Archive for the ‘Camp Fire’ Category

LA: Reading, writing, spelling
SS: Local history, missions
Sci: Tidepools (crabs, fish, anemones, kelp), beach cleanup
Math: Multiples of 4
PE: Track & Field, park day, swimming, beach cleanup

LA: Reading, writing, spelling
SS: manners
Sci: Tidepools (crabs, fish, anemones, kelp), beach cleanup
Math: Numbers to 100, time & calendars
PE: Track & Field, park day, swimming, beach cleanup

On Friday we joined out Camp Fire club at the beach to clean it up a bit. I’ve always wanted to do beach cleanups, although I never have and it was really pretty fun. We talked about why we clean up the beach (to keep other people safe, to keep sea animals safe, to keep things that don’t bio degrade out of natural places) and how to keep safe while doing it (wear gloves, don’t touch needles, poo or dead animals). After we were done, my family wandered over to the other side of the pier and checked out the tide pools. They were positively FILLED with crabs both hermit and shore. The shore crabs made a chorus of clicking sounds and would scuttle down walls or around pools until they found a crevice large enough to fit in. The hermit crabs didn’t pinch and were easier to catch. Some of them were without shells, and others were wearing different kinds of shells, in various creative ways. The picture below is of one who’d used a hole in the side of a shell and then TOOK IT OFF in my hand. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be offended at that or flattered.

this guy got naked in my hand

Here’s one of the shore crabs:

(Sorry for picture quality, I only had my cell phone since I figured beach cleanups weren’t the place for a DSLR.)

Instamatic pics from the day:

Happy Thing: An Afternoon at the Tidepools with my Goofy Kids


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Sadly, it was just an imaginary trip. Which may be for the best, actually, since I forgot to bring warm coats and hats for my kids. Luckily, my co-leader and knitter-friend brought extras. So my kids didn’t imaginarily freeze. (As a homeschooling mom, I reserve my right to invent words such as, “imaginarily.”)

First the kids discussed methods of travel and places they’d been as well as places they wanted to go. My daughter, who did not understand the concept of “going around the circle and taking turns in order” was getting seriously hurt feelings over the fact that she wasn’t next and when it finally was her turn, she pointed to a sign on the wall and said she wanted “get small” and “go there.” I don’t really understand why she’d want to go to the sign, but I’m totally on board with becoming small. For awhile, anyway. Then the kids sat down and drew those places on little cards.

story time

elliott draws the beach

margie's intended destination

And then! Karen took them to Norway!

showing the route a boat would take

e was really into the plane ride


The kids boarded a plane and when they landed, they put on their jackets (or not), and learned a little about the holidays in Norway. They were served a rice cereal sweetened with honey and one of the bowls had an almond in it, declaring the King or Queen of the new year – who turned out to be Margie!

winning almond

After story time, the kids took a red eye flight home and returned to their families safe and sound, thanks to our incredible pilot/flight attendant, Karen.

ben peeks during the redeye flight home

karen lands the plane safely

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Before I begin, I just wanted to make a note that we have a new family in our club now. My friend’s two boys (and someday her baby daughter) joined us for their first meeting this week. I’m really excited to share this with them!

One of the emblems we are working on this year is called “Accent on Abilities”. Today’s meeting focused on the sense of sight – how we can know things without using our eyes. I threw together a little kit for each kid for this meeting.

bag of things to touch

A paper bag filled with various household items – rice, cotton balls, pieces of sponge, yarn, q-tips and a crayon. I handed out the bags and everyone felt the items with their fingers to understand a little bit about identifying things without eyesight. The kids each created a picture with the items, gluing them on paper.

art time

making artwork to touch

While those dried, I shared something special with the kids. See, I’d wanted to try to find a braille book or at the very least a book about braille to share with them. Only I don’t always plan ahead (at this point Lev told me the story was ALREADY funny – I completely agree). Since Thursday was Veteran’s Day, the libraries were closed and I was a little upset that I would not have a book for them. Meanwhile my kids had been playing at a friends’ house and when I showed up to bring them home, Margie threw a piece of paper at me covered in braille. I love The Universe. I got all excited that I had some braille to show the kids when my friend Kathy offered to let me borrow the actual braillewriter for the meeting. I was beyond excited! So the kids all got to write their names in braille – this meant not only learning what the letters look like, but also which keys to press to make them. The machine is really quite simple and, despite the bit about having to wait in line, the kids seemed to enjoy it.

typing names

looking up letters


Once the meeting was over, the kids all played together and at some point one of them spotted a large bird of prey in a tree. Lev was certain it was a ferruginous hawk, but there was some debate over this until one of the mamas looked it up on her phone and – no real surprise – Lev was right.

ferruginous hawk

It was a lovely meeting. New friends and a perfect coincidence. What more can you ask for?

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No pictures so this will be a visually boring entry, but I want to record it for homeschool purposes. I lead this meeting about how to create a healthy snack. We talked about what makes for a balanced meal – a protein, a carb or grain, and a produce. First the kids chose one from each category from a pile of magazine images and they glued them to paper plates. We talked about what foods fall into each category. Then we moved over to the really fun part, the cooking. I had each kid do a job to create a food salad. A couple kids sliced strawberries, a couple sliced bananas, a couple popped grapes off stems, and a couple more helped me make a dressing (lime and raw honey). We mixed all that together and paired it with some crackers, some sunbutter, and some cheese that each kid got to slice for himself (this was the favorite part, by the way). I think it was a pretty good meeting, although I, um, forgot the cutting boards. Better that than forgetting the knives, I guess.

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Camp Fire

Karen lead us in our first meeting of the year.  We discussed drama and she taught us what pantomime is and lead us in some really great activities.  The kids had to act out different things like being a melting ice cream cone, or a balloon losing air.  They also acted out different emotions.  They paired up and did an activity called “Mirror” where they each acted as a mirror to their partner.  Sadly, I wasn’t happy with any of my pictures since the lighting in the cabin we meet in is fairly low. But the meeting itself was fan-tas-tic!

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Today was our End of Year Ceremony. Karen Garcia, the club facilitator, joined us to teach us a song and share some Camp Fire USA experience. She also handed out some Native American pouches (with arrowheads!) to the older kids. We began the ceremony with our verse, and after Karen handed out the pouches, our Karen handed out the emblems. It was a lovely day, simple, meaningful, sweet.



redtail haws club

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Since last time most of our group could not make it, we scheduled a second Canyon Watch walk on Friday. Unfortunately, one of those same families fell ill again, and the other had a scheduling conflict and was only able to make it for a short while. Even for that short while, I was happy to have shared the experience with them and then my co-leader and I enjoyed the full walk again, this time noting the wild fennel and thistles.

checking manholes to make sure they are in good condition

checking manholes


After our walk, we celebrated my co-leader’s upcoming birthday with cupcakes! Here are the kids and their mad Roman numeral skillz to show her new age. XXXVIII

karen's new age in roman numerals

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