Tag Archives: Camp Caritas

Caritas Weather

Here’s a first look at what the weather may be like for our week at camp, via a ten-day forecast from Weather.com:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 6.39.17 AM

Things could certainly change, but if this remains accurate we’re in for a great week at camp!

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Ready For Day Two


Good Morning from the teacher’s cabin! It’s about 6:30 a.m. and this teacher is enjoying some quiet time before the chaos begins. We have breakfast at 8:00 this morning and then the kids will be off to get ready for their first “big” hike. While they’re away, I’ll be writing my blog post about the bus ride (did you know that children moo?) It will be posted here: Miss McMillan Goes to Camp.

At dinner last night I sat with Julie, Patrick K., Justin B., Caitlin C., and Shannon B. As soon as I sat down I asked, “So, how was everybody’s first day?”


Note to self: Ask better questions!

Judging by all of the smiles and laughter (and the amount of spaghetti and breadsticks consumed), I think their day was oh so much better than “good”.


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Today Is the Day

Today Is the Day

Here is the official five-day forecast for our week at Camp Caritas! Jealous?

Jealous enough to take the teacher’s place?

I didn’t think so.

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October 21, 2013 · 4:53 am

Now We’re Excited!

Not that we weren’t already excited about Camp Caritas, but after our visit with our site director Alexa yesterday I think we’re all  REALLY excited about next week (yes, teacher included).

One of the most important ideas that Alexa shared with us yesterday was this: students should come to Caritas with an open mind, because you get out of it what you put into it. Caritas is an amazing experience, but it can be even more amazing if you are willing to try new things and make new friends.

Another important idea that she shared with the kids is that everything we do at camp has a deeper meaning that will have students thinking about who they are as individuals and how they fit into their community. I loved it when she told them, “You are much more powerful than you could ever imagine!” So very true.

At one point during our time together she asked the kids to rearrange the furniture in the classroom so that they could sit on the floor in one big circle. But she didn’t just ask them to move their desks. Her instructions went like this:

  1. move all of the furniture to the sides of the classroom;
  2. give affirmations to three different classmates;
  3. hug your teacher.


While I have several snarky comments running through my brain about that last instruction, I have to tell you it was the best part of my day! No question. You see, Caritas doesn’t just bring the kids closer together. It brings the entire seventh grade community closer together. Teacher included.

I love that!


My next post will be full of last minute reminders and one last weather report, but in case you’re wondering, here’s the latest forecast:

Caritas Weather

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Ten More Days

It’s hard to believe, but ten days from today we’ll be leaving for Camp Caritas. I know it’s a little early to be looking at the weather for that week, but I just couldn’t help myself.

Occidental 10-21-13

Let’s hope that 70° and sunny will be an accurate forecast for the entire week! But whatever the weather happens to be, we’ll make do. It’s Mother Nature’s game…she always wins. And if it rains, we’ll get wet. And the kids will have even more fun playing gaga ball!

If you’d like to check the weather in Occidental to see what your seventh grader has to look forward to, you can find it here: 10-Day Weather Forecast for Occidental.

While I’m away at camp each year, I try to keep those left off the bus (oh, you lucky souls!) apprised of what’s going on while we’re gone. If you would like to follow the adventures of a middle school teacher as she slowly, but surely, loses what’s left of her mind, this is the blog for you: Miss McMillan Goes to Camp.

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Camp Caritas Weather

I know everyone is wondering what the weather will be like next week while we’re at camp, so I thought I’d share with you the latest forecast. It looks like there may be some rain in the forecast, so be sure to pack some rain gear.

Camp Caritas Weather

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Weather Report

If you haven’t already checked it out, it looks like we’re in for a beautiful week at camp!

For future updates, check out Weather.com.

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Clothing for Caritas

I’ve had several requests for extra copies of the Suggested Clothing List for Camp Caritas. I really should have thought that through when putting together the packets of forms for everyone to fill out. So, I’ve attached the clothing list to the seventh grade website and I’ll also include a direct link here:

Suggested Clothing List

If there are any other forms you’d like a copy of, or if you have other Caritas-related questions, please let me know.

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We Made It!

I want you to stop for a moment and imagine being on a big yellow school bus surrounded by thirty-three incredibly excited seventh graders. And then take that energy and bottle it up, and then use that bottle to power one very rousing, very LONG chorus of “99 Bottles of Soda on the Wall” (our version of “99 Bottles of Beer”). Now you know what it’s like to be a seventh grade teacher on a bus rolling towards Camp Caritas.

Our bus had barely driven past the office when the kids started singing “The Wheels on the Bus,” followed quickly behind by “99 Bottles of Beer”. I managed to convince Joey to change it to “99 Bottles of Soda” which proved to be an unwise suggestion on my part. You see, Joey decided to sing The. Entire. Song. And that extra syllable from “beer” to “soda” just added more pain and misery to my life. Several times throughout his…um…singing, some of the kids nearby yelled out , “Joey…stop singing!!!” But Joey persevered. When he got down to 10 Bottles of Soda, several of the kids joined him in singing all the way down to “No Bottles of Soda!”

When he got down to “zero”, Joey called out “I win!” with hands raised in the air. He quickly dropped his arms and announced, “I’m tired…and I have a headache.”

You’re not the only one, kid.

