Monthly Archives: June 2010

Day 32: Dinner at camp

Tall tales abound in the north woods of Wisconsin and camp lore.

Scouts and adults alike were greeted to a new day by the crisp clear air of a late June morning in the north woods of Wisconsin. Our day started and as usual, brushing our teeth and getting prepared for breakfast and the rest of the day. I ran into one of our adult leaders who told me he had lost his sunglasses Monday and realized he had probably left them at shooting sports – all the way across camp. He explained that when he woke up, he ran over to the area to find them. He was looking for them when he spotted a deer, a five pointer, wearing them. He told me, he asked the deer for his glasses back. The deer replied, no, they were his. So, the adult leader shot the deer and got his glasses back. He had me going there for a minute. After all, this is the land of tall tales and Paul Bunyan-like stories and the camp has a weather vane in front of the dining hall to prove it. We are all having fun at Tesomas. It truly is a great place.

I knew Monday was going to be a great day and the possibility that Tuesday would be a million and six times better as Bowling for Soup said in the chorus of their song, “Today is Gonna be a Great Day”:

This could possibility be the best day ever!
(This could possibility be the best day ever,)
 And the forecast says that tomorrow will likely be a million and six times better.
So make every minute count, jump up, jump in, and seize the day,
 And let’s make sure that in every single possible way,
Today is gonna be a great day!

We are making every minute count. As it turned out, Tuesday was even better than Monday! Continue reading Day 32: Dinner at camp

Day 31: Our first full day at Tesomas

Tesomas Scout Camp near Rhinelander, Wisconsin

When I camp, I usually wake when the sun rises. However, Monday morning came earlier than I expected and it was William who woke me. The sunrise Monday morning was at 5:11 AM and set at 8:51 PM – giving us an incredible set 15 hours and 40 minutes of day to make count.  William is an early riser and has always been.  The troop had gone to bed late Sunday night and we had a slow start.

Continue reading Day 31: Our first full day at Tesomas

Day 30 – First Day at Tesomas Scout Camp

Troop 35 poses for parents before leaving for camp, 6/26/2010

Sunday began at the Band Shelter at Memorial Park in Wheaton, Illinois. William and I had gotten up early, about 5:15 AM and met the troop to drive to Tesomas Scout Camp. I had volunteered to be the banker, which means that I hold the scout’s money and when they want to visit the trading post to buy candy, souvenirs, or need money to shoot at the shooting sports venues they need to see me. Scouts checked in with me and gave me their envelopes. We formed up, had our picture taken, and were off by 7:15, not bad for a scheduled 7:00 AM departure. Continue reading Day 30 – First Day at Tesomas Scout Camp

Days 28 and 29: Errands, packing, and shooting myself in the foot

I just re-read the mess I wrote and posted early this morning…..

It was the end of the fourth full week and beginning of the fifth week of summer vacation – both Friday and Saturday were busy days. Beth left for her cousin’s funeral in Versailles and I stayed home with the kids. Both had the wrap up of VBS on Friday midday. Olivia had her final two softball games on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, and William had a final merit badge session with his counselor on Saturday afternoon; all the while, we had to finish packing for William and I to go to summer camp early Sunday morning and finish running a few errands before leaving.

I am revising it to be clearer.

Week four had come to an end and week five was just starting, Friday and Saturday were busy and overscheduled.  Beth left early Friday morning to attend her cousin’s funeral in Versailles and I stayed home with the kids. VBS was ending and the final program was midday. Olivia’s final two softball games of the season were on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, and William had a makeup merit badge session with his counselor on Saturday afternoon. All the while, I had to finish packing for summer camp and run a few errands for odds and ends both of us would need ‘up north.’

I hope that is clearer….revising is a good trait to include in your writitng repertoire…..

