September 8, 2015 · 3:45 pm
Each year of Mom Camp is different. But this year, I feel as if Mom Camp never really got off the ground. We took a LOT trips (Ireland, Boston/Maine, Tahoe, LA) and it was one big whirlwind of packing, traveling, touring, traveling, unpacking and laundry with a sprinkle of Mom Camp Days thrown in here and there.
I know the kids certainly missed our traditional Mom Camp activities and Cinco is still talking about how he simply did not get enough time with our Greek Days. The Princess on the other hand was disappointed in general that we didn’t have more days spent on our activities. I truly cannot blame them because we barely made it to 30 days of Mom Camp this year… YIKES!
All of our travels did lead one positive experience, lovely hard-bound journals for the kids. Every Mom Camp I hit on a ‘thing’. One year it was paper stove-pipe hats. It was as if every activity included a paper hat….. Circus Ring Master, 4th of July and Uncle Sam, and on and on. The following year I had an penchant for peg dolls. We made a peg doll Ben Franklin, peg doll colonial solders, peg doll colonial women, and peg doll Egyptians, Last year, I hit on paper crafts. We made a paper Globe Theatre, a paper Big Ben, paper dolls (Romans, Vikings, Victorians and Elsa and Anna).
This year it was journals.
I created a hard-bound, personalized glossy journal for each child for our adventures. They not only had a space to write about their experiences, but the journals included historical lessons, projects and other puzzles and game to keep the kids happy and engaged in their summer travels.
I love that they were hard-bound this year. I tried something similar last year on the trip to Great Britain. But, I used spiral notebooks and they did not fair very well when they came home. I hope this year’s treasures will stay with the children for years to come and be a reminder of our Mom Camp 2015 Adventures.
This is Mom Camp 2015 signing off until next summer….
September 7, 2015 · 1:40 pm
We ended the summer with one final expedition to Great Basin National Park. This was all The Captain’s idea and it even involved actual camping.
We arrived just in time to get the final camping spot on the mountain. This was good because we got a spot. But, it was bad because it was very cold and windy. In fact, we must have hit freezing temperatures because the water station had icicles around it in the morning.
After settling in at the camp ground, The Captain led us on a hike along the Alpine Lake Loop. We saw Lakes Stella and Teresa. We also collected several walking sticks on the trek.
Back at camp it we saw wild turkeys cooked dinner and made s’mores. But the cold and wind drove the kids and I into the tent. Once we were snuggled inside all was well.
A post-midnight potty break woke everyone up and we had a dazzling view of the stars. It is amazing how many stars are hidden fr view especially in Las Vegas.
A chilly morning was made a little warmer with some hot chocolate and coffee plus a little oatmeal whipped up by The Captain.
Next, it was off to Lehman Caves.
All this was followed by a picnic lunch and a trip to an old mining ghost town. Very little of the town is left and we mainly explored the cemetery.
Then came the long drive home.
September 5, 2015 · 10:00 pm
Like so many kids these days Cinco and The Princess really like the Percy Jackson stories and demanded a few Greek days at mom camp. Sadly, with the end of the summer approaching the kids didn’t get nearly as much Greek immersion as I wanted. But like all Mom Camp activities it just means there is something left for next year!
We began with a little painting.
I explained to the kiddos that the old Greek and Roman Temples were actually very brightly decorated.
Today we only see white columns but back in the day they were painted many different colors. We also painted a few columns I purchased at Hobby Lobby for the kids.
Next it was time for a little traditional Greek pottery.
This project took two days because we let our pottery dry overnight. I also decided after all the painting the previous day— maybe we would try using markers on the pots.
Since the Greek pottery tends to be terracotta and black we drew our designs on the pots with black sharpies. Much less messy than paint and we didn’t have to wait for the paint to dry! Plus it was pretty easy to work with the sharpies and the designs the kids wanted.
Cinco made his own Greek helmet complete with ‘plumes’!
Of course each night of our Greek Festival we watch a different Percy Jackson Movie!
We also went out for Greek food one night. I love Greek food especially the baklava!!! The kids not as much. But they took a bite of everything and I think they had a good time in the end.
