So very many reasons to celebrate this week ~
First off, it’s Teacher Appreciation week! I’ve met many amazing educators the last few years. I’m blessed to work in RSU16, a district in which the staff is not only knowledgeable, but welcoming and inspiring, too. They’re cheerleaders in and out of the brick and mortar buildings we work in. As a teacher, and a parent, I’ve seen first-hand how they go above and beyond to make sure students get the education, time and attention they need.
I’ve also been privileged to meet incredible teachers and librarians outside my district while promoting and teaching Cooper and Packrat. They have so many creative ideas when it comes to teaching literacy, and I’ve learned so much through my visits to their schools and literacy events, from their tweets and Facebook posts. Thank you all!
This also happens to be Children’s Book Week; the annual celebration of children’s books and reading. I was a little surprised to see Children’s Book Week was instituted in 1919, and is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. That’s 96 years, people! 96 years!! BRAVO!
And, last but not least, my campground opened this week, too!
We had a happy, energetic group of campers who raked our sites and roads in exchange for donuts and camping! We couldn’t have had better weather for it, either. We’re off to a great start to the 2015 Season!!
For these reasons and more, I’ve decided it’s time for another Cooper and Packrat giveaway for teachers and librarians, in appreciation for all they do.
I have two sets of Cooper and Packrat, Books 1 and 2, to give away. Teachers and librarians, all you have to do is leave your name, school and favorite summer memory from your childhood in the comments below by midnight, Friday, May 8th. If it’s a camping memory, your name will be entered twice! (Please don’t post on FB or Twitter, even though I’ll promote it there, as I’m afraid of missing someone’s entry)
And this Saturday, I’ll have my camp readers pull two names as winners.
When we were growing up we rarely went camping as a family. The times we did were incredibly special. My brother, sisters and I did camp out in our yard however. We’d drape a blanket over a line and crawl in, only to be soaked by the morning dew! We wanted to camp out in the hayloft and couldn’t imagine why our parents refused. (can you say “rat infested”?)
As my kids have been growing up, an annual summer camping trip has always been a highlight. Your Cooper and Packrat series bring back lots of those memories.
Keep writing Tamra! We love ’em!
Paula, I love the image of camping in the backyard! You reminded me of the times we did the same, the boys got the tent one night and the girls the next. 🙂
Melissa Tibbetts, Lake Region Middle School
Favorite childhood memory: going to Range Pond swimming with my grandmother.
Grandmother memories are the best!
One of my favorite childhood memories is definitely going camping with my family and our friends. Every summer we would go to Cathedral Pines and my mother had created these fictional ghost characters, such as three fingered willie. She would then go out of her way to leave traces of his presence, like a glove with only 3 fingers in the donut box, and of course there’d be donuts missing. My friend and I then took it upon ourselves to pass the legend on. I’m not sure my brother appreciated the many pranks we played in the honor of Willie, but we always got a good laugh.
Ooooo! What a cool thing for your mom to do! That would have kept me up nights for sure . . .
Windham Primary School
I have been camping my whole life, most of which has been at Poland Spring Family Campground, so I have many memories. My favorite part of camping has always been late night talks around the campfire. There never seems to be a bedtime or any time at all when you are camping. I love how the dark makes people open up and share very personal things. Family members gain insight and friends become closer. Camping is great for the soul and I believe all kids and adults should have the experience of turning the technology off and getting lost in the magic of a campfire.
Mandy, you made me teary with your connection to PSC! 🙂 I agree, campfires have this uncanny way of bonding people together. Thank you for sharing!
I have lots of great camping memories as we went camping every Summer when I was a kid! We’ve tented, rented a small pop-up camper, and rented a cottage. I’m not sure if I can think of one favorite memory, but I do remember the cottage we rented on Sebago Lake one Summer. It was a time when we didn’t look at clocks (or phones or computers or TVs!) and just enjoyed the outdoors and relaxing. I remember feeding the ducks that year. I even fed a squirrel which I don’t necessarily recommend! I also remember reading. It was probably a Judy Blume book at that time in my life. She was a favorite author of mine growing up! Camping was a time to be, enjoy nature, and just laze around…and read! And the campfires…oh, my favorite…mesmerizing!
Kim, what wonderful memories! I love the idea of not watching clocks, and just enjoying nature. I know from experience, it is a great de-stressor!
