Today was our first day of running our own day camp! We couldn’t have asked for better campers: five friends from the kids’ school as well as three from the Nook. Counting my own, eleven, fun, high energy, engaged kids who got along well. And thank God for Luba, who helped me hold down the fort!

ice breakerWe started the day with an ice breaker. I divided the kids into groups of mixed ages and genders, with no two siblings in the same group. They had to find six things that all their group members had in common—and it couldn’t be physical characteristics or items of clothing. After they had brainstormed their lists, they presented them to the other groups. I love this game! It was a great way to get everyone talking to each other.









Then we went outside to meet the chickens, including the newest member of our flock, Kitkut. The kids had fun holding them and climbing on the play structures.
















We came in for a snack. Eleven kids in the kitchen is loud, but Luba managed to get them all to listen to her story attentively. I told her she needs four more of those! Back outside, Luba organized the kids to play a particular version of Capture the Flag where the flags were hidden and the kids had the run of both the front and back yards. There was lots of shouting and lots of laughter, lots of demands to play this one again this week—and lots of sweaty heads when the hour was over. So I gave everyone popsicles before we got to work on a craft.











Zahra taught all the kids how to bind their own nature journals using card stock and embroidery thread. They then went to work decorating them until it was time for lunch. And by then, I was starving! I had to take a picture of the two Noahs. They spent the entire lunch lamenting their plights as middle children. Hahahaha!









The kids ran around in the backyard for a bit after lunch. They climbed a tree, swung and slack lined. Noah showed the boys his Legos, and Leila stuck like glue to Alexia—which reminded me that I have this fabulous girl as a babysitting option and that I need to go get my hair cut next week or something. I eventually roped them all back in with a science experiment.





























Last week, I had used vinegar to dissolve the shells on raw eggs. What was left was the raw egg still enclosed in a membrane—a bouncy egg! I had also blown out an egg and dissolved the shell, leaving only the membrane so that the kids could get a better picture of all the parts of the egg. We’re going to talk more about egg strength later on in the week, so this was a good intro activity.


They divided into groups and used their nature journals to make a hypothesis: from what height could they drop the bouncy, shell-less egg without it breaking? I marked off heights in increments of two inches, and each team ran their test with their egg. The results ranged from six inches to fourteen inches. We talked about why the results might be so different for each team.

After that, it was time for the final activity of the day: tie-dying t-shirts! I’ve only ever done this once, years ago, when someone else was in charge. I thought I was being clever by buying the kit with neat little squirt bottles, but it didn’t really matter. This is a messy activity. The kids went through enough dye for 30 projects (according to the box) and we may have dyed some hands and legs as well. Live and learn. I’m excited to see how their t-shirts turn out tomorrow!









One final snack and an impromptu band concert while waiting for pick-up.




















After everyone left, Zahra disappeared into her bed to listen to an audio book; Noah started a building project; and Leila got to use her roller blades to go to the mailbox for the first time, where we found the first new member registration for the Nook’s fall session!