Thursday, October 23, 2014

Just Another Tuesday

Day Two is in the books! And the teacher was allowed to sleep through the night once again. Either that or they tried to wake me up and I was just so far beyond exhausted that it wasn't possible. Unlikely.

After a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, and hash browns yesterday, the kids were off for their first long "hike". Take it from someone who once climbed Half Dome in Yosemite: what they do isn't really hiking. It's more like a long walk with many, many, MANY stops along the way. I opted to stay behind and enjoy some quiet teacher time. Around lunchtime, however, I opted to take a walk around camp and found myself down at the Outdoor Chapel. It's a beautiful place to sit for awhile and just BE. On Friday we'll have our prayer service that all of the kids participate in. It's always quite lovely!

The kids had a lot to say about their day upon returning from their hike, and they're always given an opportunity to debrief with Mateo. I noticed that it usually seems to be my kids doing all the talking, and it's all so wonderfully insightful! I've had several people come up to me and tell me how wonderful my students are. I wish I could take credit for that, but they came to me that way.

After the debrief, it was time for electives which meant...gaga ball! Oh, archery and arts and crafts are also possibilities, but the biggest crowd always heads to gaga ball. I do hope everyone remembered to bring clothes they wouldn't be terribly sad about losing. Trust me, you're not going to get this mud out! If you need further proof, check my photo blog later.

We had two surprise visitors during our electives time: Father Paulson and Mr. Sweeney. They drove up to see the kids and check out the camp. I think they both approved, especially after I showed them the Outdoor Chapel above. They both ran up all those stairs, by the way. I stood at the bottom thinking to myself, "Seriously? Where's the escalator?!"

After hiking around camp and running up the stairs at the chapel, Father Paulson decided to play some basketball with a few of our boys. Dude! Our pastor's got game!!

Tuesday is a fairly easy day for the teacher. Between the five-hour hike and their evening activities, I was able to get some work done and try to do a little bit of reading. I say "try" because my eyes just were not cooperating with me. They kept closing! I may have to wait until this weekend to try and finish the last Harry Potter book again.

Tuesday's turkey dinner was quite tasty! Now, before you get too excited, please don't think, "Nice! Thanksgiving at camp!" Um...no. We had turkey slices along with carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy. I haven't been very successful at getting my meal group to eat their vegetables, but I'll keep trying! But trust me when I say that no one is going hungry. Everyone is allowed to eat as much as they'd like, and if they don't particularly care for the menu they can help themselves to a fabulous salad bar or make themselves a PB&J sandwich.

When everyone has finished cleaning up their table, they head off for their evening's activities which include a serendipity and then the night hike. A serendipity is meant to prepare the kids for the activity that follows, which, in this case, was a solo hike in virtually complete darkness. [Don't worry, the "hike" is usually not much more than 30 feet or so, and they are completely safe. Well, there was one group that was accosted by a group of raccoons, but rest assured, all creatures great and small walked away from the experience unscathed.]

The night hike is a wonderful opportunity for kids to face and conquer their fears about darkness. I'm sure they'll have plenty of stories to share with everyone when they return from camp.


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