First Field Trip of the School Year

We often start our school year with a rash of field trips.  It’s a great time of year for field trips — the weather is wonderful, everyone else has just started public school and isn’t able to go out to events, and it starts the year off with lots of exciting, interest building things.  Our first field trip of this school year was a two-day event:  the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival.  From 10 a.m. on Friday until 10 p.m. on Saturday, we listened to stories true and false, happy and sad, and left refreshed and with some great ideas to use at home.

Staged under big tents in a canyon park, this storytelling festival attracts tellers from all over the country.  Donald Davis, raised in Appalachia, tells stories of his childhood that parents and children can relate to.  Antonio Sacre, a bilingual teller, mixes Spanish and English in his stories and also tells about his work teaching writing in inner city schools. His stories touched our heart and made us want to know what is really happening in the lives of others so that we can relate better to them.  The Storycrafters told stories and sang raps accompanied by harp and drum, using spoonerisms and other rhymes to make us laugh until we cried.

There was also a music tent, where during the breaks between storytellers we could go listen to Celtic and bluegrass bands, puppet shows, and a pottery area where master potters helped the kids use pottery wheels or mold their own sculptures from clay.

Although there were thunder clouds all around, the rain held off until the last two stories of Saturday night.  We enjoyed ourselves so much!  Even Brett said that the storytelling festival was about 200% more enjoyable than our visit to the local amusement park the weekend before.

Are there similar festivals in your area?  Whether they are called storytelling festivals, old-time festivals, or folk festivals, they would certainly be worth checking out.  What field trips do you use to start your school year?  Please leave me a comment below.

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