Every year, our school takes the second graders to Land Between the Lakes for three days. It's honestly the coolest exerience! It's amazing to see these little kids out in the woods experiencing things for the first time. The kids are just so well behaved and soak everything up and everybody (including the adults) has a great time! I obviously don't teach second grade, but I've gone the last two years. And, I will go again every year they invite me because it's so fun! It's cool to see the kids I had last year again :)
I'm going to post some pictures but none with their faces. So, they're a little random. Ha. Obviously, the best pictures are of the sweet kiddos. You'll just have to trust me.
The first day, we load up the kids and we head to LBL. We eat a picninc lunch and then go to the Nature Center to see some cool animals and take a hike. When we pulled up to the picnic area, one kid yelled "Hey, this doesn't look like the woods!!!" We were honestly in the middle of NOWHERE and there were trees everywhere. Ha!
Looking around the nature center...
They were mesmerized by a bald eagle.
A REALLY gross snapping turtle.
That night, we took the kids in rides in the back of pick-up trucks with spotlights to look for animals. I rode with one of the boy groups because their teachers were either driving trucks or hiding in the woods. Yes, you heard me. Mr. Portell hid in the woods for like 3 HOURS just he could jump out at the kids at a cemetery and scare them. He was dressed like a wolf (kind of) and had a strobe light and everything. It was the funniest thing ever. The kids all freaked and then just died laughing when they realized who it was. I have to say... the boys in my truck screamed a LOT louder than the girls in the other truck!
The next day, the kids did all sorts of fun stuff. I didn't carry my camera around. But, we went fishing (Not to brag, but I caught 3 fish!!), we went on a pond expedition, we dressed the principal up like a beaver then went looking for a beaver dam and we went on a stream stroll.
The stream stroll is the very best! The stream is freezing cold. And, we always start off just looking for little bugs with nets and the kids are being very careful. Then, somebody always "falls in." You know, like completely under water. "Accidentally." And, pretty soon, those fully clothed kids are full on swimming in the stream. And, what are the adults doing? Um, encouraging it! Because the kids have the time of their life! We all died laughing when one kid climbed onto a ledge (it was only about 5 inches above the water) and cannonballed into the stream that was about a foot deep. Of course, he yelled "Cowabunga!!" They all just fling themselves around and are laughing and screaming because its cold and it's just my favorite thing ever. One kid was standing in about an inch of water that was about a foot from the edge and he yelled "I need to find land!!" So dramatic.... ha.
At night, we play sock wars and the kids have pillow fights. We also had the very first LBL Dance Party, which was awesome. Those kids can DANCE!
After that, we had a massive bonfire. Check out this thing:
The kids were sweating and scooting back after about two minutes. I think our fire builders got a little over-zealous.
We almost caught a tree on fire. Twice.
But, everyone got their smores and and made it out of there alive.
Oh, and we helped the boys out with a little prank on Mr. Portell since he hid in the woods and scared everybody. We gave them some silly string and equipped them with a flip camera and we all had a lot of fun at breakfast watching the attack!
This morning, we got up super early and packed up.
The kids were sooo tired!
Some took a nap on the sidewalk.
And, some played hand games.
When the bus got there, we loaded up and headed to the Homestead. It's a working farm/museum from the 1800's. The kids really enjoy it and the people who work their talk and tell them all about it.
This guy was plowing a field with a horse and a mule.
There are free-range sheep that just roam around the farm.
This guy was following us!
The baby piglet came out a streeeetched. The kids loved him!
It was about this time when I overheard one kid say to another: "You know, I haven't played with my toys in a loooong time!" Hahaha.
After the tour, we had a quick picnic. Then, we loaded up the bus and headed home. We had some tired and sleepy kiddos (and adults) so it was a quiet bus-ride back :)
It was such a fun trip!
It's back to the real world tomorrow morning. I haven't seen my little first graders since before Spring Break so I'm ready to get back! I really miss them.
Now, I'm off to bed....