Last week the 4th grade went on their yearly outdoor ed trip. We always go to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for two and a half days of learning about the environment, having fun, and growing in sometimes surprising ways. The Environmental Learning Center is wonderful - great staff, wonderful food, lovely, clean cabins, and a great program. We spend nearly the whole time there outdoors, learning about the different ecosystems (it's more than piles of sand!), how the land was used over time, and the environmental problems facing the area today.
Like many camps, meals are served family style in the dining hall. Kids take turns being "hoppers" (serving food) and weather reporters. The Learning Center staff makes weather reporting fun by letting the kids do a little skits, with costumes! It's usually pretty funny. At our last dinner in the lodge, the weather reporters gave their weather update on temperature, wind speed, barometric readings, cloud cover and type, and then the naturalist yelled, "Time to conga!" Music came on and everybody joined in the conga line, snaking around the tables! Kids and adults were dancing and laughing. It lasted only a couple of minutes, then everyone, still smiling and laughing, went back to their tables to finish cleaning up.
A great way to end dinnertime and a perfect moment of uncomplicated happiness.