Monthly Archives: June 2016

Mom Camp Hits the Bayou: Day 5

Life on the Bayou: the only way in or out is by boat

Our Southern adventure kept rocking with a trip to the Louisiana bayou in search of alligators…

This and many more resources can be found at

In preparation for the visit,  we completed some worksheets from  It is one of my favorite sites for worksheets to complement what we are doing for our various Mom Camp Days. We did a worksheet on the difference between crocodiles and alligators as well as one on swamp food chains. 

It wouldn’t be a mom camp day without a craft or some kind of crazy project.  So we borrowed this alligator idea from Easy Peasy and Fun.  I must say it was rather easy peasy.

Very simple supplies even with our glitsy imbelishments — such as sticker gems and sequins.



After all the prep, it was time to go alligator hunting… We drove out to Slidell, about 45 minutes from New Orleans, to take Dr. Wagner’s Honey Island Swap Tour.

Check out this slow motion video of a ‘gator eating a marshmellow.

We were searching for alligators, but we had the chance to see so much more. We also saw snakes, more than 30 turtles (the kids kept a running count), a wild boar and plenty of swamp flora.

This is the big boar

This is the baby boar.

The tour was certainly more than we expected and even The Captain had a good time!  Totally worth it.

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We interrupt Mom Camp to bring you MANGA CARTA DAY..

So I had to interrupt Mom Camp to discuss that today is the 501st anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. 

Mom Camp has done a Magna Carta Day (click this link for details). So this morning when I pointed out today was Magna Carta day and The Princess asked me what the Magna Carta was, I responded that she should know! (To be fair to her, she was pretty little when we did it so I am going to give her a pass). Although, she did suggest it was a British Declaration of Independence. Incorrect but at lest she knows it has to do with self government. 

Cinco on the other hand quickly explained that the Magna Carta was a document signed by King John.  He explained that it was to prevent the king from taking any more land.  He was of course discussing the provisions in the document regarding the king’s forest and hunting privileges. 

I did remind him that while it did discuss that.  The big point is that the king has to consult with his nobles to raise taxes. 

What’s more, yesterday was primary day in Nevada so I took them with me to vote.   We came full circle on self government. 

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Mom Camp Hits the Beach: Days 2-4

img_3441-1First of all, I must give credit for this photo to my amazing uncle– The Dutchman.

Second, you must understand I grew up along the ocean in Conneticut where the beaches tend to be rocky and the sand is NOT fine grain. I moved to San Diego and well, let’s be honest their beaches are cold. And, The Princess and Cinco are growing up in the desert. Fine grain sand, YES. Water, NO.

So I am not the biggest fan of beaches. But these were amazing. We started out with a little cloudy weather, but being from the ever sunny desert the clouds were a welcome change.

Day 2 

The Princess is an expert shell hunter.  You may call last summer when she found a giant scallop shell on Inich Beach in Ireland.  And, amazingly we managed to get the shell home without breaking it!!!

As for finding shells at Orange Beach,  we were very successful.  I found a shell page on a Florida travel site and circled the shells we found as we went along.

DAY 3 

One of the day’s The Professor and The Dutchman rented a pontoon boat complete with a second level slide. We puttered around Ono Island and slid into the water quite a few times. The Princess even managed to spot a pod of about 4 or 5 dolphins.

We also explored the sand bars and small islands in the area and meet some more sea creatures.  We encountered a good number of salt water hermit crabs and I managed to find a few inhabited shells for the kids to take home!

Cinco and The Princess also really wanted to get some hermit crabs… And somehow I talked into going to the Mexican swap meet when get home to buy hermit crabs.  I truly hoping this kids forget about this by the time the vacation ends.

I strayed from the group for awhile and had a face off with a rather large blue crab.  He was hanging out in a tidal pool.  I didn’t have my phone, so I couldn’t get a photo.  But as we circled around each other I noticed he refused to turn his back on me. And, at no point did he try to make a run for it.  He stood his ground throughout our encounter.

Day 4 

It was another day spent at the beach. The amazing thing about this day were a huge cluster of starfish that were drifting back and forth in the low tide. We spent quite a bit of time examining the starfish and we throw a good number back in deeper water to save them.

We also found a number of rather small sand dollars.  We later learned that sand dollars are a type of sea urchin– news to me!  But I guess they are losely related to the starfish.

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June 14, 2016 · 3:50 pm

Mom Camp Goes Down South…. Day 1

In childhood, summer was an endless playground, an excuse to eat Italian Ice, play endlessly in the back and to exist in a kind of fairy never-never land. Never a homework assignment, never a bedtime, never any pressure. It was akin to the best time of day—twilight— when anything is possible and fairies very well might cast a magic spell leaving us young forever. Capturing that feeling may never happen again— but leaving town as soon as school ends does create a ‘page break’ from everyday life. It relieves the stress of the daily grind and sets up a summer break that is truly alien from our normal life.  

For this year’s vacation, we decided to take Mom Camp on location with a trip to New Orleans and the Alabama Gulf Cost– AKA: The Redneck Riveria (my Aunt’s term, not mine).  By the way, my aunt’s code name from here on out will be The Professor.  

You see The Professor and her hubs, The Dutchman (not to be confused with the Flying Dutchman —  because actually he doesn’t fly at all) have a lovely condo on the water in Orange Beach Alambama. They were kind enough to invite us for a stay to enjoy some truly lovely beaches.  

We packed up and headed down south.  All the flights were fine and of course I filled the children’s carry on bags with plenty of snacks and crafts all related to the journey.  And, I was back at it with my personalized travel journals. After landing in New Orleans, it was time to drive out to Orange Beach.

The adventure began with a stop at The Shed, a barbecue joint off the highway in Mississippi.  The place was built from junk the owner had collected over several years of dumpster diving.  Odd to be sure.   Still, a little live music and BBQ hit the spot after our flight across the country. 

Everyone tumbled into Orange Beach well feed but tired. 

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Filed under Books, Mom Camp 2016, Travel with kids

Mom Camp Celebrates 5 Years

I know some of you in the blogosphere were worried that Mom might have retired Mom Camp.  In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.  Mom Camp is celebrating our 6th year of entertaining the kids all summer. 

Here is the first post from Mom Camp June 9th 2010—-

Mom camp day one: theme water wild life…. pancakes, playtime @ the club, reading practice, summer work review, trip to the shark reef, drawing shark pics for the summer journal, and now calming down with Nemo.

As the kids age, I have decided to add a bit more to our theme days—in fact I am extending them to full weeks!  We also plan to bring back a few previous the a by kid request.  These include: 

Greek Week– we just can’t let go of Percy Jackson

Roman Week — because Cinco wants to learn all about Roman numerals and we want do something on Pompeii! 

Bastille Day Week 

And (drum roll) our midsummer celebration–  with our annual fairy house designing. 

We will also be adding a few new weeks and activities: 

Titanic/Ocean week

New Orleans/Civil War Week 

So stay tuned for the summer adventures of Cinco and The Princess…


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