Sunday, July 23, 2017

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Camp Aunt Barb!

Oh. My. Gosh! It was so much fun and such a success.

When we first arrived, I thought Camp Aunt Barb might be a "fail." My little great nieces and nephews just don't know me that well. I don't get to see them as often as I would like. Emma 8---Jim's granddaughter, didn't know me at all. Nathan---3, is a total momma's boy and Josie---2, is a daddy's girl. Evie---5, is outgoing and has no problem interacting with me. Travis---5, is shyer and doesn't really want to talk or even look at me. I was potentially looking at only one---maybe two showing up!

Instead, I was surprised that they all came and STAYED!! I think they were distracted right away by what I called, their "tackle, treasure boxes" and water bottles.
When they arrived, I had them put on their t-shirts.
I found out their favorite colors in advance and stamped the shirts with acrylic paint. It might wash out with the first washing! Jackie said that Josie's favorite color was whatever they told her it was! I picked yellow for her since I thought it would go good with her red hair. (Side note---we have no redheads in the family and now have two---her cousin Nathan is a redhead too. Nobody knows where it came from--some sort of recessive gene. Only 2 percent of the population has red hair.)

Butch helped me get everything ready.

Janet took a bunch of pictures and I'm glad she did. I was too busy to take very many. I got a few--reflected in this post.) Next, I had them get up to the table in front of their boxes. They were not to look inside until I told them they could. Even then, I said, "Open your box. Don't look at anything. Just take the ziplock bag out." I wanted everything to remain a mystery as long as possible. I packed everything they would need for the day inside.

Here's the agenda that I planned:
  1. Put on “Camp Aunt Barb” t-shirts.
  2. Kazoo practice (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
  3. Water balloon relay race (under arms, between knees, under chin, wooden spoon)
  4. Nature hike—look at bugs and flowers up close
  5. Scavenger hunt (heart leaf, round rock, black rock, stick, acorn, roly poly, pointy leaf, flower)—get ziplock bag
  6. Snack—Fish for goldfish (pretzel sticks, peanut butter and goldfish crackers)
  7. Pool time
  8. Fish for plastic fish in the pool
  9. Put Gummy Bears on the line and let them “catch” them with their mouths.
  10. Pretend like they are seals and throw them Swedish fish
  11. Singing time (BINGO, Itsy Bitsy Spider)
  12. Game—Steal the Pile
  13. Make slime.
  14. Simon Says
  15. Lunch
  16. Books (The Disappearance of Miss Nelson and George Shrinks)
  17. Movie/rest (Little Brave Toaster)
  18. Ring Pops
  19. Dip magic towels in water
  20. Craft—paint initials then glue on buttons
  21. Kazoo practice
  22. Head Banz game
  23. Snack—Watermelon 
  24. Magic trick—water bottle and penny
  25. Concert
  26. Playground if there’s time left.

Everything was going really well. When we got to #7, Nathan fell down the steps---head first--- on the way to the pool. I was sure it was all over for him. Since he's a momma's boy, I thought for sure he'd cry for her. I scooped him up really quick and held him. He snuffled, but didn't get worked up to a full on cry. I rubbed his back and told his that he was so brave that I was going to let him fish first! He recovered quickly. 

Pool time was a lot of fun---until later, when they ALL admitted to peeing in the pool. Believe me, when the day was over, I couldn't get to the shower fast enough! 

While at the pool, we nearly had disaster number 2. Jose fell and scraped her knee. I asked her if she would let me hold her. She shook her head "yes." She laid her head on my shoulder, cried softly, but didn't ask for her mom. I felt like we really dodged a bullet! Even when Janet walked away to join the other adults going on the boat, Josie just watched until she was out of sight. Then she re-joined us in the pool. Somehow, the Gummy Bears had disappeared (I never did find them), so I used the Swedish fish for #9 & #10. 

When we finished at the pool, I got them all dried off and dressed. Evie said her mom didn't pack underwear, so she went au naturale in her shorts. Turns out, the underwear were in a pocket of the bag. I've learned to trust Evie--that little girl is "on" it! So, I didn't think to look in the pocket. No problem.

The game "steal the pile" was a "fail" as Jose and Nathan were too young for that and kept picking up the cards. It was the very first game that Grandma Preli taught us when we were kids. I quickly finished the game and moved on. I skipped #13--make slime because it was a little more involved than I was ready to take on by myself. I inadvertently skipped #14--Simon Says.

Next up was lunch:
With the exception of the Swedish Fish, I kept the food healthy. For lunch, they had Uncrustables, juice and cherries. I told the kids at lunch that afterwards, we were going to read books, watch a movie and rest. I bribed them with Ring Pops as I needed them to be quiet so Josie could fall asleep. I pictured myself getting a rest too. That didn't happen!
 The boys grabbed the couch. The room was so small, that they all couldn't fit on the floor anyway. My rest consisted of sitting straight up in a kitchen chair in the doorway! Not very comfortable.

After rest time, we had another little accident. Nathan didn't make it to the bathroom. He was so embarrassed. I tried to ease his feelings by helping him. I remembered that we had put the swimming suits and towels out to dry. I went out and discovered that his and Travis' weren't there. I checked their backpack and found that the wet trunks were in there---on top of the spare underwear which were now wet too! I suggested that he put his wet trunks back on, but he balked at that. I said, "okay, never mind, your shirt is long enough." So we had another "au naturale" situation. I put the trunks out to dry which we put back on later.

The game Head Banz is so much fun---even for adults. I had the kids version and they understood how to play right away. Even Josie! The card I gave her had a slice of pizza on it. I told Evie to give her the first clue. She said, "it's what you and I love to eat the most!" Josie said, "peez!" I looked at Evie in disbelief and said, "what did she say?" Evie responded, "She said pizza, Aunt Barb! She can't say "za!" I was blown away. Even that little 2 year old knew exactly what to do! In fact, she did everything and kept up perfectly!

We never made it to #25--the playground. The timing couldn't have worked out better. We finished everything around 3:50. Camp Aunt Barb was from 8-4! I was tired--no doubt. But what I really noticed was how bad my back hurt! All that bending down to little people.

I went straight to the shower (the pee and all) and then took a little nap. Around 5, Evie came over while I was on my computer.
She said, "Aunt Barb, do you have wifi? I brought my tablet, but couldn't get wifi!" These kids just amaze me! They are so darn smart!

Anyway, the day was a total success. I loved every minute of it. For me, it's all about the memories. That's what it's all about! Now, maybe the next time I'm in St. Louis, they'll really know who Aunt Barb is. At least I hope so!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness this sounds like a awesome day!!! I want to attend Camp Aunt Barb's
    So busy, you sure deserved that shower and nap later, teehee


Thanks for commenting. If you would like a response from me, then please leave your email address.