Monday, July 18, 2011

It’s a Jungle Out There!

Today a parent whose child was in my Nature Camp last week told me this morning that her daughter’s friend, also in my camp, had informed his parents he’d gone on the school bus to a jungle with my class.  Of course, the mother was a bit disconcerted to hear this, since nothing had ever been mentioned about an off-campus field trip anywhere, certainly not to a jungle. 
I laughed and said he had quite an imagination.  I assured her we didn’t go on a spur-of-the-moment, no-permission-slips-needed trip to the jungle.  We did, however, talk about different animals who live in the jungle, because some of the children’s foam visors to color with markers had a jungle theme. 
We explored nature around campus and in the classroom, but we didn’t exactly go on safari.  What’s even funnier is that, though I checked out a number of books from our school library, I didn’t end up reading a single one of Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus books I got during last week’s camp. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I love Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus series, where the class always goes on exotic field trips, and they get there by their transformer-like school bus which can morph into all sorts of cool things.  Ms. Frizzle, the teacher in the book, always has really strange outfits and seems oblivious to the fact that the excursions she takes her students on are a bit out of the ordinary. 
The series of books is great as a fun educational tool.  I could understand a child perhaps getting a bit confused if we read one of The Magic School Bus books and pretended to go to the jungle, but that’s quite a jump from a foam visor with a monkey, an elephant, a snake and some plants on it.  (Maybe he’ll join me for creative writing club in a few years.) 
Perhaps I should send home a disclaimer on the letters to parents about what we did at camp during the week.  Maybe I need to emphasize that we didn’t go on any exotic, unannounced field trips: not to visit the jungle, nor the Eiffel Tour, nor the zoo. 
My camp this week is called Trip to France, though no parents have brought in their child’s passport and suitcase, so I think we’re good.    

Disclaimer: Your child will, at no time while under our supervision, be leaving the school campus, the state of Virginia, or the United States of America without your expressed written permission, required stuffed animals, and a current passport.     
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