Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sweetness It's Spring

Spring is my favorite time of year right now, ask me in a few months I will surely say winter.  But for today, spring is great.  So during my lunch break I went for a bike ride in McAllister Park.   I have been bringing sweetness with me every where I go lately, but due to rain she has spent most of her time just languishing in my back seat.  So far this year we have been on 7 rides, all in the last 2 weeks.    We have riding around McAllister Park 5 of those times, it is our favorite local ride mostly due to its proximity to my office.  We rode once around my neighborhood but since sweetness and I were both made for trail riding we avoid pavement as much as possible.  Last Thursday night we found ourselves in Austin so we rode about 10 miles around Town Lake.

The rain did do one good thing, the wildflowers are everywhere.  Sweetness, being a lady and all, really likes it when we ride through fields of flowers, so I stopped to take some pictures.  I took some video too but the quality with my phone is bad so you can't really appreciate it.

[caption id="attachment_287" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Recent Rides at McAllister Park"][/caption]

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BOA 2010

Camp Echo Valley's Main Lodge
Alyssa's Cabin "The 80's Ladies

6th graders in Boerne schools get to go to a 3 day camp called Boerne Outdoor Academy or BOA. The camp is part of the school curriculum and is lead by the 6th grade teachers and staff from each elementary school. Along with high school students who server as Student Leaders and a bunch of parent volunteers.

Alyssa had a blast with her camp family
This year was Alyssa's turn to go. Heather went with Ashley 3 years ago, and I called dibs back then so I could go with Alyssa. I signed up as a parent volunteer and was assigned to help a teacher, Ms. Castaneda, with the Rocketry class.

I think the main reason I wanted to go as a volunteer was because I was so jealous of my kids. These kids are so lucky to get to go to camp as part of their school curriculum, about the coolest activity I ever got to do in 6th grade was passing out in the lunch line.

Alyssa and her Student Leader making a rocket

Unfortunately the rocketry class did not involve any solid fuel powered rockets as I had hoped, nor any other form of combustible fuel, but it was a lot of fun anyhow. Ms. Castaneda taught the kids about Newton's Laws of Motion and basic principles of rockets then we showed them how to build their own rockets with paper and glue. The kids then set to work building and we launched them using compressed air.  We had competitions for distance and altitude.

Launching Rockets

The girls destroyed the boys in nearly all the class distance competitions

It was tons of fun working with the kids but 30 6th grade boys in one group was very trying on my patience.  I came away with a great respect for the teachers that work with these kids all day long, it is exhausting.

Other classes the kids had at camp included; water studies, canoeing and fishing, geocaching, nature hike, crafts, and team-building games. Each night there were skits and camp songs, and the last night they had a t-shirt signing and dance.

Is it really camp if you don't canoe?

Running away is fun to do

Future nuclear physicist practice their uranium handling skills

The ground, ack, it's lava!

Kendall Elementary BOA 2010

High School Student Leaders

T-Shirt Signing and Dance

Alyssa tells me she LOVED BOA. Her favorite activity was the nature hike, which make me very happy as a dad. I love to hike and I have tried (although not nearly often enough) to share my love for nature with my children.  Thanks to the school for making this possible and helping me in my job to teach my children to love our world.

An extra special thank you goes to the HEB Foundation Camps who allow the school to use their beautiful campground near Leakey, Texas.

Echo Valley Campground and HEB Foundation Camp