Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summer "Camp" with my grand kids...........

Every year for quite awhile now, I set aside a week in the summer when the four older grand kids come for what is now known as "Camp Nana." I figure out a fun theme and come up with an agenda for the week. All six days! Sunday - we started off with an annual favorite - fishing! And this year, everyone caught something............... the first little perch... the smallest ... a tiny but prickly sun fish, I think! and then the biggest! Check it out - the worm (snake?) was SO large, the fish couldn't quite get it in it's mouth. near and yet so far!!!! Devin promptly named him "Derick"! Derick the fish????? How in the world does the mind of a four-year-old work?
.......and for this little guy - catching the biggest fish (Derick)was great but he wasn't particularly crazy about handling the worms (snakes)!
Then home to a birthday party for all................they can't always go to each other's parties, so we catch up with everyone with a cake and some small gifts at camp.
After some free time and unpacking, the first night of camp starts with a great dinner of corn on the cob and salmon.....
and ends with a rousing toast of "cheers!" to this year's camp theme....Science (very loosely applied!)
We jumped right into it with surgical caps, booties and gloves and goggles...but first had to "experiment" to see how big we could blow up the gloves! Megan was the winner.......and all the others were a close second.
Then we all got down to "serious" business (all but one, that is - she had to keep trying to better her "record ") of discovering acids and bases and what colors they are in solutions and which foods are acids or a base.
We built volcanoes and later that night, made them "erupt" when we mixed vinegar and baking soda. So much for chemistry..............
Then it was on to the animals and wild life at the Washington D.C. zoo on the HOTEST day you can imagine - 100+ degrees and lots and lots of walking. Thank goodness for cooling misting stations throughout the various areas. And they ran to every one of them!
My eight-year-old grandson gets the credit for all the animal photos. Cudos to my budding photo-journalist, Collin! These were some of his favorites - out of 133 photos!!!!!
Throw in really, really long escalators and a speedy subway ride and all in all it was a pretty exciting day. That was Tuesday.
On Wednesday, we headed to the Whitaker Science Center in Harrisburg and spent a fabulous day amonst all kinds of hands-on discovery areas - everything from learning about the power of brain waves and the concentration it took to move the metal ball in the tube using only your brain waves (it was truly amazing!!!).................
to "killing the germs" in a race against the clock.........................................
to getting a good work-out climbing the rock wall...................
to learning about magnetic force fields by "sticking" metal washers to each other to make them bridge across a space.
Another fabulous day came to a close with everyone saying it was the best yet! Ahhh but there is more to come!
Mother Nature stepped up and treated us to a torrential downpour that flooded the streets for about 30 minutes creating an impromptu raging river for sticks, cups, leaves and whatever they could find to race. Do you remember how wonderful it was to dance in the rain?
We ended this year's camp with a trip to a fish hatchery, poked around wading in the stream looking for crayfish and whatever, fed the hundreds of ducks that came racing to us looking for bread (we were prepared, thank goodness!),
had a celebratory lunch at McDonald's, and then finished up the day going to the movies to see "Cats and Dogs - the Revenge of Kitty Galore"! Lots of fun! The last night we always have a camp fire, s'mores and rewards. This year, once again, my husband won -by popular vote - the "Camp Troublemaker" award. The kids think it's hilarious and all week they work hard to set him up to be sure he'll be the one to get it! I, on the other hand, couldn't have camp without his help (he took off three days from work!) - and shenanigans! He ultimately helps to create wonderful memories they'll never forget and that money can't buy - well, sort of! I'm off to bed!