Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Summer at last. Grades 3-4.

Summer has arrived in central Alaska. Our morning temps have been in the lower 50s and the highs in mid 80s with little or no breeze. Sunday, July 5, fires burning east and southwest of Fairbanks caused heavy smoky haze.

These new campers, 3rd and 4th graders are checking out each other and some of the cool games on their first afternoon

I helped the girls with crafts projects. In addition to making things for themselves, the campers are creating gift items to go in shoesboxes for the Christmas Child Project, part of Samaritan's Purse, an organization that sends Christmas boxes to children in poverty around the world.
Can't have all play and no work. Campers take turns cleaning the dining hall after meals.

Dale has a new toy for a few days. With this excavator, he dug a huge hole in which to bury tree stumps pulled out and limbs removed for an area to be develped into an archery range.

Although we spend 10-12 hours a day in the kitchen (with a few breaks), and feed the kids until they are stuffed, they still find room to visit the snack shack.

Check out some of our musicians.

The little fellow in the center is holding a yellow water ballon and aiming at the counselor in the cage.

Good Hit! Even with the warm sun the water is cold!

Mark presents a lesson at the campfire about the diamond willow.
There are more than 30 varieties of willow in Alaska. Most will develop scaring caused by a fungus that attacks the dead branches. The tree continues to grow around the scar creating beautiful red diamonds in the wood.
These diamonds cannot be seen until the bark is removed.
Mark relates the beauty created around the scars to the problems, sadness and hurts in the kids' lives that God can and will turn into something beautiful, if the person will let God lead them.

I am carving the bark from a diamond willow to reveal the diamonds. It takes a lot of work and patience to remove the rough covering bark and see the beauty.

Patience and faith are needed to get past our problems if we let God clean us up.

I'm teaching the girls the Boy Scout concept of a "blood circle". The girls have been carving diamond willow sticks and need to be reminded that knives must not be used if a person is within cutting distance. Thus each carver must make sure that no one is within her "blood circle".
On the Forth of July, we attended a celebration at the Sullivan Roadhouse Museum and farmer's market. The color guard is presented by soldiers from Fort Greely.

Book sales were good and we sold several birch bark baskets for scholorships. There were many visitors from Alaskan bus tours that stopped in. Several RVers from the Lower 48 stopped to compare travel adventures.

Sunday afternoon, after church and a nap, I helped Lynne lay out her collection of souvioneer T-shirts to cut and make into a quilt.

For once we didn't have to make the Fairbanks run for groceries.


Debbie Gail Smith said...

Hi Carol,
We miss you here in Texas, but it looks like you are having a lot of fun.

LKHarris-Kolp said...

What a sweet age. Pure joy!