Day #8

Dynamic…

So as you probably can tell, we are still currently without internet…I’m actually rather proud of myself that I have been able to keep writing consistently everyday to this point.

Today was the biggest planning day that we have had for the camps so far. After yesterday’s long day of registrations and Canada Day celebrations, we found ourselves with almost the perfect number of kids for camp. Aside from a few spaces left for some older kids, I think that we have established a good preliminary group. What we have decided to do is run camp from 9:30am-12:30pm for kids aged 5-9 and from 1:30-4:30 for kids aged 10 and up. Most of the youth in Fort Hope begin their days much later than even we do in the South. That means that 1:30pm is about as early as one can expect them to be available to come to camp. We have also decided that we will attempt to break the two age groups up further into groups of 4 (turning 5)-6 year olds, 7-9 year olds, 10 & 11 year olds and 12 and up. At this point it looks like we are going to try and establish certain councillors to consistently take care of each class. We are of course going to be flexible with this, as next week is just going to be a trial week. Today we came up with a solid plan of action for our first week and organized our classrooms. I almost felt like a teacher… As well, we developed some ideas for ongoing camp projects that will hopefully work out. We are prepared for everything to completely fall apart, but we felt like we needed a plan of some description to start out.

One of our major ideas at this point is to create a classroom set of rules based on the Ojibway seven teachings with the kids on day one (thrilling sounding I know, but we’re working on some ways to make this process fun and interactive for the kids). We’re looking at dividing the kids into 5 teams (because there are five councillors) that will work together to create a number of drawings, sayings, etc. that they feel illustrate the meanings behind the seven teachings. Each group will then share what they have come up with and we will discuss briefly (briefly being a key word) what the pictures mean in the context of camp. We will then post these drawings on our Friendship Wall so that we have a pictorial representation of our camp rules. From there the councillors have come up with a list of ‘hard’ rules that we will relate to the seven teachings.

Our second big plan is to run a ‘reading passport’ system for the kids. One of last year’s groups ran this in camp as a way to track kid’s reading progress over the summer. We are currently preparing individual ‘passport’ booklets for each child where they will write the date, title and author for the book they are reading. In order to take a book home at the end of a camp day they must hand us their passport with this information in it. Once they bring the book back they receive the passport and a sticker back from one of us. We are also going to track reading by having a ‘reading race’. We have created a race track around the walls of our classroom. Each student will made a racing piece and place it on the track. For every book they read will allow them to move further on the track. Hopefully one of these activities will stick and be interesting for the kids. If not, I suppose we will just head back to the drawing board…

Other activities planned for next week include…

1/ A community alphabet (kids will go on a walk through the community and will take pictures of different places that start with the corresponding letters of the alphabet…eventually we hope to have enough pictures to put the entire ‘Fort Hope’ alphabet around the classroom)

2/ Scavenger Hunt (We are going to create a community wide scavenger hunt so that the kids can show us around Fort Hope)

Alright, well, I am kind of rambling right now, my sentence structure is falling apart and I’m really not making much sense I imagine…However, just because I want to bore everyone with more information, I am going to briefly describe what happened today…I always say that I’m going to be brief and I never am…

Okay, this morning we visited the education authority office in Fort Hope and placed our order to the Northern Store for camp snacks. We are hoping to have our first shipment by Monday morning, but it looks like it might not be here until mid week. Next we spent time organizing our classrooms; then we met with the education director and then headed back to the classroom for more planning.

See, that was pretty brief…Tomorrow we have to head back to the radio station to announce that camp has filled up and that we are now accepting addition to the waiting list…We have to visit the NAPs Office (Police Station) and Nursing station because we didn’t get there today. Also, hopefully my guitar is going to arrive tomorrow…

On a more personal note, I want to inform my parents of just how proud they should be…I once again stood on mom’s soapbox of food safety and cleanliness by preventing the use of a frozen bag of milk that we obtained from the teacher’s residence below us…We have no way of knowing how old it is, and it just isn’t worth the risk to take a chance. Also, I explained the Fearnall view on hygiene standards when dealing with eggs. No need to catch any of those ‘salmon fellas’ if you don’t have to. And, on Dad’s side I was a strong advocator for dividing up supplies for camp and storing them in various locations. I believe that he would suggest that it is better to have things in different locations so that if something happens to one location, the rest of the stuff will be okay. It’s best to minimize the potential damage. Also, before we left the portable today, I carefully placed anything that even had the remotest appearance of value into a drawer or out of view of windows. This is just a precaution that has been drilled into me for years and years. If there is nothing to tempt a ‘would be’ thief it is unlikely that anything will be stolen.

It is shocking to me just how much of my parents is coming out of me when I’m left to fend for myself. So many of the things that I make fun of them for, and perceive as paranoia, at home seem to make perfect sense right now. And of course, between my mom, my dad and I, we are always right, so my teammates don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell in an argument about one of these issues!

Overall, our team dynamic is working out alright so far. I’m finding that I have a strong working relationship with both Courtney and Jeanette, although it is clear to all of us that we are all very different people. Surprise, surprise, I am the cautious, somewhat prudish member of the group…haha…Not many people will be shocked to hear that… I also (this is my perception, they might have a totally different interpretation) feel like I’m going to probably be the outwardly (key word) level headed member of the team. That’s not to say that Courtney and Jeanette aren’t calm, it’s just I am doing my best to channel the calm, cool, collected persona that my dad has made famous around our house…Generally (sorry mom) my mom and I tend to be the reactionary ones in the family, but I think outside the walls of 42 Normandy Gardens both of us are pretty good peacemakers. I also swear the least out of the three of us…My four letter vocabulary is not nearly as polished 😉

I’m actually finding myself identifying rather well with our Northern councillors Nanajean and Esther. Shockingly I think that I am getting better at relaxing and going with the flow. It seems to be a little bit more difficult for C & J to slow down and not necessarily move less, but move slower. Again though, I’m willing to admit that I may be completely wrong about all of this. For all I know I could be the frantic, uptight, pushy one right now; I’d just like to think that I’m not!

Alright, well I think it is about time for me to head off to bed again…So, hopefully I manage to get our house wired up for internet tomorrow and I can talk to some of you, but if not, I hope that I’ll get to it soon!

—By the way, MOM/DAD, ‘The Moccasin Goalie’ is in our reading package from Frontier College! I have read it three times today already, and had a bit of a sappy moment when I saw it…

–Be kind to each other and don’t fall down…

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