JeWon), LaShawn and Deven. Ya.....okay. I felt so bad having such a hard time remembering them and tried to hide the fact that I couldn't get them straight, but the poor kids probably noticed. They were all such good kids. They were well behaved and did great being away from their families. There were no homesickness tears (apparently, there really weren't any problems in the other cabins either!) and everyone slept well (once we got them quieted down).
Here is what I found interesting. I had assumed I would be in a cabin with little girls, but they put me and another mom in Kenny's cabin with boys because they didn't have enough dad's sign up. (I find it incredible that they did have dads sign up at all!) As I thought about it, I realized that it made sense to have moms in boys cabins and that I was actually more comfortable with this than even dads being in there. Interesting huh? And, of course, I would never in a million years (nor would anyone) accept a dad in girls cabins. Just an observation about this world we live in.
I thought is was an interesting idea to have a camp for all the ages, but thought it brave, or a bit scary to have an overnight camp with kids so young. Apparently, they had so many moms sign up to be chaperone's, they had to be chosen by lottery. Some moms who were not chosen to go, opted to not allow their children to go to camp because they didn't think their child was ready to be away without them. I respect this thought, as I think I would have been a bit nervous about Kenny going if I wasn't there. (Though Kenny is such an extrovert and not really afraid of anyone, I think he would have been fine.) But, now that I went, I think it was awesome and I would be okay with my child going without me there. The program was well run- the children learned so much and they were well supervised. The other parents there were awesome. The children were apparently ready, because they did great. It was obvious that those in charge knew what they were doing by having it last only one night. By the time it was time to go home, the kids were starting to get pretty tired and melting down at the slightest problem. But, that didn't happen until it was time to go anyway. I am thankful that Kenny was able to have this wonderful experience and that I was able to experience it with him.
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