Monday, June 20, 2011

Fun at camp!

The three older kids spent last week at their respective camps: Bear at a Lego Mindstorms camp, Jaybird and Mouse at a Fillies and Foals horseback riding camp. All three kids just loved their time at camp.

Bear spent the week building robots out of a super-advanced Lego kit that included various motors and sensors and other robotic parts. They designed their own robots, then hooked them up to a laptop to program them.

Really, what more could a boy ask for???

Bear holds one of his creations, which he's
going to hook up to a laptop.
The girls were head-over-heels crazy-wild about horse camp. Well, not literally head over heels, fortunately. But they sure loved their horses! Mouse rode a horse named Katie, and Jaybird rode one named Marshmallow -- a cute miniature horse that I think made the whole thing do-able for her.

We actually weren't going to send Jaybird, because she has such severe separation anxiety that we anticipated signing her up, paying a small fortune, then having to drag her there every morning. But the class was small -- three girls, including Jaybird and Mouse, and the third was a dear friend of Mouse's whom Jaybird knew as well. I actually decided to sign her up on the spot the day I first dropped them off.

It turned out to be a good decision, since Jaybird loved it so much. I think it was a real confidence-booster for her. She went from not speaking at all on the first day to speaking with the staff and riding her little horse all over the arena on her own on the last day. She just glowed with pride! (See the video.)

The only downside to all this was that it rained on the second to the last day, leaving the trails too muddy and wet to do the long trail ride they had been promised at the beginning of the camp. Mouse in particular was in tears over that for days. She still gets a long face when the subject comes up. She has changed her mind about what to be when she grows up: She now wants to be a horsewoman. And a mermaid.

Hopefully, we will get her out on the trail sometime this summer -- she is going to another camp later in the summer (generously paid for by the grandparents of her friend, who moved to the Twin Cities but is visiting for this camp), and supposedly her Girl Scout group is going on a trail ride (although we have yet to hear word about when).

In the meantime, she plays a lot of Pony Trail on her Nintendo DS. :)

The girls had to muck out stalls as part of their camp, which
is good. Jaybird insisted that I take a picture! I asked the
instructors whether the girls could take their manure rakes
home for the purpose of cleaning out their room, har har.