My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

March 16, 2014

Sugar Bush SOLC #16

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Today my nephews, brother, sister-in-law, oldest daughter and I visited our local nature center to celebrate maple syrup!  YUM!

Our park district personnel (and helpers) reenact a pioneer sugar camp.  Pancakes and sausage covered in real maple syrup under a tent.  Youngest daughter volunteered to pour coffee and hot cocoa.

Today was a freezing, blustery day with a lot of sunshine (which didn't help).  I had brought my girls many times when they were younger, but today was my brother's family's first time.

My nephews taste-tested store-bought versus tree-tapped syrup.  They were proud that they picked the "right one" (tree-tapped).  The boys were impressed that it takes 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup.

The boys watched carefully and listened intently as a volunteer whittled and cored a piece of sumac into a spire just like the pioneers would do to tap a tree.  Danny, the oldest, showed off his vocabulary by explaining to me that the native Americans used a hatchet to cut a "V" in a tree to collect the sap.

All of us moved quickly through the stations.  We then made the brisk walk back to my place, 1.5 miles in total.  I kept apologizing to my brother, nursing a sore hip, for the long walk, but he claimed not to mind.  We made sure he had the spot in front of the fireplace when we returned.

I'm happy to share our nature center with my nephews.  My girls have enjoyed programs there for years, but now it's time for the boys to take their turn.  I wish they lived closer than an hour away.

It was so cold, the sap was frozen!

Lindsey and Troy

Mike and Danny
(I told them to show how cold they were!) 
Pioneer display (love his hat!)


  1. Family moments are so special, they lend themselves to traditions that pass on to their children. I'm sure the sweet treat of the pure maple syrup was totally worth freezing a bit!

  2. It sounds like you had a day of making memories! I wish that we lived near a location that tapped Maple Syrup especially since my last name is Maples! Also, thank you for commenting on my blog. You are an inspiration to me!