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New Boys & Girls Club - session 1, 2009

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jflis

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Well, it's that time of year again :) The school year starts and I get *really* busy!

I am teaching my regular schedule (Mon, Wed, Fri in Merrimack and Thursdays in Litchfield)

This first session (7 weeks for Merrimack and 5 weeks for Litchfield) include the following classes:
  • Fishing club - Teaching the kids how to fish (fresh water) then we go out to various fishing holes around town
  • Kid vrs Wild! - New class patterned after the "Man vrs Wild" TV show. Efectively they will each get challenges to solve. Challenges will be related to education, physical fitness, coordination and problem solving
  • Pumpkin carving - Teaching my carving technique. We begin with pratice pumpkins then move on to the final carving in time for Halloween. For those of you not familiar with my carvings, you can visit http://jflis.com/hobbies/pumpkins/pumpkins.htm and check out my photo albums
  • Magic - I teach slight of hand, close-up magic, card tricks, prop magic, etc
  • Beginning model rocketry (Litchfield) - 2 hours each week we will build two models then launch them on the 5th (last) week
  • Beginning rocketry (Merrimack)- We will build a beginner kit over 2 weeks, then fly it, then repeat.
  • Advanced rocketry (Merrimack) - Kids will build a more advanced rocket. Depending on who signs up, we may do a scratch build for the 2nd half. Sometimes I also select a very complex model that takes them the full 6 weeks to assemble then we fly on the last week.

In all of the rocketry classes we go over the basics of rocketry, stability, constructions, finishing tips, etc, depending on the age and skills of the student.

I am hoping to get a photo album started right at the very beginning and keep it up to date, but we'll see... LOL

If you're interested in some photo's and descriptions from previous years you can check out these personal web pages
 

PemTech's Squeeze

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That Kids vrs Wild class sounds really neat there. Wish we had you around here. I know lots of kids who would benefit from your classes.

Keep up the great work!
Trudy
PemTech's Art Dept who is also a mental health therapist for kids so is durn familiar with kids needs
 

jflis

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Trudy,

Yeah, that Kids Vrs Wild! class does sound cool. I've done several "Survivor" classes where we broke the class up into tribes and they worked as a team. This is basically the same type of class with a different name but I am going to pattern it more after man vrs wild rather than survivor.

For one, we won't have teams. Rather each kid will act independently, however we will have at least ONE challenge where they will function as a team.

I am still working out what each classes challenges will be. The first day will be rather simple (brain teasers, trivia, history and geography) and the last class will be some sort of treasure hunt as they are so much fun for the kids, but the classes in between I still have a lot of work to do... :)
 

Pippen

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I am still working out what each classes challenges will be. The first day will be rather simple (brain teasers, trivia, history and geography) and the last class will be some sort of treasure hunt as they are so much fun for the kids, but the classes in between I still have a lot of work to do... :)
Does your brain ever shut off for sleep, Jim?! ;) I'm back into teaching mode again this year in the form of homeschooling my 5th grader and it feels like there's some lesson wading around in there from the moment I wake up until the lids shut at night.
 

jflis

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Does your brain ever shut off for sleep, Jim?! ;) I'm back into teaching mode again this year in the form of homeschooling my 5th grader and it feels like there's some lesson wading around in there from the moment I wake up until the lids shut at night.
LOL I know the feeling, believe me! :)

Heck, I'm working on a source for pumpkins, locating good fishing spots and better bait shops, putting together survivor type challenges, learning new tricks to teach in magic and identifying which rockets (6) we will be using in the various rocketry classes...

Last night I had a dream that I was teaching the "Kids Vrs Wild!" kids how to escape from a bear attack by tossing them into a pen with a wild bear. Right away I thought (in my dream), "well, *this* isn't a very good idea" and woke in a cold sweat LOL

Gonna be an interesting year...
 

Pippen

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locating good fishing spots and better bait shops...and identifying which rockets (6) we will be using in the various rocketry classes...
It's a tough job but someone's got to do it. :cheers:

Last night I had a dream that I was teaching the "Kids Vrs Wild!" kids how to escape from a bear attack by tossing them into a pen with a wild bear. Right away I thought (in my dream), "well, *this* isn't a very good idea" and woke in a cold sweat LOL
You better make sure their parents have signed the waiver form before the first day of class. ;)

I go years between remembering a dream so at least I get a rest there.
 

