Interested in four hours of nonstop playful learning for your third grader (or Brownie or Junior Girl Scout) followed by a slumber party? Then, a Wintertime Blues Camp-In is just right for you.
Arriving at 8 p.m. at The Magic House in Kirkwood, Missouri, our Brownie troop checked in, dropped off our gear of sleeping bags and pillows, and were then let loose in The Magic House for an hour of free play.
Think the Kracken with an endless supply of energy unleashed x10. Yes, young girls given free reign in this 55,000 square foot children’s museum. The result . . . laughter, wide eyes, perspiration, hurried movements, and exploration due to such activities as fishing, cracking bank vaults, rocking babies, shopping for groceries, and climbing the beanstalk over and over and over and over again. Time out . . . I need a minute to catch my breath.
After an hour passed, stinky bodies (okay, my stinky body) gathered in the legislative branch to hear our instructions for the evening from our young, energetic facilitators. Directed to our snack of pizza and beverage, we were then assigned our Scavenger Hunt to complete as a team for a special prize. Passing this task on to our former Cookie Queen, Miss Toni guided the girls from room to room in order to discover answers to such questions as, “How many yellow balloons are in the Conservatory?” When all questions were completed, the girls hustled to the front desk so that their answers could be graded for completion. Discovering an incomplete response, the girls hustled back downstairs in search of the correct answer. I, on the other hand, decided to hold down the fort right where I was. With another climbing of the bean stalk under their belts, the girls returned to the front desk in order to retrieve their prize, a colored pin of their choosing with The Magic House logo.
Allotted further free time to play before our assigned Art Class at 10:30 p.m., the girls spent a great deal of time in the special exhibit, Magic Tree House, based on the children’s book series by Mary Pope Osborne.
By the time Art Class rolled around, I was beat. Finding a place on the carpet, I rested my head on my Rapunzel backpack while instructors led the girls in Simon Says before leading them in a stamping project.
Once again granted free play until our 11:30 p.m. settle down and make camp time, the Brownies played in frenzied delight while I found a chair with a back in a corner of the bank where I observed robberies, deposits, and overall Magic House mayhem.
Grateful when it was time to roll out the sleeping bags, my squirt staked claim on a closet for us to sleep in our designated area (insert forced “Woo!” here). With the sound of steady snores and gregarious giggles in the background, I actually drifted off to sleep until close to our 7 a.m. wake time. With a doughnut in each of our bellies, we exited the building with our much deserved patch in hand (it’s hard work earning a fun patch) and our carelessly folded baggage under our arms.
Silence ensued on the ride home as I dreamt of an actual bed in which to rest my weary forty-three-year-old body whereas, I am sure, my squirt and her fellow Girl Scouts remembered fondly, then and for a long time to come, the previous night’s events at this house filled with much magic.
*This post is dedicated to the fearless Mommas who survived a night at the museum.