Nature Art at Camp Kawartha

….environmental messages from our grade 5s

Last week I spent 3 days in the Kawarthas with 59 grade 5 students.  The days were filled with great learning opportunities about the environment, survival practices from the past, games played by indigenous peoples and songs sung around the campfire. Most of the activities were outdoors and involved scavenger hunts, archery, night hikes, fire making and a game of survivor amongst herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. During free time the students could continue playing outside or pick up one of many games that were available to them in the lounge.

Every meal, students took turns setting the tables, serving the food and cleaning up, including washing the dishes using the large industrial dish washer. There was lots of food (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack) and no one needed to go hungry. The kitchen was impressed with how much salad this group ate.

After supper two of us were responsible for organizing hour long activities for the students to participate in before the evening program began. I took on the role of planning an art lesson. During the day I had students pick up things from the ground to use in a nature collage. Days before the trip I cut up about 80 pieces of cardboard to use as our background material and I brought bags of magazines and pieces of assorted papers.

I instructed the students to come up with a piece of art that gave some kind of message about protecting our environment from global warming or saving wildlife from poaching and/or loss of habitat. They were free to use any of the materials that I brought and the things that they found in the forest. The students were completely engaged and came up with some very interesting  works of art. Here is a sampling of their creativity.

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Fun Fair and Baby Time

….a busy three days, part 2

Last Saturday, the parent council at my school hosted the long awaited Fun Fair. For the cost of a wrist band the students enjoy an abundance of fun activities for four hours. There were inflatables, a dunk tank, face painting, games of chance with prizes, cotton candy, popcorn, a cake walk, a photo booth, video games, planting stations, video games, candy kabobs, fire trucks and police cars to explore, music, a silent auction and so much more.

I was suppose to go in the dunk tank but the water was too cold for me and I had been promised warmish water. I was hoping that as the day progressed the water would have warmed up but because the hose runs continuously it never really changes temperature. No one really seemed to notice that I bowed out. The grade 5s gladly took over my time slot and took turns all day sitting in the tank waiting to be dunked.

I did volunteer to man one of the inflatables for an hour with one other parent. There was a steady stream of children climbing up the steep ladder and coming down the equally steep slides. I was surprised that some parents allowed their ‘babies’ to go on this apparatus. Their little legs couldn’t get up the ladder very quickly and they slowed down the momentum of the ride. A couple of times we (actually the other mom) had to go up the ladder and bring the children down.

One of the highlights for me was the silent auction. This year every class painted a ceramic plate or teapot which were professionally fired. They were all beautiful  and every item was bid on.

There were lots of other items to bid on and I ended up with a beautiful pot of flowering plants, a set of necklaces, a floral print with cards and a gift certificate for a haircut. I donated two of my paintings and my friend L and I offered a ‘Tea’ for up to 4 students. The last item went for over $100.00.

All in all it was a very successful fun fair. Here are a few more shots of some of the many activities that took place that day.

When the silent auction closed, I gathered up my merchandise and headed home where our daughter and granddaughter were waiting for me but more of that in the next post.

Cheers for now!

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Fun at the Fun Fair and My Seven Minutes of Fame

….every year the parent council at our school hosts a Fun Fair for the children and the community

The big difference this year was that I was asked to help promote the sale of wristbands by agreeing to be dunked in the dunk tank if sales reached a certain level before the actual Fun Fair. Well, apparently a record number of wristbands were sold so I was destined to ‘go down’.

This year a photographer from the local community paper showed up and wanted to photograph me and some of the other fun activities that were taking place that day. I wasn’t too concerned about appearing in the paper because from past experiences I know that many photos are never used and sometimes no photos are used to cover a story.

The Fun Fair took place on Saturday, May 30th and I was literally in the dunk tank for only seven minutes. IMG_4918 IMG_4923 IMG_4924When all was said and done I actually enjoyed the experience and didn’t think twice about the photographer who took photos of me. The ones on this page were taken by one of the parents on my iPhone.

On Thursday, as I was leaving the school, MP ran over to me to tell me that she just got a call telling her that my photo had appeared in the paper. I heard from two more people later that evening that they saw my picture. Unfortunately I don’t get that paper in my neighbourhood so I’m hoping the someone will send it to me.

As for the rest of the Fun Fair, everyone seemed to have a great time. The weather cooperated for most of the day. Towards the end the heavens did open but the fair was coming to a close anyway and people moved to the indoors where more activities were taking place. It looks like the fair was a huge success and even though it’s not meant to raise a lot of money, a lot of money was raised.

Share Your World 2014 – Week 50

….thanks to Dawn over at Lingering Visions for coming up with this week’s questions and to Cee for hosting Share Your World 

Do you have a signature dish? If not is their one in your family?

My signature dish changes every couple of years. Right now I’d have to say that my go to dish is a Kale, Pomegranate, Walnut and Feta Cheese salad. The recipe calls for wild rice as well but I change it up with Israeli couscous or faro and if I don’t have walnuts I might add another variety of nut.

Do you have a favorite board game?

I think my favourite classic board game is Scrabble and my favourite new game is Ticket to Ride.P1010828

Is there a household chore that you enjoy?

I’d have to say No! But wait I don’t hate all chores. I enjoy baking and some cooking and I don’t mind doing laundry.

What is one thing you will never care about?

One thing I will never care about is hockey or American football. These two sports just leave me cold. Too much fighting and physical contact for my liking.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I’m grateful for two very different Christmas parties that I attended. The first one was the staff party and it was good to see so many from the staff turn out. It was fun and festive and it looked like everyone was having a lot of fun. The second party took place on Saturday and it was a very quiet affair with just a few good friends. Every year now my good friend L has the same group over for dinner. it was so relaxing and the food was outstanding. With her mom and daughter joining us there were seven of us around the table….the perfect size for good conversation.

This week I’m looking forward to Christmas and time spent with family and close friends. My son and his fiancé are arriving from London, England on Christmas Eve. Our big celebration is on the 24th and then we also do a Christmas dinner on the 25th. Boxing Day will be a day of rest and then the day after we will pack up two cars and all of my family will drive to Oshawa to visit with my Dad and G.

Wishing all my blogging followers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukka. Be safe and enjoy your family and friends during this festive season.