The End of Animal Camp, in Pictures. And Words. (And Parenthetical Asides.)

See how happy Animal Camp made my kids?


This was during yesterday’s animal races. (“You’re a frog. Ready, set, go!”) I think they might have been birds here. The races took place shortly after Animal Cracker Charades. In that game, you pick an animal cracker and act it out. Jack’s giraffe was surprisingly illustrative.

The last day of Animal Camp today was exciting. We had mules! And Guest Teachers! And the return of this guy:


We did have to do a little quick renaming of our camp after Sam shared that he would like to take over teaching duties in the afternoon to engage in some planetary science.


Guess which item on that list didn’t get done. Yep, my house is still a sty. Which, coincidentally, fits in with Animal Camp. (See how it all came full circle there?)

The thing that made today Animal Camp was that we went to the C & O Canal and rode on a boat pulled by mules. (We had more fun than it looks like Quinn is having in this photo.)


Although if you take such a boat ride with three children, it might behoove you to check ahead of time to see how long said boat ride is. This particular no-bathroom, must-stay-in-your-seat boat ride was nearly an hour. I almost jumped off the boat when the guide told us that. (FUN FACT: In the 1800s, both Sam and Jack would have been considered adults on the canal and would have had to work as adults. Why have I not created such a situation in my home?)

Here are the mules pulling the boat. Apparently it’s not as cruel as it seems. The tour guide told us that most of us could pull the boat as well. (Maybe some short adults that were in my group? Eh? Eh?)


Jack was enamored with the mule. Here he is heading toward the back of the mule when the guy in charge expressly told him to stay in front. Not to worry though, Jack was only trying to stick his head through part of the bridle. (I think we’re lucky no one was kicked. By a mule or a park ranger.)


I think the mule was concerned by Quinn’s duck outfit.

A dog tried to eat Quinn’s face while we were waiting in line for this ice cream. (Maybe he thought Q was a duck.) The dog’s people didn’t so much as acknowledge that it happened. I was irked. If your dog growls and lunges at a 3-year-old who didn’t so much as touch the dog, you at least say, “I’m sorry.” Right?


Then, on the way home, we discovered that it is Free Slurpee Day at 7-11. Quinn chose the nastiest green Slurpee you could possibly imagine. But he loved it.


(Don’t worry, we’re nearing the end of the day. Whew! We packed in a lot today.)

It was finally Sam’s turn to teach. He wanted to read us some books about space.


Shortly after I took this photo, he turned the book around, curled up in the chair, and started mumbling the words to himself. Not unexpectedly, Jack and Quinn’s attention wandered.

They were excited for the art project though. Although Sam took a little too long explaining it.


He rallied though, and got everyone working together to create a scale model of the solar system. I helped too, as I was one of the students. (Or as Sam called me, “My biggest child.” Thanks, Sam.)


And here is teacher Sam standing in front of his final project.


And then I bribed my kids into silence by letting them watch TV. Thus ends Animal Nature Camp.

(Next week: Sports Camp!)

6 thoughts on “The End of Animal Camp, in Pictures. And Words. (And Parenthetical Asides.)

  1. I am loving my vicarious view of Camp Stimey. In fact, I think I might have to register myself for next year! (I also enjoyed the vicarious view of the ants, since I ain’t doing ants here! But I’ve been keeping yours in my thoughts.)

  2. Great. Kiddo came in while I was reading this, saw the pics and read along. Now he is missing when I used to do stuff with im and wants me to start up all over again. Either that or head over to your house. See what you’ve started? Now I have to go and be all Mom like. He’s just suggested Free Toys Week. I vetoed that one fast. Then he suggested either screentime or party theme. We settled on dirt theme. Not even sure where that one came from.

  3. I’m a dog owner…If I’m out with my dog in the vicinity of kids, I make sure to have complete control over my dog at all times. There should never even be a chance for the dog to growl and lunge at a 3-year-old. In the unfortunate circumstance that it does happen, you immediately correct the dog and apologize profusely. Perhaps another lesson of animal camp was how not to be a responsible dog owner…

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