Saturday, December 1, 2018

Capital Lake Field Trip!

Since I'm not working I have been able to volunteer more at school. Still not as much as I'd like, but it's definitely been more than last year. I try to volunteer on Thursday afternoons after I volunteer at church. Thursday is a busy day for me! Owen came home from school in the beginning of October with a chaperone form for an upcoming field trip to Capital Lake in Olympia. Owen told me he wasn't going to go unless I was a chaperone. I love that my 6th grader actually wants me to go with him. 

I had to show up at the school by 8:50 since the buses were leaving at 9am. There are quite a few kids in Owen's class that know me and they love that I know their names. They even are okay if I call them by the wrong name. Haha! Poor Eric I called him Kane because he looks just like another kids that was in Jack's class last year. He was so sweet about it. 

The entire middle school grades were going. Which for our school isn't a's one class of 6th, one class of 7th and one class of 8th grade. Some of the kids were complaining about the fact that the drive was going to be an hour long! Owen and I were fine though...we chatted and then we both hunkered down in our seat and read our books. It didn't even seem like it had been a whole hour and we were getting off the freeway. I even heard some of the kids say...we're already here!!! 

The buses were parked a couple blocks away from the lake. I thought we were going to be staying there until at least 1 or 2pm, but due to a bus driver shortage we were only able to stay until 12:15. We got there around 10am so we only had 2 hours to look around. 

Capital Lake is a man made lake that's on the back side of the capital building. The reason the kids were there was to observe the lake, write your findings and make suggestions on how to improve it. 

The lake from afar looked nice, but it was really disgusting. There was all this algae and there was even a dead duck and fish just floating on the surface. There was a lot of litter as well. There was a whole section that smelled SO bad....ewwww! 

At first we all were in the same area and what I learned from being a chaperone at Ella's zoo field trip a couple years ago was to not be with everyone. It just gets crazy! Gradually we started walking and so did other groups of kids and chaperones so after a while we were on our own.

I had 4 kiddos from the 6th grade and 3 kids from the 7th grade. The 4 from 6th grade I have known for years, but the other 3 I didn't really know at all. 

It was interesting to hang out with them and see the change in the kids from being around the big group of kids and then being in the small group. There was one person in particular that really changed. At first this person wasn't really into it at all and then as more time past this person let their guard down.

The fall colors were beautiful! 

When we got there I wasn't really given very many instructions other than make sure the kids are back at the bus on time. The kids all had clipboards with a paper that had questions for them to answer. As far as I knew we were just supposed to walk around the lake. 

We made it all around the lake and we had about 30 minutes or so before it was time to go to the bus. That's when I asked to see one of the kids papers and towards the back was a map of the area around the capital with the names of different buildings and monuments. It was a scavenger hunt sort of game. I felt so bad that the kids missed out on this, but no one told me about it at all. The kids were all so sweet and said they were glad we didn't do that. They really liked taking our time walking around the lake. 

There was this hill with a bench on top of it that I sat on and the kids ran around. After a little while another parent chaperone came along and she didn't know about the scavenger hunt either. That made me not feel so bad. We were back on the bus by 12:15 and were on the road shortly after that and back at the school around 1:30pm. It was so fun being with the kids and that says a lot because hanging out with middle school kids wouldn't be something I would think was fun. 

When Owen came home that afternoon he had a card for me signed by almost all the kids. Eric is such a sweet kid....he even told Owen that he has such a cool mom!!! It just goes to show that if you've been a constant in your kid's life at school than the kids that are with them at school also get to know you and they don't think of you as some weird parent. Almost every time I volunteer I hear some kid tell one of my kids that they are so lucky because their mom comes to school. 

Owen has another field trip coming up next week. They are going to the UW to the Seismology Department. That sounds like so much fun! I'm hoping I get to go!