Monday, August 4, 2014

Outdoor's Cool

Oh hey. Happy summer!

I guess it's been awhile.

Full disclosure here: I haven't been too busy to blog, I've just been choosing to do other things. And now that all of those other things have seriously filled all of the space on my camera, it's time to start blogging again.

And I also kind of wanted to step back and see if I would miss blogging. When I saw my 90 year old grandpa a few weeks ago, the first thing he asked about was the blog. I had missed it, too.

Since we are having full disclosure here, I should also mention that I do not have a red screen door anymore. Brent took it down two years ago. There, now I feel better.

I went to outdoor school the summer after sixth grade. It was rainy and soggy and I hated it. I remember that the food was gross and that we made raincoats out of garbage bags. I didn't want to poop in such close proximity to my classmates. We counted the rings on trees and made lanterns out of tin cans. I remember being so excited to come home.

My students go to outdoor school during the summer before sixth grade. I have read many personal narratives about the experience and no one has ever complained about the food. In fact, everything I'd ever heard about outdoor school made it sound like a lot of fun. Every once in awhile my classroom will erupt in laughter at some inside joke and I'll just stand there wondering until somebody says, "Outdoor school. You had to be there."

So this year, way back in May, I decided to go.

 I took the boys along with me and Kate brought her daughter. Job perks are few and far between in our profession, so getting to bring our kids to outdoor school definitely felt like a treat. And it was Kate's birthday, too.

I wondered how my kids would fit in with the fifth graders. I wondered what they would think of the food. Would they get the inside jokes? Would everyone be able to poop?

"Your kids are camp kids," the director told me. Yes, yes they are.

Jack hung back at first, but was quick to join in once everyone started playing capture the flag and dissecting squid. Sawyer became friends with just about every kid he met and ditched us at mealtimes to hang with his new crowd of fifth grade buddies. I got to spend time getting to know my former students (the counselors) again, now that they are practically adults. That was the best part of outdoor school for me.

The food wasn't bad either.

We had our own bathroom. 

I hated leaving.

I guess now I am a camp kid, too.