So I went on this field trip...

It was really far from the school, just like that other one - over an hour on the bus.

BUT I was sitting with this really nice woman who moved here from Edmonton last year and we talked about books and teachers and working for the government and the time flew by. We were in the second seat from the front, so there was a nice breeze but not a 60mph wind whipping my hair into a Medusa-like frenzy.

The weather forecast was 35 degrees with the humidex, with possible thunderstorms.

BUT it didn't feel that hot or humid, and the whole place was shaded, and the weather was perfect and beautiful and it didn't rain.

We were going to someplace called MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre, which I was led to believe was a kind of conservation area, and we were told to bring bug repellent, so I was envisioning swampy ickiness swarming with frogs and mosquitoes. One woman at book club said, with great portent, "I've always managed to be unavailable for that one", and I quailed, QUAILED, with terror.

BUT it was actually a pioneer village, there was no swamp in sight, and the bugs weren't that bad.

When we first got into our groups with the instructors, I realized that the entire area was covered with those tiny pebbles just like the ones around the bench at baseball, and I had a flashback to 12 seven-year-old boys kicking the rocks in a deafening rock-sliding din and blinding choking dust flying around and I was just taking a deep breath for a consciousness-losing screaming session....

WHEN the instructor said to the kids "look, we're standing on these little tiny rocks, and the temptation for you all to kick them around while I'm talking will be strong, but if you do that no one will be able to hear, so we need to listen respectfully and keep our feet glued to the ground". AND THEY DID.

We went to the schoolhouse and they let the kids dip quills in inkwells and do lessons. Some of the kids got ink all over their fingers. And hands. And arms. And faces.

BUT they let me help wash it off in the bathroom before lunch. And one little girl said "thank-you for washing my face" very politely.

They let the kids lift relatively heavy logs, grind corn with honkin' big mortars and pestles, drill into tree trunks, use hammers, and wield two-man crosscut SAWS.

AND yet everyone went home with all digits and limbs intact, and they were all thrilled at everything they got to do - Eve said gleefully, "they let us use inappropriate tools!"

I know, I know - everyone was waiting anxiously to commiserate (I don't want to say 'like a bunch of rapacious vultures hovering around looking to tear with vicious beaks at the carrion of my misery' or anything). Unfortunately, there's just no story here. I'm about equal parts relieved and disappointed.

I went on a field trip.... and it was fun.

Building a log cabin


Wrath Of Mom said…
That sounds like a neat trip. I'm glad you had fun. Because I'm not really a rapacious vulture. Well. Just sometimes.
Ms. G said…
Now that's a field trip where I would have turned into one of the kids! And you probably would have had to wash my face too : )
StephLove said…
I will admit to having been one of the vultures, but at least I had the decency to be ambivalent about it. I'm glad you had a good time.

Also, my daughter goes to day camp dedicated to the use of inappropriate tools. And my friend sent her son to a fire camp. Yes, a camp where they set fires all day.
Nicole said…
I'm so disappointed. I was waiting like the rapacious vulture that I am and you It's like I don't know who you are anymore. What kind of field trip is it if the parents are having fun?
Lynn said…
Well, that's a total bummer. The Captain was supposed to go to Macskimming several weeks ago, but it was brutally cold, rainy day, and he had a terrible cough, so we had to make the tough call to keep him home. Now I'm regretting it! I wonder if we can put it on our Summer of Awesome.
Mary Lynn said…
Much as I love how you can turn a bad day into a hilarious blog post, I love it even more when you turn a wonderful day into a great (and funny!) blog post.

"they let us use inappropriate tools!"

Amber Strocel said…
Now I kind of want to use inappropriate tools.

Or at least dip my quill in an ink well.

(Although that last part sounds kind of euphemistic in retrospect, it's totally NOT.)
Anonymous said…
You're a better person than me. After the "I'm always unavailable for that one" I would have conjured up an elaborate tale about the stomach flu with a bit of pinkeye thrown in for good measure. I drive by MacSkimming all the time enroute to my sister's house - now I may have to stop by. (Closer and probably much cheaper than Upper Canada Village) Love this post!
Amy said…
I'm so glad kids still get to go to Macskimming - when I was in elementary school we went there at least once every year. Fond memories.
Maggie said…
I have to give it up for the people who work at that place - it sounds like their approach may have made a huge difference between insanity and a fun time.
Sasha said…
AWESOME! Where is this place? Do you think they'd let me play with saws?

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