Sunday, September 6, 2015

Domestic Camp, I made it up and now I'm camp crazy! Plus a movie soundtrack for September's theme song!

I had a fit one day after my youngest made the biggest crumb mess possible. Really, it was like some snack bomb went off. My problem wasn't the mess, not really, it was my brain jumping to a thousand scenarios in my future where this was my world, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and it was my brain throwing in the upcoming school year with work, trying to write, homework with reluctant learners, exhaustion. So it was a real fit you see. Then quiet little words sifted through the chaos, "Mom, I can help you. I'm a good helper." It all stopped. The whirlwind thoughts, the pounding of blood in my head, the vacuum cleaner. I looked at John totally coated in crumbs. "Let me help."

After some time cleaning together, I shouted across the room, "Next week we're having Domestic Camp!" John heard camp and cheered. We worked through what he should learn to do around the house and what fun snacks he should have (Gatorade, Doritos, and cookies). 

Since this was supposed to be a genuine camp we needed to do crafts. I jumped on Pinterest (not a hardship since I'm addicted) and checked out the board I created in case I ever fell into fantasy land and became a crafty person. I sent out an SOS to Bookworm Brandee for ideas on the camp and she mentioned creating badges and licenses. Ha! So I made "Super Clean" Superman style badges I attached to lanyards. After they learned a certain task I made them licenses, like a license to vacuum the floorboards or mop the floor or carry the laundry upstairs. Oh and every morning John got to have fried bologna for breakfast. 

I did not include my 13 year old in the planning process because he's currently working very hard at being 13. That means he's moody, hostile, and perfecting the fine art of calling everything lame. He did not appreciate his badge as much or enjoy leaning how to fold and put away his laundry (day 1), but he loved the rewards. He liked vacuuming and mopping and cleaning the windows in my car. Yes, I did take advantage of camp to get my car cleaned. But we did get to go to the car wash and we all enjoyed that. He also took it as a personal affront to do any type of crafts. 

Even with the 13 year old telling me I was crazy every time I gave him a directive, the camp was a huge success in all the ways I hoped, but also in ways I never imagined. I'm a get it done kind of girl, always have been. Meaning I don't share tasks well...meaning I didn't even know how, but Domestic Camp opened my eyes to a whole new world. I liked doing chores with another person. Pretty neato, you know.

I got a little camp crazy once I realized I could create my own kind of camp. We moved onto "catch up camp with a bit of adventure." My 6 year old named it. We brushed up on math and vocabulary and paired that with an adventure we wanted to do this summer but never got the chance. Tomorrow we're having "Cyber Monday Camp" where we'll work on computer skills and play computer games together.

So if you have a to-do list to do with the kids, if you keep saying to yourself, "I need to teach them that," create a camp. And then another one. They're like tattoos. I'm telling you.

Now for some music! I just watched the movie Song One. So dang good! The music is the movie and the characters are just a way to give us the songs. I loved it!