August 24, 2015 · 4:29 am
When mom volunteers to help decorate the school for the new school year, the kids get recruited to help. Thankfully, my kids love arts and crafts so it was an easy sell.
Our school’s theme is Timeless Journeys. So we attempted to make each section of the school represent a different time period. We move all the way from the cavemen to the boundless future ….
The first time period is the pre-historic. We decided to make a cave in the hallway. Some of the moms did the cave walls, while the kids and I worked on a few ‘cave man’ hand prints.
The next stop on our journey through time is Ancient Greece.
Once again, I put the kids to work making a few columns. We decided on two different styles… A broken pillar and one still intact. We also didn’t paint them—originally in Ancient Greece they would have been brightly colored. But, it’s a big school and we had to keep moving to get our decorating finished!
Next up is life in the Middle Ages.
The kids and I began making a few things at home so it would move faster when it came to decorating the actual hallways. We started with a few accent pieces for the Middle Ages hallway.
my first try
My first try at making torches was a little rough. I took old grocery bags and rolled them into cones and stuffed them with tissue paper ‘flames’. I didn’t love my first attempt and the comments from The Princess didn’t help. She declared they looked like flowers!
Cinco came to my rescue when he told me we needed to crumple the flames up and not allow them to fan out. It was a good point and the final torches looked pretty good.
The next step was to crate a few larger more distinguished pieces. We decided on ‘stained glass windows’.
Then it was time to skip ahead to the colonial period! I have to give credit to another amazing mom who made a very cool looking Mayflower.
Next up was the Wild West, which I sadly didn’t photograph.
Then I put the kids to work again! This time we made the Berlin Wall. Instead of traditional graffiti, we wrote famous Cold War quotes on the wall.
August 13, 2015 · 8:40 pm
We themed another day around a movie premiere, Jurassic World! This time we dedicated three full days to the event.
We started by reading the book based on the film…
Lucky for us, all the local museums had special exhibits dedicated to the world of dinos. We played dinosaur video games trying to keep a T-Rex and a Triceratops in the wild of the pre-history world. We climbed on dino models and too silly pictures. We played with dino puzzles and learned about the long dead animals.
We also made a number of dino crafts ourselves.
We made nests and dino eggs.
We made volcanos.
We made painted dinos.
On the final day of our dinosaur adventure we finally went to see the film, which all of us enjoyed.
August 10, 2015 · 2:58 pm
Day 19 was all about the lobsters.
We hitched a ride on a lobster boat and learned about the lovely crustasian and caught a few while we were at it. The morning was incredibly gray and foggy, just what you would expect for lobster boating!
On the journey, we baited the traps, held the lobsters, learned to put the rubber bands on them to keep them from pinching and, lowered the traps back into the water.
We even brought up a few ocean friends who weren’t lobsters, including a star fish and a crab.
The best was watching the sea gulls swarm the boat when we emptied the old bait out of the traps. Nothing tastier than 3 day old, soggy fish! One of the gulls even pecked at The Captain’s hand when he was resting it on the top of the boat.
For lunch it was more seafood, I had fried clams which I haven’t had in years!
In the afternoon, it was time to learn about lobsters… The kids both did lobster worksheets and draw their own pictures of lobster boats.
Dinner was back near the ocean in a lovely stop where we had a good old New England Clam Bake!
The kids and I explored the sandy beach searching for shells — The Princess’ favorite beach pastime.
The food was great especially the chowder! I was stuffed by the end of the night.
August 9, 2015 · 5:52 pm
This was the summer of travel and it was time to pack up and get going once again! This time for a trip to visit our wonderful relatives at Lake Tahoe.
Our first full day in Tahoe was full of fun at the beach enjoying the sun and the water. We paddle boarded and kayaked and generally hung out relaxing and living the life.
In the afternoon, it was time get off our bottoms and go for a hike up Round Hill. The hike was short, but went up and up and up! Along the way, we discovered a feather from our state bird (the Mountain Blue Bird!)– What a find!
