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Monday, July 21, 2014

German Kindergarten Adventures | Forest Week

Well hey there BLOG! Long time no post!! 

Don't worry, I should have a routine worked out soon that allows some more frequent posts and plenty of time for studying. Right now I'm just too excited about studying for much else... plus I had two photo shoots this month! So all the sudden I realize it's been almost two weeks since Forest Week and if I don't get these pictures up now I won't get them out before we leave on our anniversary trip! 

What is Forest Week, you ask? Oh you know, just a field trip on steroids. When I first heard about it, I mistakenly thought it was a one-day thing. "Oh cool, they're taking the bigger kids out in the woods for a day, how sweet!" 

And then I talked to the teacher after translating the info page and realized it was FOUR DAYS! And they meant business because they literally took a gob of preschool children out in the woods for five hours every day. Brave, brave, souls. 

So. This is Lily after day two...

Before you judge me, I have many defenses to give for her drenched state!

First, it was pouring rain that morning. And I was kicking myself for not buying her a rain jacket sooner. I mean, it rains a lot here but we usually make do with umbrellas and jackets... and even though I didn't think an umbrella was very practical for traipsing through the woods, I had no choice. But I said to Jesse "Maybe they'll cancel it?" to which he just laughed. Of course the Germans aren't going to cancel Forest Week. 

Oh and she WAS wearing a heavy jacket when I dropped her off.

Second, it was SPECIFICALLY stated in the information paper that the didn't want the kids in rain boots. They wanted sturdy shoes. And what preschooler owns hiking boots? So I just crossed my fingers that sneakers would suffice! But I knew. I just knew it was going to be bad. 

You can't send a 4yo out into the woods on the rainy day without expecting her to return a sopping wet mess. 

I was giving our friend Abby a ride to the forest from the kindergarten each morning... so after I dropped Sammy off, I packed Lily and Abby back into the car. And when I first saw Abby's RAIN PANTS I was like WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE??? But she's five years old so she couldn't really help me out. Plus it would have been too late anyways.

Lily just had to be that embarrassing American kid who's mom doesn't truly understand the German phrase "no bad weather, only bad clothing"

So the teacher's set me straight and told me what store nearby sold them... and they were less than ten euros! The teacher's also explained that the "no wellington" rule was only for dry days... on rainy days, rain boots are completely acceptable! The next day Lily was dressed like all the other German kiddos. And was also dry! 

"That's better MOM!"

So what were her favorites about Forest Week? 

- Doing something without Sam. I'm sure it's nice to actually experience the benefit of being older sometimes. 

- Going potty in the woods. Seriously, that was the only thing she wanted to talk about the first night. Delicious. 

- Learning that ticks don't hurt when they bite you... but it does hurt a little when Momma pulls them out (x3!)

- Saying hi to the cows along the paths. 

- And jumping in puddles. DUH.

I'm sure there were LOTS of other fun things (like eating breakfast and lunch in the woods and getting to choose which path to take and learning fun stuff from her adventurous teachers) but in classic Lily fashion, she only talks when she wants to. No amount of pressing for information is going to force that girl to tell me anything! So I just let her have those memories all to herself.

I did follow the group for about half an hour on the last morning. The photographer in me just couldn't resist a few pictures!

I am super proud of how Lily handled the whole week. She's not really my outdoor-cat... she definitely doesn't like getting dirty. But I never once heard her complain about it. Not even after the rainy day without rain pants!

She's basically ready for Camp Cherith now!!!


  1. so many really nice shots, though as you may suspect, some are really nicer than others :o! the teachers are really invested in the full experience...I like the 'no bad weather only bad clothes' perspective and have thought of it more than once in the past week.
    I like also that each child was responsible for their own backpack...nicely done teachers, nicely done.

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo miss you all bunches

    1. Agreed! It was really great for Lily to have to be responsible and messy all day without Mommy to cave and help her carry her backpack or wipe her dirty hands! Seemed to toughen her up a little, and she didn't even realize it cause she was having so much fun!

  2. love this. we could all use more outside and dirt.

    1. Seriously! Dirt builds character. More character than sitting on my tush in front of the computer! ;o)