The Walking School Bus, was a complete failure, and as a result we had our best day yet in our 4-6 class! Nanajean and I headed out early this morning to collect our 4-6 year olds from their houses. We expected to increase our numbers by employing this direct method. However, much to our surprise and disappointment, we managed to pick up exactly ‘zero’ children on our walking school bus! The parents were either sleeping, so no one answered the door, or the kids were still sleeping and the parents didn’t want to wake them up. As Nanajean and I made our way back to the portables, we expected today to perhaps be one of the last hurrahs for the 4-6 camp program.
We arrived at the portables and were greeted by two of our favourite camp goers. Nicholas and Karys, were faithfully waiting for us on the steps to the portable. They had decided to come to camp on their own. We were still kind of bumbed out though because we figured that we were going to have to run another day of camp for two children…But wait! All was not lost! Just as we got into the classroom, a parade of cars and parents began to fill our classroom with children! By the end of the day we had collected 9 campers in total! This was our highest total since about the third day of camp. It was really exciting. Luckily, Nanajean and I were ready to go with our lessons today, and totally ‘rocked out’ with games, word activities and thrilling Robert Munsch tales! The image of Nanajean and I rocking out together is almost too much for me right now, but that’s what we did, we rocked!
The day of camp went by within the blink of an eye, and not once did I hear the words, ‘I’m bored!’ I was, and still am elated, because (I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, things could go back to normal tomorrow morning) I think that we did enough to get all of these kids back tomorrow. I’m really hoping that they all come back, because the younger kids really mean a lot to me, and it would be a shame to have to cut the age group out in favour of more 7-9 year olds.
The positive glow from this morning’s classes lasted well into the afternoon, as both Nanajean and myself were approached by parents of young children who were interested in bringing their kids to camp the following morning! We’re also going to give the walking school bus another shot tomorrow morning and see how it goes. I think that people might start getting their kids ready if we are relentless and keep coming by every morning. I’m excited!
By the way…Everyone should read ‘Aaron’s Hair’ and ‘Up, up, down’ by Robert Munsch at least once a day…
The afternoon was a little bit less exciting, but it was still a good day. The boys managed to accomplish quite a bit on their movies. It’s still a bit like pulling teeth to get them to transfer their thoughts from their minds to paper, but all in all they are doing a pretty decent job.
Tonight I spent a relatively quiet night in Fort Hope. I was supposed to have my weekly music workshop, but none of the kids that came last week, who had showed interest, came to camp this week, so I had a turnout of zero. I think that my next strategy is going to be to contact individual campers and offer to spend a half an hour working with them on either singing, piano or songwriting. For the most part, these kids are not conditioned to sing in a choral setting, or together in a large-ish group. I think that to a certain extent, kids in the south have this choral conditioning built in at an early age, to a point where it just kind of makes sense. Introducing the concept to older kids is definitely worthwhile, but it’s probably not a battle that I need to fight at this point. I’m quite certain that if I can get a few kids to come for regular ‘lessons’ I will be able to actually make some progress with them.
Another great piece of news from today was that the maintenance staff at the school changed the alarm schedule to be more accommodating for us! They have extended the hours that the alarm is off so that we can use the school to run activities, receive phone calls, use the piano and use the gym! I took full advantage of this tonight by playing the piano for a bit while I waited to see if any kids would show up for my music night, and then played basketball for a good half an hour. I turned my shoot-around into a pretty hard workout, so I feel good as I sit here typing this blog.
If Xiao, Karan, Vince, Anton, Lahush, Greig, Mehboob, Jared or any of my Huron basketball mates are reading this: I am sending you a message, my game is going to be in top shape come September! Watch out! haha!
Anyway, that’s all for me for tonight. I’ll talk to all y’all soon!