What a way to end the week! We went on our second field trip today (yes, since we spent so much time preparing for tests, we're really packing in the field trips now), and much like Wednesday's, it was a lot of fun.
Today we went to a place called Camp Wisdom. This is basically a large campground with lots of activity areas. There is a replica of a Civil War fort, a small castle with a maze in the back, a couple of pirate ships, and a big scary cave. Even though the sky was overcast the entire day, it didn't start to rain until about 1:30, so the only activity my group missed out on was the castle.
We started out at the fort, and as usual, the first thing the kids found was the jail cell. (Premonitions of the future, anyone?) The fort was a fun way to open the day, but the REAL fun didn't start until we got to the pirate ships. These are two huge wooden ships, complete with rope ladders, tall masts, and steering wheels that spin. Two buckets full of colored tennis balls have been left for us, and these became cannon balls, thrown back and forth between the two ships. I of course had to get in on some of that action, so I climbed up onto one ship and joined in the hurling. At one point, I convinced the kids on my ship to stop throwing the tennis balls, and to just let the kids on the other ship use up all of their ammunition. Then, when we had ALL of the balls, I counted to three, and we all let loose at once. It was pretty awesome. It was just like the assault on Helm's Deep at the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, when the elves let loose their volleys of flaming arrows into the myriad ranks of orcs below. Except less violent and lethal. And instead of elves and orcs, it was two small troops of Oompa-Loompas.
After the pirate ships, we took a journey to the cave. This is just a big hole in the ground, but it's completely dark, and you have to take flashlights in with you to navigate. Also, there's a good chance that there's a teacher lurking around inside, waiting to jump out and scare the crap out of unruly third-graders. I found that particularly enjoyable.
As we were leaving the cave area, it started to rain harder. It had been sprinkling for awhile, but just as we were reentering the main activity center, it really started to come down hard. About five minutes later, the other third-grade groups came in, completely drenched.
Unfortunately, the rain did not help our progress back to the school at all. We left Camp Wisdom at around two o'clock, but because of the rain and traffic, we didn't get back to the school until a little bit AFTER three. So we told the kids to just leave their backpacks in our classrooms over the weekend, and we sent them straight to their designated buses. Nothing like a bit of madness to satisfactorily close out a field trip...
Oh, and we didn't bring ANY milk along on this field trip...