Saturday, July 11, 2009

CSSS*: Week 3—Ology Week

* Camp Stimey Saturday Summary

I have to tell you that straight fucking up, Jack's ESY is totally harshing my Camp Stimey groove. There are two reasons for this:

(1) We have to be at my house at 1 p.m. every single day to pick him up off of his bus or else I look like a really bad mom. You may not know this, but 1 p.m. is right in the middle of the day. Like, right in the middle. For reals.

(2) I feel really guilty if we do something fun without Jack in the morning. It's like we're cheating on him or something.

Due to that and my ineptitude at successfully completing a science experiment, Ology Week has been a little bit of a bummer. Although I would like to thank all of you who reminded me that a failed experiment still teaches my kids about science. That is totally true. Thank you. Unfortunately, it also teaches them about crushing disappointment.

Oh, I kid. (Kind of.)


Day 1—Entomology Day!

Monday was supposed to be errand-running and library day, and we did that. But it was obviously destined to be entomology day for two reasons (again with the two reasons!):

(1) I bought mason jars at the craft store for our experiments, but Quinn immediately requisitioned one as a bug jar, having been pining for such a jar since his July 4th firefly encounters. He spent much of the day searching for bugs. (And much of the night sobbing uncontrollably after we made him release his favorite bug because, "He's going to miiiiiisssss me!")

(2) My Friend L, hereafter known by her blog alias ALW (A Lettered Woman), somehow intuited that it was Impromptu Entomology Day and kicked the shit out of our tiny little jarred bugs by bringing over this monstrosity when she and her kids came by to play:

What do you say? You can't really see it in that photo? Well allow me to show you a better photo:

I didn't let her bring it inside my house. Nor did I let her throw the corpse away in my garden. I made her take it home to dispose of it. I know it's not rational, but this is why I don't plan things like Entomology Day.

Day 2—Letterboxing Day!

We were all ready to go! We had our clue! We were excited! We figured out which way to go on the path!

We were unable to find our treasure at the end of our hunt! Thankfully there was a playground to play on near our parking space. Plus we got a good walk out of it. So not a total loss.

Day 3—Letterboxing Day, Take Two! And Archaeology!

Quinn, Sam, and I had a much more satisfying Letterboxing expedition on Wednesday while Jack was in school (cue mommy guilt). We found the Letterbox!

Plus, we saw geese, had a duck follow us, found a mother deer with her two babies, and saw a beaver. (Cue double dose of mommy guilt.) It was like the best walk ever.

Here is the journal we created for our expeditions. And do you see how Sam's handwriting is responding to my nagging? Good stuff!

We let Jack help us decorate our title page with our Team Stimey stamp, which is, naturally, a gerbil.

Well, it's a mouse—or at least that's what the cat stamp set it came with claims—but we're I'm calling it a gerbil.

It being Archaeology Day, we learned the difference between fossils and artifacts and excavated the small toys I buried in clay on Monday.

Had those been actual artifacts, we would have learned nothing about Team Stimey, circa Monday. They were not very careful at their dig.

We also did a couple of other projects, such as going through a trash can to learn about what I throw away when I'm sitting at my desk (fudgesicle sticks and stray pieces of popcorn, apparently) and thinking about what someone excavating our house in a hundred years would learn about us (we like gadgets).

Day 4—Paleontology Day!

On Paleontology Day we made this foam dinosaur that I found in the clearance bin at the craft store.

That's it. I kind of ran out of steam.

Also, we dug in the sandbox with fresh sand originally destined to be dyed and used in sand art.

Silver linings, right?

Day 5—Spelunking Day, Trial Run!

Yesterday, as you may remember, we went to a nature center and played in (and on) a synthetic cave. And we saw animals and went on a walk and had most excellent guest campers. This was one of the high points of our week. It was a lot of fun.

Day 6—Spelunking Day, For Real This Time!

