Note: To understand this post, it might help to travel back in time first: (Little Treasures, Game Planning Update, Defenders of the Holy Potato Peeler)
Almost exactly a year ago today, I wrote a series of posts about our annual school year kick-off outing where we drag the two older groups (this year: 27 kids, ages 10-14) out into the wilderness and make them fend for themselves.
Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration. There is lot of toting of boxes and bags and food and water and tents and sleeping bags and stuffed animals and tools and inner tubes and life jackets and tables and benches and pots and dishware and marshmallows and general supplies – including a package of toilet paper to put in the one nearby “WC” (which sometimes even flushes!) . . . .
So we weren’t exactly roughing it.
This was the fifth time doing this little camping trip and each previous time, we four teachers had learned from whatever unexpected drama occurred. Bit by bit, we got better at preemptive problem avoiding.
For instance the whole “who sleeps with whom in which tent and when do we set them up?” gets arranged two days in advance. Once at the campsite, the subject of bedtime is simply not uttered until 15 minutes before it arrives thereby sparing us endless discussions, negotiations and exclamations of “Unfair!” Also, it is now fully and generally accepted that potato peelers don’t have to wash dishes and dishwashers don’t have to peel potatoes, firewood haulers don’t have to carry tables and table carriers don’t have to haul wood.
Of course, we never manage to think of every eventuality. And not everything is under our control.
This year’s drama erupted over a game of “Spin the Bottle”.
I’m not sure there is anything we could have done to prevent that one.
In case I am making this all seem awful, I’ll add some photographic evidence that – despite all the work – the two unplugged days were also filled with a lot of nice moments.
And this year, we didn’t forget the beer.