Continue reading Days 28 and 29: Errands, packing, and shooting myself in the foot

Day 27: Coyote Moon: The Legend of Ivy


Ivy poses for the camera, her 'heart' is visible

The kids were in VBS for the remainder of the week and William at scout camp next week; I was somewhat in limbo. I had errands and other activities, but nothing compared with last week’s adventures or what next week and beyond brings. I think sailors would have called today the doldrums or a place where the wind does not blow. The doldrums are close to the equator where Earth’s spin does not provide enough of a force for constant winds to blow, hence the name – the doldrums. Continue reading Day 27: Coyote Moon: The Legend of Ivy

Day 26: The Storm

Weather has been a topic this week in my writing. I have always been interested in weather going back to fourth grade I remember reading the book about hurricanes many times. Living in the Chicagoland area provides many opportunities to learn and experience weather. We have a humid continental climate with four seasons, short, hot, humid summers and long, cold, snowy winters. As a geography teacher, I want my kids to remember the type of climate we have and that it is similar to the climate experienced in north central Europe and stretches across north central Asia. Chicago and other American cities such as Detroit, Buffalo, Minneapolis, and Boston have such a climate. Worldwide such cities as Moscow, Helsinki, and Beijing experience the same climate as Chicago. The Midwest is affected by a weather phenomenon, we know as severe thunderstorms, which are influenced by the Gulf Coast moisture and cool dry air from Canada that only occurs in North America. It is also one of the few places in the world that experience tornadoes. In an effort to help students remember basic weather information and be able to compare and contrast weather to other places around the globe I use a 40-40 rule. The 40-40 rule explains the amount of annual precipitation and snowfall that Chicago receives. The actual average is 36.27” of precipitation (includes snow) and 38.0” of snowfall annually. Pretty close and it is easy to remember. Continue reading Day 26: The Storm

Day 25: Patience

Patience is a virtue. Sometimes, I just need to be patient. The past couple of days have been days when I need to exercise patience with myself, my family, our puppy, but especially myself. Twenty-five days of summer vacation with fifty-seven remaining, they require patience.

There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation,
‘Till school comes along just to end it,
So the annual problem for our generation,
Is finding a good way to spend it
Like maybe…
Bowling for Soup “Today is Gonna be a Great Day

The opening of the song says it all…really there are varying days in my family. For me, I will go back to school on Thursday, August 19 that gives me fifty-seven more days. My kids on the other hand start school on Tuesday, August 24, and so do my students, which gives them sixty-two more days of summer vacation so we have a problem how best to spend it….. Continue reading Day 25: Patience

Day 24: Monday, Monday

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin’ all of the time

In the 1960s, the group The Mamas and Papas recorded a song that really fits today: Monday, Monday. The days are counting and melting away like a Popsicle on a hot summer day. The flavor does not matter, the days are just moving quickly. 58 days remain. Continue reading Day 24: Monday, Monday

Day 23: Father’s Day

William, Olivia, Ivy, and I with Beth’s hydrangeas in the background

Father’s day is a difficult day for me. Sometimes I just do not feel like much of a father or rather that I do not provide good example for William or Olivia. Somedays I think I do a good job as a father and then there are the days when I am utter failure as a dad. Or, that it is that easier to be critical rather than coach. Perhaps it is because dad’s passing last year makes it more difficult to think about the role of being a dad. But, ultimately, I think it is because I want to do a better job as a dad and I just do not know how to do it. Continue reading Day 23: Father’s Day

Day 22: Return to normal, or whatever that is…

I wrapped up the day with a trip into the backyard while Ivy took care of her business and looked upward into the heavens. It was a beautiful starlit night and I could see the Big Dipper plain as day. I never would have been out here at 10:30 at night if it were not for Ivy. It was an incredible sight and reminded me of how small we are relative to the larger parts of our world. I try to do the right thing but sometimes I simply get in the way. It is difficult being human. Tomorrow is Father’s day. We will go to church and celebrate somehow; it will be a family day. Continue reading Day 22: Return to normal, or whatever that is…