i've been doing a lot of thinking about SCICON since the pizza man song incident...and watching the video...so now i'm thinking about what about SCICON i want my children to experience...
lets start from the beginning of a typical 6th grader's experience of SCICON...mondays...
lets see...arrive via bus at SCICON and an intern takes your class on an orientation walk around the grounds...showing you the villages you'll be staying in (and not), and the lodge and just walking you around to show you the immediate facilities (no trails yet)...this is all a nice opening to the week at SCICON...sounds good so far...i envision this to be groups of families instead of classes of kids (since we're homeschoolers).
lunchtime...the lodge is now about double the size it was when i worked there...so probably kids are less crammed into the space...eating at tables with new friends and old...eating as much as they can eat of the great food the kitchen staff cooks for them. (YUM!) yup, that would be great for my kiddos as well...i envision homeschool families sitting at tables with other homeschool families and getting to know one another. won't need the high school counselors since parents will be along to supervise. probably still a good idea to follow most of the rules of the lodge, though...the walking one way and waiting for announcements and such. or maybe not. maybe with families we'd be more casual.
trail time...12 kids per trail guide with a high school counselor or 2...out in nature, walking the trails, learning science concepts hands-on in a beautiful natural setting...LOVE IT!! i envision whole families going on trails...but in some instances perhaps those with little ones that would just be disruptive on trails could have an age appropriate activity somewhere else on the grounds that they could be taken by one parent to and their older sibs could go on the trails with the other parent, or maybe they go with a friend that has a parent to supervise them so both parents can do something else...up to the families to determine as long as there are enough grown ups on any given trail that are consciously helping the trail guide as needed. :)
afternoon teacher time...each teacher did different things with their kids...trails or activities or just free play...i think this would be a great family free time to do the same.
dinner time...same as lunch...group meals...YUM
evening campfire...trailguides lead the whole group in lots of fun songs and skits...REALLY FUN!! this would be great for our groups of families!!! especially the audience participation!
then to bed...in cabins...where families would share cabins (normally its kids with a high school counselor or 2)
tues, wed, thurs --starts with bfast, same as other meals...then morning trail, teacher time, lunch, cabin time, afternoon trail, teacher time, dinner, cabin time and evening activities...the only difference each day is the evening activity and there are some afternoon activities on certain days i can't remember which days is which but there is "new games" time with cooperative team building games by cabin, and a scavenger hunt, and the intern volleyball game (which could be parent volleyball game)...
tuesday nite: nite hikes (SOOOO cool to have special trails that are specific to darkness and nite!)
wed nite: folk dancing (oh my i LOVED these! the electric slide and amos moses and the hokey pokey and the chicken dance and SOOO much fun and lots of laughing!)
thurs nite: challenge nite (cabins are given a challenge and props to solve the challenges and work on it all week and this is the week they showcase what they came up with, complete with all the creativity they can come up with...this could be done similarly with families or maybe turn it into a skit nite/talent show.)
fridays...half day...breakfast and then closing trail to round out the week and a goodbye activity (i always did a group puzzle which they created and a story) and lunch and goodbyes with autographs at the lodge deck and off to the buses. with families we can modify this somewhat but still do a closing trail and goodbye activities to tie everything together.
anyway, i worked at SCICON for a whole school year. so i had a LOT of experience with all this and really want to share the joy and fun and education of SCICON with my family and with other families. if i wait and send maeven as a 6th grader (and that will only happen if i sign her up with a homeschool charter that year that goes to SCICON just specifically so she can go), then i'm going to miss all this!!!
there's sure to be an argument that part of the SCICON experience is the experience of being away from home. well sure. but the thing with most of the kids that are at SCICON is that their lives revolve around peers. that is how public and private school works. one of the reasons many of us homeschool is because we want the family to continue to be the focus of our children's lives. so of course, i want to share this experience with my children. not just send them to it. and its extra special to me because i already know what that experience will be like and i don't want to miss it!! :) i have no problem sending her on trails and to activities without me and my hubby...i just want to be at SCICON that week too so i can have fun too!!!
so now my job is to go and figure out how to make that happen! first i need to have liability insurance so i can book out SCICON for our group. that's coming soon, i hope! i have someone that is getting back to me on it very soon!