Thursday, October 15, 2015

Field Trippin'

When we began homeschooling, Mason was very concerned about opportunities for field trips.  Well, we've definitely taken care of that during the past few weeks.  Today was our third field trip in less than a month.

Today we visited the LSU Fire & Emergency Training Institute.  We met the Captain and about 10 of the trainees.  It's a 14-week course for firemen, and it is intense.
We learned about the firemen's uniform, and four of the trainees had a race to see who could get suited up the fastest.  They are required to suit up in two minutes, but most of them can do it in under a minute by the time they finish the course.  They also stressed to the kids not to be scared when they saw a fireman in uniform.
We took a picture with Blaze (the mascot).
We got to tour two of their firetrucks.

And this was Ellie.  At the beginning of the trip, they showed a video of what the trainees do and how they are trained at the Institute.  Ellie got scared.  She thought we were actually going to be in a fire.  She was in melt down mode the entire time we were inside, the entire time we were interacting with the firemen, the entire time we were checking out the uniforms, the entire time we were doing ANYTHING.  And then when we went outside, she stood there the whole time with her fingers in her ears!  THE WHOLE TIME.  I don't even know why.  They didn't sound the alarms or sirens on the trucks.

The firemen were so much fun, and they did a great job interacting with the kids.  They encouraged the kids to explore, crawl around, sit in the truck, ask questions.  

Mason's favorite part of the truck was the weapons.
I tried to get Ellie to take a picture in the truck as well, but she refused.
I have a new respect for firemen now.  I mean, this training course is NO JOKE.  And they were so excited to be there, smiling the whole time even though they were wearing 30 lbs of gear and covered in soot after a recent training exercise in the 90 degree heat.
When it was time to leave, Ellie finally took her fingers out of her ears and was willing to take a picture.
I was very impressed with this field trip.  It was very interesting and quite entertaining.  I asked Mason what he learned, and he said he does not want to be a fire fighter because it's too dangerous.  Both Hannah Kate and Mason said they enjoyed today but their favorite field trip was when we went to Port Hudson last Friday.
The main reason it's their favorite is because they got to witness the firing of the big canon.
We rotated through seven different stations that day.  The first was about the soldiers' uniform and weapons.  This was actually a Union soldier's uniform.
Ellie enjoyed the boat demonstration.  

There was a cooking demonstration.
And, I have to say . . . much of these field trips are a bit much for a 3-year old.  But Ellie really does quite well.
And then they explained how the canon works and fired another smaller canon.
During the medical demonstration, Mason was chosen as a wounded soldier.
The initial "surgery" didn't work.
So they "amputated" his arm.
We ended that field trip with a picnic with our friends.

And then three or so weeks ago we attended a field trip in our own parish (county).  We learned some of the history of our parish and also how the locks system worked.
Their favorite part of this field trip was up close encounters with several creatures from the Bluebonnet Swamp nature center.

And Mr. Gene was there with his alligator skins and wood carvings.

The thing I enjoy most about field trips is that it gives the children opportunities to learn more about the world around them . . . how things work, why things work . . . conversations and interactions with people who've had some really interesting life experiences . . . and even to explore what they might want to do some day.  It's such a great, big world out there, and the possibilities are endless!

Of course, Mason has suggested that Hawaii would be his idea of a fun field trip.  I mean, wouldn't we all!

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