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what we’re doing this summer

2013 May 28
by Rachel Turiel


pine siskin and bird-rescuing princess.

1. growing and eating hella vegetables.

2. playing in the Animas River.

3. trading childcare with other families so the big people can work.

4. camping.

5. reveling in the splendors and gifts of the natural world (i.e. freaking out over the mountain wildflowers).

6. getting a little good-naturedly bored.

7. avoiding the *&$%#! ice cream truck that jingle-jangles trans-fattily down our street every Sunday.

8. partaking in this ice cream truck.

9. trying not to cause any mishaps when I take the oars on San Juan River trip in July.

10. helping Rose remember to pick up her 10 daily costume changes; helping Col scrub the sand, dirt, ash, mud and chicken feathers out of his crevices at least once a week.

Every year there are super cool camps available to local kids. And every year we don’t do any of them because of cost, time commitment and because truthfully, our kids—who still nap!—are a little behind the curve when it comes to managing being busily out of the house all day for an entire week.

But this is the year, people! My kids are going to summer day camp  – or at least the 8 year old is. (and I am not going to show up with cold water and a napping pillow, promise).



20% off each individual session for readers of 6512 and growing! Call or e-mail to sign up!

Are you familiar with Frosty Pines? Oh, how I love these people. It’s like Col dreamed them in some fitful sleep: I’d like a place where I can build primitive fires, look for bear tracks, spy eagle nests, and find and tote around a dried fish head for a day while no one blinks an eye.

Frosty Pines is a non-profit, local, wilderness education program. My favorite part of their mission statement is this: We have found that when you take a child outdoors to explore to their hearts content their imagination blossoms and they find a sense of self that shines into other areas of their lives. Can I get an Amen?

Frosty Pines offers amazing wilderness classes throughout the year (during the week for homeschoolers). This summer, they’re offering their 2nd year of  Frontier Village Pioneer CampThis is a 4-week camp for kids aged 7 – 16, July 8th – August 2nd; you can sign up for 1 week or all 4. Limited to 24 kids/session

Does this map stir up all your childhood longings? I am curious about “hell hill.”

This day camp is a multi-faceted approach to frontier living involving hands on primitive skills, historical and cultural education, environmental respect, safety and awareness as well as participation in interactive games, craft making, skill building, story-telling and music, complete with a barn dance and True West Rail Fest participation.

Some of the hands-on skills kids will learn: primitive fire-building, medicinal-plant use, pottery and jewelry making, fiber arts, pioneer cooking, horse-packing, trap-building, fly-fishing, meat-smoking, black-smithing, primitive bow-making and archery, sewing, bartering for goods, leather crafts. Oh yes!

Col is attending the archery week. Watch out!

Frosty Pines is offering 20% off each individual session for readers of 6512 and growing. This is a $50 value. Oh yes! Call or e-mail to sign up and receive the discount.


Lego robotics is basically legos that move. Hello, Col fantasy!

(Col is attending the 2nd session of intro-camp)

Instructor Sam Brigham is the kind of person who, if approached by a kid with a wild, fantastical, somewhat hair-brained idea, would say, “well ok, lets see if we can make that work.” I like the way Sam interacts with my kids. He’s respectful, interested, and usually smiling appreciatively at them.

Lego robotics and engineering takes one of the most familiar childhood experiences fully into the 21st Century. Using standard Lego pieces, sensors, motors and a micro-computer, most 8 year olds can build a true, functioning robot in less than an hour, with plenty of time to experiment and play. The intention is for each child to complete the thought that starts: “If it can do this, then it can also do this . . .”

In Sam’s words:

“A step beyond the usual home Lego projects, these activities require building not just from the bottom up, but from the inside out with an emphasis on making solid, functional machines and structures. In workshops I find myself quickly moving away from being an instructor and toward something more like a mid-wife facilitating the act of creation. In fact, in every class kids come up with ideas and modifications that can completely change the direction of the next session. I can never tell who’ll do this, or when or how, but it always happens and it’s always great!”

