Monday, July 19, 2010

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Snail Trails Summer Day Camp


That is the official name of the summer camp program that yours truly is the outdoor coordinator and basically summer camp teacher at. GRAMMAR! Forall it's ridiculously long name, and imposing sounding-ness, it is a really laid back summer program forboth kids with extra support needs and typically developing kids. It runs for 2 1/2 hours Monday to Friday, and I get to mostly organize the fun stuff to do outside and then also get to go inside and hang out with the kindergarten-aged kids until they go home. It's basically a blast everyday.

We've been dealing with a heatwave here in Toronto for the last while - the last two weeks were blisteringly hot (like living in an oven), but it's tapered off a little bit and is a lot more liveable this week so far. The entire city basically was suffering from heat exhaustion within moments of stepping outside of any air conditioned enclave they may be lucky/environmentally insensitive enough to partake in. We had some parents wondering if we were actually SERIOUSLY going to be taking the kids outside during the hot hot heat - and I said yes of course we are, but we'll be playing with water and wet most of the time, and wearing hats too, so we'll be ok. And we were.

My territory at Snail's summer camp is the playground, and I am happy. We have a kickass sandbox, a hill with a pretty intense incline, some green space, a garden and a big ugly metal and plastic playstructure, but we make up for the last with our enthusiasm and funtimes.

Today was BubbleMania day - we have one each week - and I just realized that I should have taken some pictures of our awesome bubbles - we had bubble makers of all shapes and sized all over the place, and made some pretty wonderful bubbles. My goal is to make a bubble big enough to have a kid inside it --- by the end of the summer. YES! Photos of that for sure!

The camp is run out of one of the Bloorview Nursery School Preschool sites called Play and Learn, which I think I mentioned before. The preschools run on a Reggio Emilia inspired emergent, creativity based curriculum, and I feel really lucky to be able to continue playing with these ideas - follow the kids interests and build your curriculum on what they want to do - progressive education, right?! AWESOMENESS. I'm lucky enough to be working with some of the educators from the schools, as well as other talented folks, who are fluent in these ideas and ready to just go for things. My co-teacher Allison in particular and I seem to be cut from the same cloth - we're jazzed about creative construction projects, like getting wet and dirty and painty with the kids, and I'm learning so so much about listening and clear communication with her. No joke - it's super fun. And the kids are the darndest!

For instance, one of our lively fellows has been working on making a waterfall as a part of our water wall - thank you Jenny, Tom and Donna - out of cut open cardboard sono-tube. We've been pouring and scooping and getting wet, working together to get the water up to the top of the waterfall with other friends, and today we figured out a gravity feed method to make the waterfall run. We just keep everyone wet and no-one gets heatstroke.

All in all - it's pretty wonderful.

More soon, and photos.

Nerd, out.


  1. Sounds like you are having a whole lot of fun Noah! And thanks for the shout out about the water wall. Do you have any pictures?

  2. Sounds like the RBKRHSTSDC is a blast! =P

    Can't wait to see the waterfall pics.

  3. I'm really looking forward to seeing those bubble photos Noah! We made bubbles today but not the giant sized one you're talking about. I think we'll have to wait for our summer to do that. Perhaps you could include some of your bubble mixture in your waterfall. Our children really enjoy pouring saopy water through our water wall.
    Continue to have fun Noah,
    Cheers Donna :) :)