Thursday, December 12, 2013

Field Trips Work!

We try to get in a couple of field trips every year. At least once a month if we can swing it. Some months, like this month, it seems like almost every week is a field trip and that's just fine with me!

Next week we'll be doing our fourth field trip this month! Our first field trip was to pick out a tree for Christmas at a tree farm ( read more about that one here ). Our second field trip was to see the "real" Santa later that same week. Our field trip next week is to see the movie Frozen with Noni.
(More pictures of this one on our Facebook page )

Today we took one of our most exciting field trips to date! We all went down for a tour of our local fire station. The Fire Chief was absolutely wonderful! He have us a guided tour of the entire station (which we had to ourselves). I didn't even know from driving past all the time that there was a three story training house in the back of the station! We weren't allowed in to look at it due to insurance reasons but it was really neat that it was there! He made sure to include each child in the tour and talk to each of them. Showing us every fire truck in the place and what each compartment holds. You'd be amazed how much each of those trucks has on it all the time! We learned which truck went out first and what calls each of those trucks were used for. We learned what some of the equipment was used for, he went over just about every piece of equipment but there was so much of it I know I don't remember it all.

They have about four of these cork boards hung up in the halls. Each one is completely filled with patches from fire departments. One is reserved just for Michigan fire department patches. The other three were all donated (though I know for sure one was donated all by the same man the other two may have been from him as well) and are from all over the country! All four of them are just as full as this one! And while some of the patches are pretty plain and "regular" looking a lot of them are really intricate!

All three of the campers were asked if they would like to sit in the back of one of the fire trucks that goes out first to the fires. Of course none of them could resist! The looked really cute and small sitting up there! And when he was talking about the hoses (there are a TON of hoses on each truck) he had ECJ help him demonstrate. That nozzle would be held in one hand while the coils of the hose (in the Chief's hand) would be placed over the opposite shoulder and taken into the house, another fire fighter would fallow behind with hose over the shoulder like the first but would zig zag while he walked to make sure there were no kinks in the hose.

As we finished up the tour he asked each child if they knew what to do if their clothing started on fire. We got the right answer of "stop, drop, and roll". And then they were asked what they should do with their hands and got that one right as well. Do you know the answer? You need to cover your face with your hands to protect your face from the flames and help prevent you inhaling too much smoke.

Right before we left he gave each child a couple of stickers, a ruler, and a coloring and activity book. He gave Daddy and I some stickers to put on the children's door jams (near the bottom, remember that in thick smoke fire fighters crawl too) that will let them know where the kids rooms are. There are also oval stickers that you can stick on the child's door or on a window to show where that room is. They used to recommend putting them on each child's window, but with the way things are today they recommend putting them either on the child's bedroom door or your outside door so that the fire men are aware there are children in the home but possible predators won't know their exact location while passing your house. We also received two brand new smoke detectors to install (which is a good thing because we have the old electrical models in our house).

We learned that the main meeting area of the station is not used just for the fire men. It is where our local city council holds it's meetings and where one of the charity groups in town holds their weekly meetings. Right now two of the bays in the station are holding goodies for all the good little boys and girls for Christmas.

We've been invited to come back in the spring to help plant some flowers in front of the station. And again in the summer so that the kids can hold and spray the fire hose! This has the girls excited for both and ECJ nearly bouncing out of his skin at the thought of being allowed to use one of the hoses! We'll definitely be going back both times!

This is definitely a field trip that I'm glad we did and would recommend anyone to go on. All you have to do is call or stop by your local fire department and ask if you can take your kids on a tour. They'll probably set up an appointment for you. If you let them know that you homeschool they'll make sure that the kids get a quick fire safety lesson while your there.

Not all of our field trips are this informative and fun. Most of them aren't completely educational either, but you can find a learning experience in most places. In the spring of next year I plan on asking our local theater (which is small just like our town) if I can possibly bring the children in for a tour. Remember when planning and scheduling tours that the worst they can do is tell you "no" when you ask and if you never ask you never know.

This week we're linked up with Squishable Baby

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  1. Wow, what a wonderful field trip. I also love field trips, but with two in school and a toddle, it's so much planning and so much work - especially since I have to pack a lunch for all of us. With that said, it's so great to get out of the house and learn. The kids do enjoy it very much. After this post, I am going to make it a point to attend more co-op field trips - or plan my own.

    Thanks for this, and as always, it's such a pleasure to have you as part of our linkup. I really enjoy reading your blog.

    1. Thanks for doing the link up as always. I love joining up with y'all!

      The fire department field trip honestly took less than an hour all I had to do to set it up was stop by our local fire department and let them know I was a homeschooler and "could we please come by some time for the kids to get a tour of the department?"

      They were able to schedule us for the tour right then for about two weeks later ... boy was it hard not announcing it on the blog ahead of time! LOL