Of course, we collected a great number of giant Tahoe Pine Cones, a family favorite. We also made a count of the number of lizards we encountered along the way. Cinco claims to have seen 7! We also kept a running log of chipmunks… 2 was the final count.
After showers, it was time to enjoy a little culture. We headed off to a lovely evening on the lake watching Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. To prepare for our cultural event, we completed:
The two best things about it were the hot chocolate at intermission and The Princess saying she had seen Romeo and Juliet only with a cat and a dog as the main characters.
The following day it was back to the lake!
In the evening, we drove down the hill to good ol’ Gardnerville and JT’s Basque Restaurant! The tradition is to pin dollar bills to the ceiling by throwing it up wrapped around a silver dollar!
On the third day we opted for another day at the lake followed by mini golf!
The drive home was also eventful and LONG.
We managed to find a small herd of cattle crossing the road just as we drove by! Astonishingly, they did not repond to our cow calls…
August 9, 2015 · 5:10 pm
It was time to leave Boston and head further north into Yankee New England.
I first stop was the famous town of Salem, Massachusetts home of the witch trials. In my own childhood, when I was about six years old I was terrified on my visit to Salem. Returning as an adult, was not nearly so horrifying. The town seems to have been given over to more of the wicken crowd than the archetypal woman with warts, a cat and a black hat.
Nonetheless, we visited what is known as the witch house. The structure was home to one of the judges who presided over the area of the Salem witch trials and is decorated in the period.
One of the best things about the witch house was the display showing instructions on how to make potions to reveal fairies. You can bet next mid-summer we will be trying that one!
After strolling witchy Salem, we went over to water and took a look at navel Salem. We boarded the tall ship, Friendship, and played around near the water looking at the dock and the ocean beyond.
Our final visit in Salem was the old candy shope to sample some Black Jacks (basically burnt sugar sticks) and the Gibraltar candy in Lemon and Mint flavors. We decided the Black Jacks were good. But, no one in the family liked the Gibraltars.
When we arrived in Portland, ME we discovered it was the last day of a tall ships celebration. We managed to sneak in for the last 90 minutes of the multi-day extravaganza.
For dinner we had lobster rolls on the dock while listening to a little live music. We strolled the main drag in Portland and ended the night with a little ice cream— Crocodile Flavor (which is green ice cream with M&Ms in it).
August 5, 2015 · 4:50 pm
Waking in Boston, we decided that we should head out to Fenway Park and take a tour. Little did we know that tours of park were canceled for a concert that night!!!
Plan B turned into brunch on the walk along the Charles River. The river was quite nice. But, unfortunately the humidity of the East Coast was not! By the time we finished our walk everyone was sweaty and cranky, despite a stop for lemonade and Perrier.
We decided to take part in another Boston tradition a splash in the frog pond. The children and I got soaking wet. So wet, in fact, our clothing didn’t dry in the humid weather for two days.
Then it was back to the hotel for a quick change of clothes.
Our next stop was the famous aquarium.
we decided this was a picture of the seal doing yoga
Dinner, ice cream and then back to the hotel to watch Snake Island.
August 5, 2015 · 2:49 am
Mom Camp hit the road again when the Captain and I took the kiddos to New England. The first stop was Boston– colonial Mecca.
We started the day at the Boston Commons and then made a visit to the Swan Boats. The short and inexpensive yet entertaining ride was a hit with the kids. We even saw a real swan.
park photo by The Princess
The next stop was the duck statue based on the book MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS.
Despite a little rain, we started off on The Freedom Trail.
We also saw all the typical spots…The Old South Meeting House, The Old State House, The Site of the Boston Masacre, Paul Revere’s House and quotes number of gravesites of our famous founding fathers.
I missed the Old North Church while I waited in a 30 minute line for the bathroom. but, thankfully The Captain showed the kid around the building.
We also made it to the Navt Yard at Charlestown and walked aboard the USS Constitution. In fact at the Navy Yard we signed a copper plate that will places inside the Constitution when it’s restoration is complete.
The Boston tour ended with dinner in the famous Italian North End!