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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crew News August 23, 2012

Fall Voyage

Our Fall Voyage was a big success and lots of fun for all. Below is a slideshow of photos from our trip. If any chaperones have any great pictures that they would like to share, just send them to me and I will add them to this slideshow. Remember you can either just hit play and watch this slide show or you can use the arrows at the bottom of the pictures to move more quickly or to go backward and forwards. Have your child watch it with you so they can tell you all about each picture. Below the slideshow are some facts, stories, etc. about our trip.

Why do we have a Fall Voyage?

We have a Fall Voyage for many reasons.
  • We take voyages to push students just a little bit out of their comfort zone. Real learning occurs when you are pushed out of your comfort zone and are challenged to try things you have not done before. For some first graders the biggest challenge is simply being away from home for a night and learning that they can trust other adults and themselves. For others the challenge is being responsible for themselves and their gear instead of counting on mom or dad to keep track of everything. Most are challenged in some way by the activities of the voyage. They must learn to work together, show perseverance when trying to find solutions to challenging problems, push themselves physically, and start to show independence in an age-appropriate manner.
  • I love the voyages because I get to see the students in a completely different environment and see other strengths that they have that might not show up in a classroom.
  • The voyages are also a great place for the students to practice the character traits that we have been working so hard to learn in class. Students also bring back some of the confidence and new skills that they learned on the trip and are able to apply them to academic learning.
  • We also all form tight bonds as a crew and are able to work very well together for the rest of the school year.

What did we do at Camp Elim?

In addition to eating, sleeping, packing, unpacking and taking care of ourselves, we also had time for some learning and some fun. Listed below are the activities we did along with a very short description.

Initiatives (Problem Solving Challenges)
Bag It – This activity had us feeling objects in bags to try to figure out what they were without looking. We learned to use other senses rather than simply rely on sight to gather clues and make decisions. The best part of this activity for most students was that we did it in the teepee.

Ants on a Log - This activity required us to all stand on a  log and then switch places without falling off. Lots of teamwork, discussion and support was required to make this happen.

Nature Hunt at the Lake - This was a beautiful walk around a lake. We were challenged to really look at, listen to and smell what was around us. We had a list of things to look for and check off as we found them.

Web of Life - During this activity, we learned about how plants and animals depend on each other. We all chose an animal and then made a web (with string) to show how they are all related and what happens to the whole web when one animal is removed.

Recreational Activities

Critter Hike – On this hike our guide brought along some various animal parts for us to take a close look at. We were able to see some animal skulls, feathers, tails, hooves and more.

Obstacle Course – There were several physical challenges at this station. Only one or our patrols was able to complete this activity - it was rained out for the other group.

Solo Hike – This was a short walk with a stop for a little solo time to reflect on the voyage. The kids chose spots within a set boundary and they sat by themselves just thinking and looking around or writing or drawing in their Camp Elim journals. Ask your child to show you his or her journal so you can read some of their thoughts about the trip or see some drawings that they made. Again, only one of our patrols was able to do this activity because of the rain.

Chapel Games - There were several fun running and very active games that were played in the large chapel. We pretended to be in shark attacks and many other situations. When our last activity was rained out, we came here for some more games with the entire first grade.

Other Items

We had a big campfire with songs, skits and lots of laughter. This was a big hit for most of the crew. I am sure that they will tell you all about the mosquito skit and the spitting contest between two of the counselors to put out the fire.

The meals were very good. For dinner we had beef soft tacos, rice, refried beans, chips and lots of toppings. We had churros for dessert - another huge hit. For breakfast we had pancakes and sausage. There was also a breakfast bar with fruit, granola, oatmeal and hard boiled eggs. Then for lunch we had pizza, salad and grapes with brownies for dessert.

Seasonal allergies were really tough this year. I know that I have never had such a bad reaction to all the weed pollen in the air (thanks to all the chaperones who stepped up to cover for me during my sneezing attacks) and I know that many of the chaperones and kids were affected, too. We all showed perseverance and kept on going in spite of all the itching and sneezing.

It really was a wonderful trip. Thanks again to all of the chaperones who gave so generously of their time. Chaperoning is just like parenting or teaching – the toughest job you will ever love.

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