Thursday, October 1, 2009

Notes from Great Wolf Lodge

Classical Conversations just finished hosting our 4th Annual Fun at Great Wolf Lodge and Williamsburg week from October 18 -24.

Not only did we get wet at the water park and meet Revolutionary soldiers, but we filmed ads for Classical Conversations and I held an Institute for Excellence in Writing Seminar. We especially enjoyed listening to Becky Norton Dunlop, Vice President from the Heritage Foundation as she shared about her years in the Reagan White House. As usual, the week was packed with too much to do.

The indoor water park is always fun from the baby pools to the Howling Tornado. Of special interest are the teenagers and their fathers as they crack bones and drop swimsuits while riding the wave board. The moms enjoyed sitting at the bottom of the wave and clapping for the adventurous, cringing at the mangled, and laughing at the exposed.

Historic Williamsburg is gracious to offer a large discount to home schoolers during the same week. As folks became water-logged, they trekked a few miles into the past and enjoyed candle and glass blowing, meeting various Founding Fathers and supping out of metal cups.

Tobin Duby, the new CC videographer, spent a few days filming families for ads CC plans to release on the internet in order to explain more about why we are so fun to hang out with while studying Latin. He gathered much footage on the fathers in attendance and you can look forward in particular to a conversation about home school he captured among a handful of dads.

For two days, about twenty parents sacrificed their morning surfing sessions to join me as we watched over 10 hours of IEW video and wrote four Practicum papers. We plan to make watching and writing the four papers assigned by Andrew Pudewa during the video lessons mandatory next year for Essentials Tutors. Watching the DVDs has always been mandatory, but now we want to be sure the quality of our programs continues by ensuring every Essentials Tutor has also written the papers and not just watched the DVDs. I suggest all of the parents since they are the real teachers of their children do the same.

Our special guest was Becky Norton Dunlop who did a great job encouraging the students to always do their best and to be sure of the things they believe in for you never know who is watching you. She explained that by doing the things no one else would do while working on local and state campaigns she managed to work her way onto Presidential campaigns and was at last noticed by key White House staffers.

She enjoyed sharing anecdotes with the CC families about personal moments between her and Ronald Reagan. When it was time for questions, she gave the parents and students frank advice about faith and family and how it is being attacked in DC.

The week was packed with activity, learning, family time, and much food. Thanks to all who came to our annual celebration and we hope to meet even more of you next October.

Love, Leigh

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