At one point, not long after we left, I heard one of the boys say “Go Rangers!” Oh silly boy. That just leads the entire bus to start chanting “Let’s go, Giants!!!” Clap. Clap. clap-clap-clap.

It’s going to be a long drive.

At 9:38, about half an hour after we left, I heard my first “Are we there yet?”  At 9:39, I heard my second.

Did I mention it’s going to be a long drive?

Not long after that Gigi said to me, “Miss McMillan, why couldn’t we have taken a limo with a hot tub?” I’m hoping she wasn’t serious. A few minutes later, “Oh! Miss McMillan!! Can we make a pitstop at Six Flags?!?!”

Pretty sure she was serious about that one.

It started to get a little quiet…well, “quieter”…when Joey decided to call out, “I like turtles!”

Thanks for sharing, Joe.

9:47: All of the girls on the bus started squealing! I turned around and yelled, “Ohmygod…what?!!”

“BUSTER POSEY!!!!!!” [If you don’t know who that is, you haven’t been following the play-offs.]

9:50: Time for The Bible Rap! Oh so happy that I haven’t had the girls teach the entire class that one yet.

Taken from a moving, bouncing bus!

Our bus ride takes us through some beautiful California countryside; the key part of that word being “country.”

“Dang! What smells?!?!”

Joey: “Sorry.”

Me: “Joey, I think it’s coming from outside the bus.”

Joey: “Oh, sorry.”

[Another call out for Buster Posey!!!!! followed by squealing!]

Gigi: “Are we there yet?”

Jessica: “HORSE!!!!!!”

Me: “Nachos? Who’s talking about nachos?!”

Me: “Who’s yodeling!!?”

Joey: “Miss McMillan! I’m a ninja!!” [He had pulled his hood over his head and closed it up tight so all I could see were his eyes.]

Me: “Are we there yet?”

At about 10:00, West and Joey started yelling, “LET’S PLAY THE SILENT GAME!!!” I must remember to explain irony to them. They decided, instead, to play Marco Polo. That’s a new one, so they scored some points for originality. But they were seated so close to each other that it really wasn’t much of a game.

Anthony then called out, “OH…MY….GOSH!! There’s a hair salon back there!!” This was followed moments later by one of the girls saying, “Ohmygosh, I hate my hair!”

Joey: “So do I!” [Not sure if he was talking about his own hair or the girl’s.]

“Random” is one of our favorite words in middle school. Let me show you why:

“I like trees!”

“I like horses!”

“Ohmygod! Did you see the llamas?!”


“I found a Cheez-It!”

“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

“It’s probably manure.”

Ah yes, just a few of the “highlights” of our bus ride to Camp Caritas. We managed to make it up here in one piece…physically speaking, of course.

Headed Toward the Lodge

We were the first group to arrive here, so we got off the bus and went into the lodge to have some time for the kids to meet the teacher naturalists, as well as time for the teacher to take care of some paperwork and stuff. Of course, none of this happened without that first stop. “Potty break!!!” And none too soon!

It’s hard to imagine, but it can be amazingly quiet in a lodge with 72 seventh graders in it. Of course, that’s when they’re just meeting the other schools and trying to size everyone up. It doesn’t usually last long, so I try to enjoy it. After a few icebreakers and the introductions of the teacher naturalists, the kids were allowed their first opportunity to move into their cabins.

The cabins are a lot nicer than the ones we had at last year’s camp. The teacher’s cabin….Oh. My. Gosh! It’s like staying in someone’s home for the week, complete with a kitchen, television (we’re hoping to see some of the World Series tomorrow and Thursday), and a lovely queen-size bed for McTeach! No bunk beds this year for me to bonk my head on! There is wireless available in the teacher’s cabin, but it’s not working at the moment. We’re trying to get that fixed!

Time to sign off for a bit. The kids will be returning to the vicinity soon and I’d like to get some more photos.

Don’t you wish you were here?!


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Countdown to Caritas

In about nineteen hours (from the time of this writing), we will be on a bus on our way to Camp Caritas. Are you packed yet? Do you have your book picked out? Any last minute questions? Before you ask about the weather forecast, here’s the latest info:

Weather for Caritas

For those who are driving up to Caritas to join us, you can find directions here:

A few reminders for everyone. We will go to mass tomorrow morning at 8:00 before we leave. Students do not have to wear their uniforms tomorrow; they should wear what they plan to wear on the bus. Please try to be at school by 7:45 so you can drop off your luggage, backpacks, whatever. We will walk over to mass at 7:55 (if the teacher happens to be running around like a crazy person, please walk over ahead of me. We’ll be sitting in the front pews on the right-hand side of the church where the first graders usually sit; the seats will be reserved for us.)

The bus will be arriving at school around 9:15 which will allow us fifteen minutes to get packed up and be ready to drive away from school at 9:30. I’m sure it will be a peaceful, uneventful drive for the teacher (whose iPod will no doubt be getting plenty of use tomorrow!)

Parents…please feel free to join us at mass tomorrow morning. We will be sitting together as a class, and parents can sit behind us. After mass, we’ll be returning to the classroom for one last conversation and some breakfast treats. We’ll be back outside the classroom by 9:15 where we hope you’ll join us to say farewell (and, perhaps, a “Good Luck!!” to the teacher).

Any questions?


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