If all goes well, as this is being posted, we will be on our way to Luray Caverns, where we will get to go inside a real cave. I'm really excited!

And that was Ology Week. Not the most conventionally successful of weeks, but it'll do.


  1. I used to feel like we couldn't do anything when Josie was in school and Patrick on had half-day prek, too, because I felt like we were cheating her somehow. Eventually I got over it, and when she complained I would remind her that we did things when she was in prek, too. It still felt weird, though.

    Our kids loved Luray when we went a couple of years ago. It's really cool. You might want to bring a light sweater, though, since it's been cooler outside it's going to be much cooler down there. :)

  2. I'm actually tired just from reading this. Today I'm having a "sit on the couch, eat cheetos, watch tv, and maybe make the boy ride his bike in the driveway for a little exercise" kind of day. ~ahem~

  3. doing the units with homeschooling, I am learning 3 days can contain activities and the other days are can be field trips or less demanding type stuff. Otherwise I burn out (as do the boys) and crash and then we have no fun for a long time and I am damn crabby. Did you know you could spend 2 hours at the pool, and encourage your kids to pick a plant or animal that would like a water habitat, and let them take it from there? Of course, Moosie, who doesn't really like water was quite clever and stated he was a cat because cats don't like water. But then they played and discussed all the parts of a habitat (food, shelter, etc.) in their play and I just floated (I decided to be a algae). Anyhow, don't burn yourself out, even the kids need down time from fun just like us!

  4. whew what a week! I'm totally exhausted but loved reading about your ology week--and Luray? With three boys? Ohmygosh I cannot imagine the fun you'll have. . .

  5. you are doing great! i'm having play on the computer and ignore the kids day.

  6. Still sounds like a ton of fun! I don't know how you have all that energy!

  7. I've been instructed to "one-up" you, since you're pretty much ruining everyone else's summer. You and your second-rate YMCA camp...

    The girls and I took a bike ride today and we estimated the heights of planes flying overhead (based on cloud shadows), guessed how high clouds were based on the temperature lapse rate, relative humidity, and surface temperature, and watched cumulus clouds being "born" as a small jet of warm air started swirling into the cold above. Then, as the girls worked to get up the hill, we talked about gear ratios and mechanical advantage. C stayed home with our son, worked on our house, and scrapbooked some very important historical family events.

    Take that, Camp Stimey (whose acronym looks somehow suspiciously like some Russian corporate oligarchy). But have a good summer ;-)

  8. Pfft! Pay *no* attention to Papa Echo, he's just jealus about you going to Luray Caverns, I think! ;-)

    Sounds like the week of lemons turn into some pretty goos lemonade after all! :-)

  9. You've already done more in the few weeks of camp Stimey than my parents ever did with me in my whole life. I would say that means success - whether the lessons turn out perfectly or not!

  10. I'm so sad we missed the nature center but I'M STILL SICK! And I don't think I'm going to make the pre blogher get together tonight either. Damn cold/flu/dying thing I have.

  11. Your camp is very impressive! I just found your blog via a comment on Swistle and am loving looking around. My son was in an ESY program this summer but it was only THREE weeks long, which is barely time for him to get used to anything. His sounds about as organized as yours does, at least at the beginning of the year. I'm glad it's going well now!

  12. Can I come to camp stimey? this sounds way fun :).

    on Camp Planet- we're... um, still sitting in front of tv... playing in beat up blow up pool sanford and son style, making jonestown kool-aid icepops and swimming in gross cedar lake full of goose poop on a good day :) yeah, and as i'm writing this at this very moment, my 5 year old daughter just went up and farted directly in my 3 yr old's face. theyre' in hysterics. now THAT'S fun :)!!

    ps - how'd ya get that double wide side bar to layer up your ads/badges/etc? i just got accepted to blogher... need the ad above the fold, yadda yadda - i got a way too big mast head... i dont know how to do ANYTHING!! any suggestions, since youre on blogger too? thx! :)


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