Sunday, November 18, 2007

Scenes of IslandWood

Well, some people called me crazy, but I felt very lucky to be one of the parents chosen to chaperone the 5th grade camping trip. Yes, that would be supervising, along with about 20 other parents and 5 teachers, 120 ten and eleven year old boys and girls from Miles' school. Anyone who actually knows me knows that I LOVE camp, and since it turned out that we were going to The Very Posh camp of IslandWood on Bainbridge Island, I was very lucky indeed. And I brought my big bottle of Ibuprofen. (many people suggested packing a flask of Wild Turkey and a bottle of wine, but we had to schlep our luggage a long way, so I am glad I opted for less weight).

We left on Monday, I actually took the SCHOOL BUS up to the school, since parking up there all day would be ridiculous, and by the time we arrived, I was about ready to lose my coffee and I already had a headache! That bus was really loud, that driver deserves twice whatever he gets in his paycheck for enduring that....We went to class, luckily Miles has the Most Organized teacher ever, so getting everyone ready and out the door to parent's cars and down to the Ferry terminal was no sweat. I was in charge of keeping all the children together in the terminal and getting on the ferry and making sure no one left their luggage behind. We arrived at BI, and got onto school buses, and went to camp!! It was a fantastic fall day, clear skies and gorgeous leaves, wow.

At camp, the focus is on Environmental Ed, and "community stewardship". I loved how they made it clear that everything is connected, and how you behave, and the actions you choose affect the rest of the world, community, family, etc. They did it so nicely and without beating you over the head with it. Here is a cool link to their website about the facility. Check it out, it is really neat, and I could never list it all here.
Here is the Living Machine:
They are able to treat some of the sewage on-site (not all composting toilets), and although the water is not quite drinking water, they maintain this greenhouse, and grow food and herbs they use in the kitchen, and tropical plants.

Here is the tree house
It has a tree growing through it!
Many of the designs were taken from children's ideas....

One thing Miles brought home with him was the attitude toward waste, especially food and kitchen waste. Check out this picture. This is Wade, and at the end of every meal, all the waste that is left on the plates (stuff still in serving dishes goes back to the kitchen) is divided up into compost or not, and weighed, and kept track of on a chalkboard. The first meal we ate there, for 160 people, the waste equaled 4.5 lbs. The goal was to lessen the amount of waste at each meal, and after 4 days, at our last meal, there was 1 3/8 lbs of waste! For 160 people! They really emphasized not putting more food on your plate than you can eat, and I noticed the kids at my table really talking about it towards the end. Like: "Are you going to eat a whole roll, or do you want to share one?" It was really great. And the food was FANTASTIC. Everything organic and local and all the bread products baked there. I was very spoiled.
Outside the dining Hall:

The group of kids I was assigned to during the day were very cute, enthusiastic, smart and funny. We had a great time, and our counselor was Really Great, and could have passed in a Brad Pitt (in his younger years) look alike contest, so lucky me!
Here they are, going into the art room:

We came home on Thursday, we both were very tired, the going to sleep and waking up times took about an hour off Miles' normal sleep time, so he was pretty fried at the end, there. I did not feel tired the whole week, but knew that I could not face cooking dinner, so we went down to NY pizza and after a slice and a beer (well earned, I must say), it hit me. My one TV show I have to watch every week is The Office, and I think I made it through about half, and woke up on the couch during the 11 oclock news. Luckily I did not have to work on Friday, so I got a start on laundry for the weekend!

We were also very lucky it did not rain, I have heard horror stories. We were still in the woods in November, it was damp and cold.
Miles outside of our lodge, Invertebrate Inn:

Inside Invertebrate Inn:
Lots of mushrooms!!

1 comment:

<-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

How hard is it to participate like that? I had to do a background check and fingerprinting and stuff. And I had to up my auto insurance to drive kids. And that was just for a day trip to a Mission. Where, you know, I supervised 5th graders cooking on an open flame with hot oil. TENSE!!!

Also - for those bus trips, they are a bit pricey, but Bose Noise Canceling Headphones are worth every penny in those situations. And flying- I kid you not, you arrive less fatigued.