Thursday, July 9, 2009

Waterloo and Nestor Jolly

I had an awesome day today.  Eliza has been sick all week, poor girl, even staying home from rehearsal one night and coming home early from rehearsal last night - needless to say, we've been home-bound and quiet all week, but today I got to get spend the day with 18 other children!! I volunteered at Waterloo Aquatic Education Center's first-ever summer camp today, and it was so much fun. They are doing something right - the kids were happy, relaxed, comfortable, inspired, creative, happy to share their knowledge of the world around them...and I didn't have to plan any activities, just show up and help! They spent a while first thing drawing and writing in their nature journals that I had made ahead of time, before the first day of camp (they were nothing special - just blank slates for them to work with - and they did!!!).  Then they split into two groups; one half printed shirts with foam and rubber stamps (fish, dragonflies, ferns, flowers, suns, frogs...), the other half made bluebird houses. After switching groups the kids had time to run around and play tag, hang out, do more drawing - then lunch (a serve-yourself deal with sandwiches, green salad and pasta salad, fruit) - then fishing, more hanging out drawing and talking about nature. The afternoon was split between an awesome class about animal tracks and signs which led to an activity where the kids set up night cameras around the area to see what animals will visit the scent patches they left for them (peanut butter, raspberry goo, beaver scent), and a visit from a naturalist who brought some of her cold-blooded animal friends with her.  It was amazing what the kids already knew, and lovely to see how much they loved talking about it and learning something new.  These are the kids that are fun to teach, but it's almost like preaching to the choir, isn't it? The kids who aren't exposed to this stuff, whose parents don't let them wander to explore the pond, walk the creek, thumb through field guide after field guide - well, they aren't likely to seek out a camp like this, I guess.  Anyway, I've been volunteering with this group for six months, and I just think they are doing an amazing job and I was proud to be a part of it today.

The girls and Dan had a fine day, getting out while there was energy this morning, walking to the garden and then to the river and having a quiet afternoon.  Ani and I hung out after taking them to rehearsal, making bread and cleaning up and playing with a new thrift store find...

She's named him Nestor Jolly.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Oh my gosh, loving Nestor Jolly!

Lisa ;)