I have so many happy memories of camping with my family as a child. Some of the neatest memories I have are of the times we camped at Pleasant River Lake. My parents’ best friends also camped on the lake so we hung out with them most of the summer. I remember our large dog Poco that loved to swim with us in the lake. He loved to drag our floats back in when we would go out a bit too far! I know he was just trying to keep us safe. I also loved going out in the canoe, but I was always a little nervous when my dad would decide to go with us. Every time he would get into the canoe, at some point in the trip he would end up tipping the canoe over! But it was still a lot of fun, and made for some great memories, which I hope I’ll never forget.
Poco dragged your floats back in with you on them?? That is so cool! And what a fun, Dad-memory. Thanks for sharing, Linda!
Growing up my family went camping seasonal every year at Bear Mountain Campground. I have so many fond memories of bringing friends along as well as all the fun times I spent with other seasonal camper friends. It was because of the enjoyment my parents brought my siblings in I, that in 2004 my husband, son, daughter, and I started camping seasonal at Augusta West Campground. My son was 8 and my daughter was 5 when we started camping and we camped until 2013. They too have great memories of camp, and although their schedules got too busy to continue camping, they were sad when we decided to sell our camper. Hopefully they will hold these memories in their hearts forever.
I see this all the time Michelle, the rite of passage where a family is seasonal for a bunch of years (7 is average, actually), then they give it up when the kids are older, only to discover their kids then take their own family camping years later. Having run a campground for 23 years, I’m at the stage now where those “kids” are checking in with kids of their own! It’s so much fun to “catch up” with them. But it does make me feel old! 🙂
My favorite summer memory was when it seemed our whole neighborhood would go camping in upstate New York at Rollins Pond every year for a week. Five to six families would all get a campsite – all on the water. We would fish for bullhead, canoe, swim, play guitar and sing around the campfire. It was most fun to swamp the canoe and dive off it, spending hours swimming, laughing with friends, neighbors, and families.
That’s what it’s all about Jean! Hanging out and making memories. I especially love your memory of singing around the campfire.
Markisha Herring Union Elem. My favorite summer memory was going with all of my brothers and sisters to the lake.
Always a fun time!
I love your website and the beautiful pictures especially all the animals. I grew up in Massachusetts we lived right on the ocean and we went camping in our backyard. We built tents from blankets on the clothes line, they were more like forts. We would go for night time swims and walks around the neighborhood.We toasted marshmallows and made scores. we thought our parents did not know where we were, but they all kept track of us and watched us all night. Sometimes the dads came and told us spooky ghost stories and we cuddled together at night. I loved the smell of sleeping out all night, the dew in the morning, the salt in the air the freshness of the day.
Thank you Debbi! You paint such a vivid picture of your childhood on the ocean, and have me longing for the seashore.
My first camping experience was at Camp Merrybrook, a Girl Scout camp smack dab in the middle of nowhere far away from my suburban home. At ten years old, my best friend and I spent a week away from all the comforts of home and “roughed it” living in a tent in the woods with the other Girl Scouts and leaders. The best part–walking out to an open field at night to stargaze. I had never seen so many stars!
Stargazing is one of my young campers favorite activities. There’s a week in August they all look forward to, a large meteor shower I can’t name off the top of my head. Laying on blankets in our playing field, they counting the shooting stars, one by one.
I never had the opportunity to go camping with my family as a child. I do have a wonderful memory of my first camping experience though. I was in Boy Scouts. My entire troop went camping in the woods in Poland. I was so excited to be spending the night outside until I was told about the mysterious creatures that came out at night around the campsite. We were informed that the only way to keep them at bay was to shine our flashlights in their eyes. I remember dozens of flashlights shining into the darkness until late into the night. A group of us were even brave enough to venture out away from the campfire to search for these “trebbles.” I was sure that they were real because we would hear them scramble through the leaves. 🙂 I’m sure that our Scout leaders had a great time watching us. It sure kept us busy for hours. I now enjoy camping every summer with my own children and friends. I often share this story around the fire and notice how wide eyed the little campers are as the tale unfolds. Camping is a summer memory that I wish every child could have.
Scary stories around the campfire are as important to the tradition as roasting marshmallows, aren’t they? I love how campfire stories, songs and games are handed down from generation to generation. Thanks for sharing!