Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig!

We now no longer camp as for a night, but have settled down on earth and forgotten heaven. ~Henry David Thoreau

We're back from our adventure at the Tree House Camp! S had a swell time and didn't want to go home. It turns out, however, they're not actually tree houses, but more like stilted cabins, not very high up. I guess they don't want the liability of ladders. The rear of the cabin (where the entrance is located) is actually at ground level, so you don't really get that tree house sensation. The camp is situated next to a main road, so we were a little bummed about that. It's fine for a getaway weekend, but if you're planning to spend much time there with little ones who like to explore, you may want to consider this, the sites are rather small and don't offer much room for kids to run freely. They can't play catch else risk losing their ball to the poison ivy. There are wood stoves in the newer tree cottages which is a good thing as it can get cold at night. Still, we didn't use it because we were warm enough snuggled together. S found it wildly amusing that there was no electricity which opened up a whole discussion about ideas, inventions and how thoughts become things.

We read our bedtime story by booklight. All Around Me I See by Laya Steinberg is a nature awareness story about a family who goes on a camping trip. The child describes all that she sees, from the moment she leaves her home and on into her dreams. The illustrations by Cris Arbo are beautifully detailed. It's the perfect picture book to take camping with little ones. The thoughtful and nature loving folks at Dawn Publishing provide a free discussion and activity guide to go along with the book.

After our story, he practiced making shadow puppets by moonlight. This was a dreamy moment that I shall never forget. It was his idea, not mine. He created an ostrich by using his head for the body...a trick he picked up from this book. We keep this book beside our bed in our bedtime book basket.

He cried once during the night because he said he was homesick then added, "the bunk is as hard as a rock!" T'is true and my back did hurt the following morn.

When I was a wee girl scout, we camped Bear Mountain. Now THAT was some mighty fine camping. I still remember the blood-curdling screams when one of the moms discovered a raccoon in her blanket. Oh, how we laughed!

At the Tree House Camp, we didn't feel like we were out in the wilderness nor in the tree tops, but we had a relaxing time and we all enjoyed the simplicity so much that we decided, one day each month, we would recreate that vibe: turn off the phone, the mac, the lights and unplug the tv (not that we watch it much) and instead...eat dinner by candle light, play a game by lantern and our bedtime stories with a book light...

"Wake to what the spider unspools into a silver...
dawn dripping with light. Sleep in sleeping bags,
sleep in sand, sleep at someone else's house
in a land you've never been, where the dreamers
dream in a language you only half understand." - Gary J. Whitehead

* OH! The natural bug spray...smelled lovely and worked great! Neither S nor I had a single bite. The Great Robinsky, however, was the "control group" in the experiment and he got eaten.

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posted by Wendy at 5:25 AM


Anonymous pixie said...

Yay! You've returned from away! It sounds like you had a great time despite the few details about the bed/grounds. I want to hear more! And see pics of Satch in action! Miles would LOVE both of those books and I will be putting them in his wishlist. Glad you're home, honey. ;)

2:14 AM  
Anonymous Laya Steinberg said...

Thanks so much for mentioning my book: All Around Me I See. I'm glad to know it was enjoyed on a camping trip. The super talented illustrator, Cris Arbo, also lives in Virginia and the teacher's guide you mentioned can also be found on Cris' and my websites:www.layasteinberg.com www.author-illustr-source.com/crisarbo.htm
Happy reading!
Laya Steinberg

9:59 PM  

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