Yay! And now you know why I have been lying low on blogging – the writing, and a few other things too that eat time like crazy.
The Weekend: Camping with the Scouts and Cubs.
Inclement weather! (I didn’t take photos, am still waiting for everyone else’s shots, will have to push a few buttons!)
If the idea of sharing a flat, bare field without electric points and with only one set of ablution blocks with 400 families doesn’t appeal, well, that’s just your tastes differing. “Roughing it” was the name of the game for the Scouts, and for most other Cub groups.
Lucky 13th St Patrick’s! We camped up at the top of the hill, under trees, on long, soft grass, with the ablutions right there, in a small, tight-knit group. There was electricity, hot water, light, shade – everything one could wish for, and there were only 4 families up there. Quite luxurious.
We only arrived on the Saturday morning, deciding to skip on the Friday night camp-over because in the afternoon it was raining cats and dogs. (I was imagining the big, flat field without facilities in the rain and mud.) Saturday there was some sunshine through the morning; so the Cub activities went ahead unhindered, and I was leading a group of nine, mixed from the various packs of the district, taking them through the stations where they learnt things like writing messages in Morse code, directing each other (blindfolded) to disarm a “bomb” made of baking powder and vinegar, and what Kim ate when he was in the care of that kind Indian woman. It was immense fun.
Right around lunch I took the bunch of eager kiddies halfway down the hill to the tuckshop. They all got fizzers for being great sports (luckily nobody was allergic to sugar and additives – these days there are enough kids with “nutritional disabilities” around to drive a sane person nuts).
On the way back up, one of my fav little Cubs and I stopped and listened. A light drizzle was starting up. But we could hear something else. It sounded like the sea coming in, from above. So we started running. It didn’t help. We got soaked, soaked, soaked! I couldn’t even see – took off my glasses because I don’t have window wipers on them.
A few minutes later my own son came up the hill in the rain from the Scouts field, a phantom out of the walls of water, drenched to the bone.
The funny thing is that the kids really enjoyed the rain. Everyone who could get hold of an umbrella was skipping in and out of the rain, over the mud puddles.
The downpour stopped right in time for the second half of the program. By the time 15h30 rolled around we were finished early. I checked on my tent in trepidation, because one of its poles is wonky and was standing skew. To my surprise, not a drop in the tent!
It rained heavily in the night as well; the tent held up through that, too. I was seriously impressed. The Sunday there was a service and then, time to go home. (Those Scouts and Cubs look marvellous, all in uniform!)
This morning: Violin Club
I chased 5 kids with violins around the music room at WHC. Well, not literally. We had a lot of fun. I taught them to listen to the silences between the notes. At the end we had a nicely cohesive group playing the rhythms completely in synch with each other.
It doesn’t compare in any way to the Violin Club I had there in earlier years. That was more a practise group, where everyone got a chance to perform, Ceilidh-style, and very little ensemble work was done despite my best efforts. I was softer & sweeter back then. I’m pretty much a martial arts dragon with this group. It seems to be working well. The trouble with that group is (of course, as with any group lesson) that about half the class is running ahead and half is dragging behind. The smallest and youngest, who would desperately need 1:1 lessons, only comes to group. So he is not learning what he should (and then he still forgets to practise!). I spent some time focusing on him, just to get him to do the basics correctly. I sent the others to stand outside the door and play their “Strawberries and Ice Cream” theme to the kids milling around out there, and 🙂 allow them to earn applause.
Why is it so important that they all play together in time? Well, violin is an orchestral instrument. Any kind of ensemble work needs to be precise. They might not feel that they learnt anything new today but I know they did! Next week, I’ll take them one-by-one through the fingering of the tune. (It’s only “Twinkle Little Star”, kids!)
And on the topic of Twinkle Stars:
The Shooting Star – second draft is completed!
The Shooting Star is the series following the Solar Wind series. (One can jump in reading the Shooting Star, but for the sake of a more complete picture it’s more fun to read the Solar Winds first.) I’ll post a sample tomorrow or the day after – right now I’ve got to run! 🙂