Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Archaelogical Summer Day Camp.

It is the second summer that the kids are participating in a summer day camp program. It is a very special kind of summer camp where parents have to pay for the kids to dig in the dirt!!!

The Archaeological Prospective Summer program was created by a wonderful man, whose passion and living is digging in the dirt! His nick name is "Big Dog", as he is over 6 feet tall, and he is a Professor of Archaeology from Albany State University.

This year the kids were studying Classical Greece, 7th-5th centuries BC, in the region of Attica, as only archaeologists could study, by making their hands dirty. A true "hands on approach" to education!

The program was designed to excite and teach the children about the amazing culture of Classical Greece, explore this forgotten world from the archeological prospective, and to learn the connections between how and what we know about the people and their world from so long ago.

In the morning Big Dog would talk to the kids, give them a lot of wonderful information, show the places he was mentioning on the map, and finish the "talking part" of the camp with a slide show from real digging sites.

Then would come the more exciting part of the camp, the digging. The kids were such wonderful listeners and participants! By the end of the second day they knew exactly what was expected of them and what was the whole digging ritual. The site was divided into squares and the kids were paired up. Each team was responsible for their own squire and for the keeping the track of all discoveries. They were supposed to keep a map and try to record the position of the artifacts in the dirt before taking them out of the "ground context".

Then they would have lunch and a break for free play. Since the camp was held at one of the participating family's house, the backyard was very kids friendly. They had a blast jumping on a trampoline, having lunch together in a tree house, swinging on a rope swing that was all the way up on a tree brunch, playing with two dogs, feeding the chickens, playing with the parrot or a cat, catching the tadpoles and watching the pond life, playing board games and simply enjoying each others company.

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