Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Boston trip

Like last summer, I led a trip to Boston for some of the Chop Point campers. Unlike last summer, this year's trip was so popular that we had to split the kids into 2 groups so that we had 10 people for day 1 and night 1, 21 people all together for day 2, and then 11 people for night 2 and day 3. It was a logistical nightmare, but in the end, it all worked out and we had a great time.

That first group was hilarious. They were always doing something that made me laugh, whether it was playing in a fountain or posing with statues, feeding the birds or getting a spontaneous nosebleed, racing the tredmill runners at a Fitness Center or biting peoples' elbows.

The greatest source of hilarity came from Raelyn, my highly allergic camper, and Savannah, a first year camper who had seemed very shy. We were sitting on the T shortly after arriving in Boston when I realized that the girls were speaking with British accents. I asked about it and their answer (in a British accent) was, "Don't you remember, Mummy? You and Daddy (indicating my 18 year old co-leader Benjamin) adopted us through the foster care system in England. Just like you adopted all the other children: Christoph and Georgi from Austria, Arthur and Ludovic from Belgium, Pierre Etienne from France. Cole is your only biological son."

And just like that, we became Team Foster Care. The kids called me and Benjamin "Mummy and Daddy" the whole time and we would do roll call by nation, "Team Austria, are you here? Where's Team Belgium? OK, we've got half of Team England; someone go find the other half!" It was ridiculous and very entertaining.

Back at my parents' condo for the night, the boys settled in to watch a very manly movie. I believe they chose...cough...Enchanted. Meanwhile, Savannah and I dreaded Raelyn's hair! Cole watched, took photos, and modeled hats.

In the morning, I got to take Team Foster Care to my favorite pancake restaurant, Sorella's. It took them a long time to prepare our 10 meals, but my foster children stayed busy.

We did, of course, experience Boston too. We visited Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market, walked through the Boston Common and the Frog Pond, rode the swan boats, and shopped on Newbury Street. We sampled canolis, played in fountains at Copley Square and the harbor, and ate a very fancy Italian dinner at a restaurant in the North End.

With the large group of 21, we went to the Museum of Science. Our favorite part was definitely the musical stairs! If you haven't been there, check it out next time you come to Boston.

We also took the kids to Fenway Park for a tour of the oldest baseball stadium in America. I think my co-leader and I enjoyed it even more than the kids!

I love leading trips because I have the opportunity to spend time with a smaller group of campers in a context very different from camp. Even when we get back to camp, the memories and the inside jokes keep the unity alive. Case in point: all of the members of Team Foster Care still call me Mummy.

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