Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Camp 2015 - Books, Puzzles and Nature Study

The great thing about being a homeschooling family is that there are infinite possibilities when it comes to teaching and learning. Being up at Camp gave us a great opportunity to have the kids observe, explore and experience nature close up. As most of our posts have shown, there have been opportunities for them to see bullfrogs, the work of beavers, fish, flowers, the history of the area and lots of other things. When we were planning the trip, we made sure we packed plenty of fun, teaching books for the kids to read.
 We had a slew of books from our personal library and the public library, too.
 We picked up a book on loons and Nana gave Gabe another one for his birthday. Very appropriate since we saw so many of them this year.
 We got the kids a handful of adventure books set in the Adirondacks. They fell in love with them and are begging for more Adirondack Kids books.
 Gabe's nature journal entry talked about the trees, rocks, water and ducks.
Olivia had the sunset, lake and ducks.
Ezra talked about the Paper Birch trees we saw everywhere with their peeling bark and, yup... ducks.
It's really cool to see them finding new things and being interested in the world around them. Definitely made us wish we could stay up there year-round.
This was the last puzzle we did up there. Sadly, we didn't get a picture before it got taken apart, but it was really a gorgeous scene. We are going to find the rest in this series to do at home.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Camp 2015 - The Adirondack Museum

For all the many years I've been going up to Camp, I've never been to the Adirondack Museum, which is between Long Lake and Blue Mountain Lake. This year, Nana and Pop-pop suggested we should take the kids and, boy, were they right!
 The kids loved the big chair out front.
 Ezra had one of our old phones and was "taking pictures" it everywhere we went.
 Inside, they had this beautiful, handmade piano for sale. We just couldn't quite scrape together the $10,000 they wanted for it. :)
 The museum had a remarkable collection of items that traced the history of the Adirondacks as a vacation destination over the last 100+ years.

 There were several buildings instead of just one that made up the museum. The first one had all kinds of stuff about the different forms of recreation available in the park and the equipment people use and used in the past. In this station, the kids had to match boots with their respective footprints on the floor.

 They had a rock climbing wall for the kids to try.
 There was a kayak to sit in
 and a bobsled from Lake Placid.
 We considered letting them spend the night.
 Irene found a bear to ride.
 Outside, they had a challenge where you were supposed to build a wooden chair.
 Not too bad, though it was a bit too wobbly to actually sit in.
 They had an old steam locomotive that the kids just loved ringing the bell on.

 There was a beautiful man-made pond stocked with trout
 It was really nice to just sit and rest around it.
 They had a few camps set up like they would have used in the early 20th century.

 We put the kids to work cleaning one of them.

 Probably our favorite exhibit had to do with the history of logging in the Adirondacks. It was a stunningly difficult and dangerous job, even in more recent times when they had better equipment than the horse-drawn sledges and two-man hand saws that they started with.

 Apparently a lumberjack with too much time on his hands made this man out of bark and nails.
 They had the old fire tower from Whiteface Mountain.
 Even though it wasn't on top of a mountain, the view was still pretty.
 They had a mining cart with a pile of raw garnet.

 Up a hill, there was a cabin with examples of the furnishings that camps had throughout the years. All of it was handmade.

 It was really cool how they used sticks in patterns on the tabletops and faces of dressers.
 One of the last places we saw was a transportation museum.
 Don't ask me why, but they had a very cool collection of toy furniture.
 The detail on them was remarkable.
 Rebecca and Olivia are standing on an example of what the roads were like back in the day. Rather rough, eh?
 After perusing the merchandise, we decided we'd need the carriage on the left to carry us all.
 I think the best thing about the museum in general was that there was always a place for the kids to play and interact with things related to the exhibit.
This is a real blacksmith's shop that they relocated in it's entirety to the inside of the museum, timbers and all. There were horseshoes hanging everywhere!

 In the transportation museum, they had an exhibit that told about farm life for folks living in the Adirondacks.

 The kids tried on a variety of hats. Unsurprisingly, Ezra went for the lumberjack's.

 The very last place we stopped was in the old schoolhouse. The kids found out what being students is like.
 Rebecca got to play teacher.

 Last of all, the kids did some laundry. Gabe ran the well pump.
 Then they washed the towel in the washtub.
 Olivia scrubbed it on the washboard
 and Ezra ran it through the wringer.
Finally, it was time to hang it on the line to dry.

If we'd had another day, there was even more to see that we didn't get to. The museum allows a second visit within a week on the same ticket, so if we'd had the time, we would have gone back. We highly recommend to anyone who goes up that way to visit the Adirondack Museum. You won't be disappointed!