Shade

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Last night I had a dream that I was teaching the "Kids Vrs Wild!" kids how to escape from a bear attack by tossing them into a pen with a wild bear. Right away I thought (in my dream), "well, *this* isn't a very good idea" and woke in a cold sweat LOL

Gonna be an interesting year...
LOL, I can always do a class for you on the proper method of field dressing a deer. :y:
 

jflis

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LOL yeah, that'll go over *real* good with my director... LOL

Actually, I may have come up with a way that I can test their fire making ability. permission slips from parents, permission from a local park that I often work with (they have fire pits already) and a field trip to the park (already ok'd).

So we may actually be able to do something "survival" related.

Today I have my first classes of the year, Pumpkin carving and Magic. Should be interesting :)

jim
 

jflis

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Well, class has begun! No pix this first day. We didn't have anything to take pictures of. Our pumpkin class started out frustratingly in that there are no pumpkins... The long wet spring/summer we had has delayed the pumpkin harvest.

So we spent the time looking over a pumpkin slide show and talking about techniques. We started the class time with only 3 pumpkin carvers (scary as that isn't enough to keep the class going). Within 30 minutes we were up to 9 with a few more expected next week, so we're all set.

Magic was only attended by 3, however they all knew of 3 others who signed up but could not attend today, so we should be all set there too. We spent the hour going over our class plan and learning some simple card tricks and a rope trick. The kids enjoyed the lesson. One kid figured out (quickly) how I did a trick and I wondered about that because I had done the slight of hand very well. Turns out, he has experience... He's been in a couple of school talent shows doing magic... So next week I want him to show me what he knows as he may be our performer at the parent show at the end of the session :)

More tomorrow as I present beginning rocketry to the Litchfield group.
 

jorpet

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My son's middle school had a survival class as an elective. One thing they had to do was build a shelter for themselves and then sit in it while a sprinkler was run over it. If they came out dry that was a pass for that section, soaked, not so good.
 

jflis

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My son's middle school had a survival class as an elective. One thing they had to do was build a shelter for themselves and then sit in it while a sprinkler was run over it. If they came out dry that was a pass for that section, soaked, not so good.
Oh, I LIKE that idea! I will see if I can work that into the program!

As for my current set of classes, i'm batting .333 instead of a thousand... LOL

Yesterday we had a pumpkin class without pumpkins... The magic class was great as everything worked out.

Today I go to Litchfield for my Thursday session only to have my director look at me and say "didn't you get my email?".... "This session doesn't start till NEXT Thursday..."

Oh man... LOL Well, I was there and he had a room full of kids (this week is sign ups, apparently...) and asked if I could keep a group of kids busy for 2 hours. Not a problem as I had my pumpkin and rocketry slide show and my full pack of magic props from my other classes, so that's what I did this afternoon.

It was a hoot, the kids had a ball and I have at least 3 new sign ups for rocketry as well as many kids asking for a session on Magic and Pumpkins so it was all good after all.

Now, TOMORROW I have my beginner and advanced rocketry class in Merrimack. Let's see if my batting average improves LOL

Here's a picture of some of the kids from this afternoon. Most (if not all) of these kids will be attending classes with me this year, at one point or another.

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mjennings

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Jim I'd call that a .66 avg. You got in a little preseason warm up and generated a lot of interest, plus as a bonus it sounds like you and the kids had a good time.
 

jflis

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Yeah, we did and I also got some interest in other classes that I will be doing as well as finding out some of what they would *like* to be doing, so yeah, it was good :)

Today's class (beginning and advanced rocketry) went off very well, but I'm still not batting 1000.... LOL

Typically I have 6-8 beginners and 4-6 advanced rocketeers. Well the advanced class was 4 (no surprises there). I was prepared for 9.

The beginner class, I was prepared for 10... ...we had 15...

One of them was actually suited for the advanced class and that didn't impact his schedule so I moved him up. Of the remaining 14, 10 were new and 4 had taken my class 2 times before. So I gave out the 10 kits to the 10 newbies and invited the remaining 4 (with more experience) to help the newbies and they would get their kits next week. They will have to build quicker (which they should be able to do) and they will have to bring the kits home to finish (which they should also be able to do), so it all worked out.

Needless to say, me and my director are thrilled with the added interest in the rocketry program :)

I'll have pix posted this weekend.

jim
 

jflis

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Got the pix up from yesterdays session. You can find them by clicking this link.

