Monday, September 21, 2009

September camping, so many milestones!

This trip was so amazing in so many ways! We all had a blast. The weather was completely perfect and we had something new and exciting to do every day. From taking a hike along the Bruce Trail, to sitting in a canoe, to just chilling on the shores of Cypress Lake Ben was a joy and a wonderful companion. He has the makings of a true outdoors men. This trip was chalked full of first for him and they were all great!

First sight of a wind turbines on the drive up!

First time in a canoe! We saw a water snake who Andrew picked up of the end of his paddle so that Ben could have a better look. Thereafter whenever we saw an animal Ban demanded Andrew pick it up on his paddle.

First time staying up to see the moon! We tried to wake him after he had already fallen a sleep one night but it just wasn't happening, so the next night we decided to keep him awake until it was dark enough to see the big beautiful full moon, and a night time camp fire. It was really special.

First open air fire! Also the first time eating food cooked over a fire.

First smore! He like the chocolate and the marshmallow. The gram cracker? Not so much.

First time sleeping in tent! (For Ben not Andrew, but I didn't have a picture of Ben in the tent!)

First time in a hammock! He loved it so much. It was great for us too because he was completely contained and required almost no supervision. Occasionally he would demand a new book.

Longest ever car trip! We were planning to stop many more times on the way up for bathroom breaks and to stretch our legs. But we only had to stop once! He was a really pleasure in the car on the way up. On the way back, however, after only about an hour on the road he threw up all over the place. (It was a rental car *sigh*) But nobody's perfect right?

Longest ever hike! He didn't really need a lift but I was willing to indulge since we were walking for such a long time. The funny thing is, after the first long walk, and then playing for hours in the rocks by the Georgian Bay, he didn't even ask for a lift on the walk home! He ran most of the way back.

All in all it was a pretty perfect trip.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sensory Camp is Awesome! - Even after you leave.

So Sensory camp is over but not forgotten thanks to our little bean and lettuce plants.

Especially in an urban setting, it's easy for people to lose their connection to the natural "wild" world. It's easy to forget that all the food we eat originates in the earth. In a world of intense food processing, fast and faster food, a child's knowledge of food creation may be limited to the super market and the factories where food is packaged and processed.

A vital connection is missing. The connection to the soil and the complex ecosystems that thrive there within making life possible. If parents don't feel that connection to the soil themselves how can they pass it on to their children?

In a world were parks are being replaced by parking lots, trees are be coming rare and manicured grass is the only thing we see ever growing how can parents reconnect themselves?

If they are fortunate enough to have access to some out door soil they can cultivate their own little garden. (Last year we did tomatoes, this year it's pumpkins but we've had a slug invasion so we'll see if any survive.) But, with limited knowledge this is challenging, intimidating even. Surely if it were that easy everyone would do it, right?

Well, one of the things we learned at Sensory camp is that all we really need is a pot, soil, seeds, a sunny window sill, and water to grow our very own "food" plants.

Now we are seeing just how it grows and eventually we will eat some food right out of the dirt! (And yes we did do this at Sensory camp, but this is different because these are plants we have grown ourselves, right from seeds!)

Sensory camps was not only a fun way to to pass the summers day it also taught us some valuable lessons and is allowing us to renew our connect to the soil.

I'll update with more of our plants progress.


Ben went to school yesterday!
It was only for half the normal time to see if he would need any extra help adjusting, and since he doesn't he will be starting next Monday (September 14th) for the full 2 and a half hours.
Ben's thoughts and comments on his first day?

"I didn't really learn anything."
"We sang a song about Canada."
"There were two toy telephones. One did not have any buttons."
"The teacher did not read us any books even thought they have a lot of book there. I saw them."
"One little boy wouldn't even talk at all, he just cried. It was very annoying."

Here are some photos of the big day!