I'm spending a week this summer conducting a Civil War Summer Camp for my City's Parks and Recreation Department. I used to teach a Civil War class at a gifted camp Up North, and always wanted to recreate it for all kids, not just gifted, down here in My Beloved South. Fortunately, we have a wonderful Civil War park and interpretive center, that's relatively new, and the Powers That Be, asked if I'd put on this camp for them. (I know the Powers That Be because Mr. Bluebird and I actually worked as historians when developing the museum.)
Well, sure I would.
So, I have a dozen 10 to 11 year old boys (no girls, which is weird because all my classes before were a fairly even mix) this week for a camp that runs in the morning. The site does not have a classroom, however, so we're meeting outside. We have the real fort on one side, a view of the river on the other, and we're on a concrete patio that surrounds the building. We're also under two large canopy tents for protection from the sun. Water and restrooms are just steps away inside the visitor's center.
Honestly, I've never taught in such a beautiful site.
Apparently the grandmother of one of the boys has taken exception to this. The manager of the park, who is a wonderful man, told me he got a call complaining that her grandson was spending four hours in the morning - gasp! - OUTSIDE.
Apparently she'd rather have him inside in air conditioned comfort playing video games.
I think one of the biggest problems I see with my students is that they aren't outside enough. They're soft, and lazy and complain about the slightest bit of discomfort. They need to get out and burn off some of their normal kid energy - that's a much better solution that slapping a pill down their throat because they're a little hyper.
My husband calls it the "pussification" of our kids. He's right.
Funny, but the kids aren't complaining too much (it was hotter than blazes on Monday). They're running around, learning to be a Civil War soldier. And so far, they're having a blast.