Thursday, June 19, 2008

Turtle Week at Camp Amy

Part I: Franklin Goes to Camp

About week after the great Camp Sarah debacle of 08, I got a call from my neighbor. She had found a turtle sitting in the middle of the road while she was out for her morning run, and wondered if I wanted it for the girls. A filthy suicidal street turtle that was probably ridden with salmonella? Hell yeah, I wanted it! I had a vision: Turtle Week at Camp Amy.

Once the turtle was passed over the fence, all plans for the morning were scrapped. By 11:00 we were still in our pajamas oooing and ahhhing over the turtle. I put the turtle in a clear rubbermaid container, and Ella named him Franklin. Now that he was named and contained, the next order of business was figuring out what kind of a turtle it was. An internet search of turtles of North Carolina revealed it was likely a box turtle. We installed a pie tin pool for Franklin and gave him the apple chunks that Addison had chewed up and spit out all over her chair. What a lucky turtle.

The next order of business was to invite other campers to Turtle Week at Camp Amy. The things we would learn! The turtle experiences we would share! Surely this would be a week the kids would remember for the rest of their lives. Surely this wouldn't turn out anything like Bird Week at Camp Sarah.

Turtle Tuesday dawned at Camp Amy, and about a half an hour before the other campers arrived I realized I had forgotten to pick up some books or other educational materials about turtles. In fact, I had nothing turte-esque to offer other than the turtle himself. I thought about printing out some turtle coloring pages or something, but then remembered my printer was out of ink. Oh well, it would just have to be a hands-on introduction to the turtle kind of day. The hard core learning would start tomorrow. The other kids came over around ten, and boy was I excited! This was going to be great! Ella proudly showed them the turtle, they all looked at it for about ten seconds, deemed it to be stinky (They had a point--Franklin had peed in on the floor of his home and was quite stinky.), and scattered throughout the house, pulling out books and toys and doing all sorts of un-turtle related activities.

There was renewed interest in the turtle after lunch when I took him outside and let him crawl around on the porch. As it turns out, Franklin was fast. It's amazing what the desire to get away from eight little hands will make a turtle do. Upon release, Franklin immediately darted across the porch looking for a place to hide, which made him all the more appealing to touch. We would let him run toward the corner, then fetch him up and put him back in the middle so he could do it again and again. It never got old, especially for the wee-ones. And there was finally lots of turtle interaction, although most of it was both uneducational and unsanctioned. Addison found chalk while I wasn't looking and drew all over the turtle's shell. Ella blew bubbles for (on) the turtle. Sophie turned it over. Chloe almost poked it in the eye. Siena just pointed and clapped. Five gallons of hand sanitizer and tons of turtle touches later, it was time for naps. We bid our friends farewell and headed inside. Franklin was hiding behind a bottle of tiki torch oil in one of the corners of the porch, so I decided to let him enjoy the outdoors while I got the kids ready for their naps...

Stay tuned to Just Barely for the thrilling conclusion to Turtle Week at Camp Amy! If you're not already a subscriber and would like to be notified when Part II is posted, sign up in the upper right hand corner of the page!

Turtle Week at Camp Amy Continues! Read Part II: Franklin Leaves Camp now at Just-Barely!

1 comment:

  1. I'm chuckling at your anecdote. Kids and turtles are such a funny mix. I will look forward to the next installment.