Sign up here!

May all of our summers go by unbearably slowly.



ps: What are you and your kiddos doing this summer. Tell all.


16 Responses leave one →
  1. May 28, 2013

    love, Love, LOVE the promise that this summer holds for you guys!!!! That map is so evocative of the Otherworld that is Childhood that I nearly cried. Do your kids know how wisely they chose when they chose you as parents?? Enjoy!!

  2. May 28, 2013

    Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove these summer plans:)

  3. Sara permalink
    May 28, 2013

    Summer plans include first tent experience for the two-year old and first out-of-backyard tent experience for the four-year-old. Canoeing, picking berries of all sorts (blueberries, especially blueberries picked from the canoe are top of the list). Me: trying not to work too much, spending lots of time in the garden and in the kitchen canning good stuff from the garden. Week at the beach with family. The four-year-old’s special requests: to see bats and watch the sunset. I told her I couldn’t guarantee bats, but we’ll do what we can to make it likely.
    And your kids still nap? I’ve got one that does and one that hasn’t for two years.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      May 29, 2013

      Such a lovely 4-year old request!

  4. May 28, 2013

    A month’s worth of boring her to tears, with lots of canoe trips and beach & lake trips inbetween long days of no plans besides heading to the public pool up the street and late, lazy dinners from the garden. Come mid-July, she won herself a scholarship to the local Civility School’s Style camp, which is supposedly going to cover manners AND dressing appropriately for girls her age (11). Can I mention again how she not only chose this, she figured out how to pay for it herself? I am so proud. Also, she signed herself up for orchestra camp through school this summer. Then she’ll go away to ‘sleepaway camp’ for three glorious weeks where her father & I will be kid-free. The first few days I get a bit weepy, then I really glory in not having to be responsible, then I start counting down the days until she returns. I’ve got a full slate of canning & pickling classes around the area while she’s gone, so I’ll keep busy.

    Mine gave up naps at the tender age of 3 months. To this day, she only naps when she’s sick or about to grow. She spent the weekend either eating or sleeping this past weekend. I’m convinced she’s about to grow a good 6 inches.

  5. Kristin Thurber permalink
    May 29, 2013

    Hey, Nothing wrong with napping. I was/am a sleeper…and don’t know if I would have made it in all day kindergarden if they had had it years ago. My mom says I would come home from morning kindergarden and fall asleep while eating my lunch.

    Enjoy your summer and your kids..looks like a great life you have there.

  6. andrea permalink
    May 29, 2013

    I imagine your town to be so small and am always amazed by how much there is to do and how many things are happening!!

    I would love an interview/guest post by Col after camp:)

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      May 29, 2013

      Very true. Lots going on in this small town. You could attend a Tea Party meeting, see some good live music, and go get your medical marijuana all in the same day.

      I like the idea of the Col interview.

  7. May 29, 2013

    The one time I visited Colorado, I expected to love the mountains, and I did. But oh, how the wildflowers surprised me! Please post photos!

  8. May 30, 2013

    oh, i think we’re farther behind the curve than you. ;) no big plans for us, but i am definitely looking forward to finding a lego robotics team for quinn in a year or so…. i do love that map and yes it does stir all my childhood fantasies! i love the adverb “trans-fattily”.

  9. May 31, 2013

    Hey lady! We just got off the San Juan last week. I thought of you the whole time I was 2.5 hours from Durango. We floated for 4 days with 4 kids 4 and under–blog post coming as soon as I finish tucking-in veggie seeds and get a little more sleep. Speaking of sleep….

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      June 1, 2013

      No way! Can’t wait to read the blog post.

  10. June 6, 2013


    Can you adopt me pleeeeeease? ;)

  11. June 6, 2013

    Your article what we’re doing this summer | 6512 and growing write very well, thank you share!

  12. Amazonnnfmg permalink
    March 27, 2019

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