Monday, June 10, 2013

Outdoor School with Katie

My Katie Girl is growing up.  Fifth grade is three days away from being over and then she graduates to Middle School.  GASP!  Where has the time gone?  Today she was presented with a Presidential Academic Achievement award.  She (and a bunch of her classmates) worked hard in fourth and fifth grade to earn this award.  The school gym was packed full of proud (and somewhat weepy) parents.

Last month I had the privilege of going to Outdoor School with Katie.  The entire fifth grade class at Mabel Rush Elementary School traveled two hours by bus to Twin Rocks Camp for two overnights and three days of interactive learning, games, skits, and relationship building in the Great Outdoors.
hiking a trail along the Wilson River
stop screwing around and be serious please.
It took an army of parent chaperones to pull this event off.  Katie's class happens to be loaded with really great kids and equally great parents.  So many parents wanted to tag along that the teachers ended up having to choose parent chaperones through a lottery system.  Thankfully my name was drawn and I got to go to Outdoor School with Katie.
Dining hall - the food was yummy.
Katie and I were both concerned that my stress fracture would inhibit my ability to participate at Outdoor School.  Thankfully the fracture was healed enough by the time we went that walking - in the boot - was no longer painful.  As much as I despised that boot, it really was a life saver.  It enabled me to actually participate at Outdoor School and I am so grateful.
poster child for "Outdoor School is Fun.  Come learn with me..."
The Fifth Grade teachers at Mabel Rush don't want parents to spill the beans about Outdoor School since the younger kids look forward to it for years so I won't share many details.  What I will share is our Most Memorable Moments.
Walk on the beach
Katie's Most Memorable Outdoor School Memories are... 
1.  Hiking to the top of Charlotte's Mountain with Mom and Morgan during free time and catching ten salamanders along the way.
2.  Mom's Made Up Songs at bedtime on the second night.  She customized songs for each girl in the cabin at bedtime and it was really fun.
3.  The class where we got to dissect a star fish and learn about sand dollars.
4.  Participating in the talent show.

Jodi's Most Memorable Outdoor School Memories are...
1.  Hiking to the top of Charlotte's Mountain with Katie and Morgan during free time.  Katie originally didn't want to go hiking.  We hike a lot as a family and she wanted to do something different at free time.  But Morgan REALLY wanted to go hiking.  The school requires a minimum of two kids with each parent chaperone, so Katie gave up her first choice to join us so Morgan could go hiking.  Her selfless act of kindness resulted in an Outdoor School highlight for all three of us.  Slow and steady, we attacked that little mountain one step at a time. I was so grateful for the boot so I could say "Yes" to this request.
Ocean view from the top of the mountain.  They're holding their salamanders.
2.  Making up songs at bedtime on the second night.  I asked each of my Cabin Girls what their full name was and their highlight from the day.  Then I made up a song for them incorporating those things.  Their giggles were infectious and Katie is still singing her version of those songs today.
3.  Playing sand volleyball during the parent chaperone free time.  My friend Zora used to play college volleyball.  We decided we should dust off our "skills" and get a game going in the sand court.  We rounded up a few other players and laughed our way through the next hour.   We played TERRIBLY and  I  was dumping sand out of my boot for days, but did we ever have fun!
My friend Zora and I NOT playing volleyball.

4.  Getting attacked by a polar bear.  (Okay, so it was stuffed, but I think this is how most of the parents felt at the end of day three).

I sure do love my precious Katie Girl and know I will always treasure these memories from Outdoor School.

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