I got 15 in my beginner class. Almost twice as many as I normally get! Good stuff :)
 

Peartree

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I don't suppose it would be profitable to drive a trailer full of ripe pumpkins from Ohio to New England...

We have plenty around here (although some of ours may well be coming from points south).
 

jflis

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I don't suppose it would be profitable to drive a trailer full of ripe pumpkins from Ohio to New England...

We have plenty around here (although some of ours may well be coming from points south).
Well, I have heard that the harvest is starting to take place so I should have pumpkins for Wednesday's class... ...here's hoping!
 

jflis

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Well, it looks like the pumpkin harvest is in now (whew!)

Yesterday we had our first day of fishing class. Our first day is spent learning about equipment, the local fish species, knot tying and casting. They also learn about open and closed bale reels and how they work.

Here are some pictures from the casting practice. After practice we had a contest where they had to get closest to a target at 50 feet.

Good stuff! Now we're ready to hit the waterways. I hope to get all of the pix up online soon.

jim

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jflis

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More photo's posted for fishing and rocketry.

Tomorrow we begin our actual pumpkin carving and I hope to have that photo album started :)
 

jflis

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Updated photo's under Pumpkins and Litchfield rocketry. The album is here.

I had one of my kids (Connor) show me his recent class assignment... He had to create a "compass rose" including cardinal and intermediate directions. He drew a FlisKits themed compass rose using the Drake, Deuce's Wild!, Alien8 and Rock Star. I was stunned! :) You can see it by clicking this link

He got an "A"
 

Pippen

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I had one of my kids (Connor) show me his recent class assignment... He had to create a "compass rose" including cardinal and intermediate directions. "
That's really creative!
 

jflis

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That's really creative!
Isn't it though? I was floored LOL Of course, this is the same boy who re-wrote that "free credit report dot com" jingle into a FlisKits tune, so... LOL

Also, I've posted more pictures in the Merrimack rocketry album showing our first launch of the session. We had a problem in that the girls soccer team had a game scheduled to start at 4:30. They said it would be ok for us to fly while they warmed up but that we would have to stop no later than game start at 4:30

That gave us 1 hour where we had 2 1/2 hours planned... So I kinda had to rush the beginner class and had to explain to the advanced class that they would launch on the next launch day in 3 weeks. Surprisingly we were able to get off all 15 of the beginner rockets even though we had to move the range once after getting it all set up (my battery died and we had to move near a fence to reach a car battery...)

Some great pix, check'em out :)

jim
 

jflis

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Had a great day of fishing yesterday. The kids learned how to fish the edges of the weeds and how to fish with live minnows.

We caught pickerel, bass and for those using worms, sun-fish :)

Hope to have all the pix posted later today, but here are some of'em

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jflis

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Hope to get the photo albums updated this weekend (can't let the pictures back up...)

Here are a few from pumpkin class as well as rocketry

  • Class poses with our first of two pumpkins. Just learning the technique
  • Group shot of the lit pumpkins
  • Close up of the best in the class. This is her 2nd year and she really has the technique down.
  • Learning how to draw lines on a tube
  • First time ever, cutting out fins.

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jflis

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Got the photo albums up!

I am finally up to date on them! New pictures in the Fishing, pumpkins, magic and rocketry (litchfield) sections. Nothing new in the rocketry-merrimack section as last week was lecture week (not much to take pix of... LOL)

Enjoy!
jim
 

Pippen

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I love the pumpkins in the dark picture. :)

I saw a website today (liked below) that had some cool papercraft projects, a few of them space-related. I had my daughter do one of the Jamestown fort from a homeschooler site a few weeks ago and she loved it.
http://cp.c-ij.com/en/contents/1006/
 

jflis

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I love the pumpkins in the dark picture. :)

I saw a website today (liked below) that had some cool papercraft projects, a few of them space-related. I had my daughter do one of the Jamestown fort from a homeschooler site a few weeks ago and she loved it.
http://cp.c-ij.com/en/contents/1006/
OH! I just love that site, thanks! :) New ideas for classes...
 

mjennings

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Awesome find Pippin, there is some pretty cool stuff on there
 

jflis

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More photo's uploaded in the pumpkin, and both rocketry sections. The Litchfield class launches later this week and the Merrimack class launches next week. It's been getting colder but hoping for good weather for 2 friday's :)

You can find the photo albums by clicking this link.
 
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