Friday, October 16, 2009

Last Day :( ...October 16, 2009

Before each meal, the NC staff invites 3 children in the upstairs dining area/3 more in the downstairs area to offer a "positive share". These are excerpts from this morning's positive sharing:

"I got to hold a shark's eyeball."

"I got to play lots of nocturnal games."

"I learned a lot, like how Cape Cod is disappearing!"

This morning after breakfast, one of our fifth graders, new to our school this year, commented to me, "I'm sad to be leaving today." That about sums it up..We've had a fabulous week, in spite of the raw rainy weather we've had mid-yesterday into today.

THANK YOU to all parents and guardians who helped the children pack waterproof footwear/boots and raincoats/ponchos...EVERYTHING got worn and was greatly appreciated!
(If a child didn't have a rainproof jacket, to quote Mr. Griffin, "No worries!" If wet weather coats weren't sent down - plastic garbage bags were the fashion statement for many!

Yesterday's predator/prey game was a trememndous success. Many of the kids named it as their favorite activity for the week!

Afternoon class choices were: making and launching water rockets (for those who didn't do them previously),shark dissection (!), Viking explorers (complete with their original horned hats!), garden ecology (especially earthy in the rain!),camouflage/stalking game, Rube Goldberg Machine inventing (simple machines), endangered eggs (endangered species activity), fungus among us (Your kids ATE all the Portabella mushrooms they cooked!), or starfish dissection.

Lunch: pasta Alfredo (or without sauce) and cooked broccoli, plus the usual salad bar, sunflower butter/jelly (etc) options.

Dinner: fried chicken legs, mashed potatoes (with/without gravy) and frosted yellow cake for dessert.

After each meal the NC teachers provide about 10 minutes of sing-along entertainment and last night's could not be held in the usual outdoor spot due to the pouring rain, so the creative alternative was a rousing version of Upstairs/Downstairs (in the dining hall) "Chicka-boom", which the kids thought was hilarious!

After-dinner classes were held from 7 'til 8:30: constellation mapping (indoors on overhead projector due to the weather), "grossology" (Ask your favorite fifth grader about that one!), shark dissection (for those who missed out earlier),Glow-Ab Ex (day-glo abstract spatter painting), owl extravaganza (owl pellet dissection: learn about owls/mice as predators/prey),
"planetary cosmology" ("search for alien life"), nocturnal critters, "teatime" over the open (very smoky!) campfire, or astronomy.

After our final nighttime quiet, sing-a-long in the "Leoj" (the nice, dry multi-purpose building built by a man named "Joel" from Camp Wingate-Kirkland, where we've been all week), it was time for our last informal "class", PACKING 101, which was completed this morning with the sleeping-bag challenge (roll 'em, tie 'em, make 'em fit!).

Thanks to Fitz, our heaviest luggage was collected by him with a pick-up truck and driven to an indoor building to wait for the busses, while the more lightweight plastic bags and backpacks were hand-carried by the children to the same place.

By then, it was 8:00 and time for our last breakfast - sausage, homefries, scrambled eggs..and our usual optional choices. The kids then headed out with the NC staff to do thorough bunk cleaning and to enjoy a final field group activity.

Soon, our NC week will come to a close...Lunch will be a quick pizza lunch. The busses are already here; by noon we'll be on the way back to Foxboro...

One last positive share from this morning at breakfast:
"I had lots of fun and made a bunch of new friends"

Thanks to everyone back home and at school who mde Nature's Classroom 2009 possible!

1 comment:

  1. WOW! What a wonderful experience for our children. As I watched the buses file back into the FRCS parking lot and all the teachers, chaperones and children pile out of the buses, the look of anticipation, exhaustion, excitment and joy came across all the beautiful faces I was seeing. And once I found my favorite 5th grader, we both hugged and cried for several minutes. I think she was both really really glad to see me and really really sad that this journey was over. And as listened intently to her talk and talk about EVERYTHING that she did over the last 4 days, I can completely understand why. She met new friends, spent good times with old ones, learned alot of new songs, how to disect a starfish, learned about the layers of your skin and ate all her favorite foods (and didn't waste any of it!!). She was quite proud of the classes efforts to continuously get better about not wasting food. And despite the cold and wet weather, she would go back in a heartbeat.

    I can't thank the 5th grade teachers, parents who took time off of work and left their other family members at home and FRCS for allowing our children to experience such a memorable event. A special thanks to Mrs Sheer for sharing every bit of their days with us through this blog. It made all the differnce in the world to us back home. And lastly, thank you taking such good care of all the children and returning them back home safely.

    Caryn Neidel