Sunday, February 18, 2007

Winter Camp

At 6:43pm today our dossier left Brussels Belgium. The time zone thing makes my head hurt. Luckily Ethiopia time is easy for us to remember's exactly 12 hours ahead of us here in Alaska. That should make jet lag interesting!

Winter camp was a blast! This was our first time there because our school only offers it every other year; Princess is a first grader. The older grades went out on Thursday morning and spent the day playing and working on arts and crafts. Thursday evening all the families were invited out for a potluck at the lodge. The camp is about 20 miles outside of town and has a big lodge as well as smaller cabins, full bath/shower facilities, and 40 + acres of forest land.

The snow was about 3 ½ feet high, which is impressive considering the camp is right across the highway from a beach; yup, it’s at sea level! They had dug paths from one cabin to the next and we hiked along in single file to find the lodge. Cookie was very excited because the snow was tall than she was. The lodge was in fabulous pandemonium when we got there. The kids outnumbered the adults by a good margin and while they were all well behaved, they were also full of energy and very exuberant.

Volunteer parents had come out earlier and were making homemade pizza in the kitchen. My favorite was the olive oil, feta, and roasted peppers pizza they made for the adults. Everyone who made the trip out brought salads, fruit, veggies, and appetizers to supplement the wonderful pizza. We sang songs around the enormous fireplace ate tons of great food and then broke up into groups to work on improvisational skits. Those not interested in performing sat around the fire telling stories. Princess, our introvert, chose to listen to stories, while Cookie, the social butterfly, was right in the middle of the skit action even though she’s several years away from being a charter school student.

The skits were presented after a 20 minute prep time and we all had a lot of fun seeing what the kids came up with…definitely insight into the minds of the 8 to 12 set! Afterwards we all had carrot cake and ice cream in honor of the children and the 2/3 teacher who had birthdays within the next few days. Since it was getting late, we decided to head home at this point and missed out on the outdoor bond fire and smores. The older kids and some very brave parent volunteers stayed the night at camp. We had a lovely drive home with the girls chattering non stop the entire way.

On Friday morning the K/1 class got to head out to camp and from the reports I got when Princess got home that night she had a blast. She went cross country skiing, took a nature hike, made snow forts, did arts and crafts in the lodge, roasted marshmallows at the bonfire, and as she put it, “ate and played”.

It sounds like winter camp was a success. The next time the school does winter camp, Princess will be a 3rd grader. It’s hard to believe she’ll ever be that big, but I know it’ll be here before I know it.