Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Elementary Camp

Elementary Camp has been my favorite session of both summers combined. It was great and the kids were wonderful. On Arrival day before the kids got there, Fullerton was a bit fussy so I took him up to Happy Hollow (our big field) for a good romp. He really enjoyed himself and he was so much happier after.

On the way down I stopped at the creepy clown playground and let Fuller play some more.
Fuller on our bench swing.
We have this little golf cart type thing called a Cushman that we drive all over camp, here is Fuller on the Cushman as you can see he really enjoys these little rides. I also love pictures like this that show a touch of his personality.
During the session we had a reptile lady come and show lizards and snakes and turtles to the campers, they really liked it. The animals were fascinating. Here is a horned lizard name Draco.
And an Albino Corn Snake. She had a bunch of different lizards with different textures and snakes, including a Boa.
Here is Fuller working with some of the campers during the Guide Dog rotation. They are practicing recalls.
We also had Christmas in July and had a truck full of snow brought in and scattered it all over campfire. The campers all got gifts left on their beds and we sang Christmas songs at campfire.
I like little Fuller in the back and Big Fuller in the front. :D He is 11 months old now. Scary!! He will be 1 whole year old next month.
We also went out to a dodgers game with all the campers. It was really fun and we got free hot dogs, popcorn, nachos and soda. The campers all seemed to have a great time and everyone was exhausted afterward.
Me and my boy in the bus on the way home. Whew tiring day.
This session was uber fun and the kids were all fantastic. Some of my campers came back and they were really excited to see me and I was happy to see them too. I can't even describe how wonderful this session was. :D

Well, I have done five posts today so look for the rest, I just have one more till I am caught up but that one will take a bit since there are so many pictures and I have already been doing this since 10am so. . . enjoy! :D

Hollywood!!

The break after Adult Camp I went to Hollywood for the first time. It was so fun to see all the little shops and the stars on the sidewalk. There was a line a mile long to see Michael Jackson's star it was ridiculous so we just avoided that area. We all had a good time and we had dinner at this fantastic Thai place, it was so good. Anyway, here are pictures from our day out.
Fullerton and Lassies star

The Hollywood sign

Some stuff that was used in the Harry Potter #6 movie.
Fullerton takes a break
Me and Fullerton by Bernadette Peters star, I fricken' love her! I am mad Fuller made a funny face though.
We found this star and it made us all smile. . . we miss the Burg.
I LOVE Johnny Depp I was so excited when I saw his star
A lady dressed as wonder woman, she was staring at my dog and I was staring at her. :D
Fuller in the Thai place being such a good boy!
The group, Mule, Nala, Mongoose and me (Elphie) You think Fuller is tired? Silly boy.
That was Hollywood. I am very proud of how good Fuller was, we only had one incident with a little Asian lady who didn't want Fuller in her shop, she kept holding her nose and waving us out so we left. That annoyed me but, oh well. Still an enjoyable trip!

Adult Camp

Adult camp was fun. Some of my campers from last summer came back and it was great to re-connect with them. During Adult Camp we had an night out in Santa Monica and it was. . . interesting. A lot of heads turn when you walk down the street with a pack of 45 blind/VI campers. :D Definitely a night I won't forget! :D Fullerton was great in Santa Monica we did A LOT of walking and he was really a trooper. The last day of Adult Camp I took Fullerton to my area and he stepped on a stick and hurt his foot. The poor boy wouldn't leave it alone so he got a silly e-collar. He was not pleased about that but his foot healed up really nicely.

Here he is with his foot wrapped up after I cleaned it really good, unfortunately at camp it is HARD to keep his foot clean.
When I went out to get him an e-collar I found this really cool Nylabone and just HAD to get it. I have never seen one like it before and Fullerton really loves it. We have been joking that it is tactile for the blind dogs. lol . . .
Fullerton and his new bone, I think it made his feel a little better about wearing his satellite dish.

Family Camp #1

Family Camp went well, it was a little stressful in my area (the Rock Wall/Ropes Course) because the parents don't like to listen and think they can do whatever they want. But, it was still a fun session. We were really busy at the wall all session, we had a lot of people come each rotation. But, it's good to keep busy. I didn't take any pictures of the session so here are some I took of our break after the session.

Burgess in the back of the car. Fullerton and Burgess passed out at In-N-Out after a long day of shopping.Burgess and Fullerton playing in the Staff Lounge.

Fullerton fell asleep on his pal Penguin.

B.I.T Camp (Buddy in Training)

We had our first session and it was Buddy in Training Camp, it was a fun session, although probably the most challenging of the summer. We have sighted kids who come to camp who we call Buddies, they are supposed to help with the blind/VI kids who come to camp too. B.I.T was a camp for all those sighted kids to come and learn about blindness and do all the activities and meals blindfolded so they know what their fellow campers go through. I think everyone had a great time! Here is a typical day at Camp Bloomfield. :D



7:00am: Wake up Call
7:45am: Breakfast Line-up
8:00am: Breakfast
9:15am: Rotation 1 (Activities include Rock Wall, Horses, Archery, Martial Arts, Pool, Arts and Crafts, Campfire and Guide Dogs)
10:30am: Rotation 2
11:45am: Lunch Line-up
12:00pm: Lunch
1pm-2pm: Rest Hour (all kids with shoes off in the bunks, best hour of the day!!)
2:15pm: Rotation 3
3:30pm: Snack Time!!
4:00pm Rotation 4 (Usually ILS, Independent Living Skills, where we help the blind kids with at home skills, like during elementary camp a few campers learned to make their beds or tie their shoes, its really cool)
5:15pm: Dinner Line-up
5:30pm: Dinner
6:30-7:15pm-ish: Twilight (just little activities and getting ready for campfire
7:30pm: Campfire (doing skits and songs, its really fun)
10:00pm: Camper Curfew and Lights out
11:30pm: Staff Curfew


Of course we do other things too like some days we have Picnic Games/Carnival, and we have Beach Day where we take the whole camp to the beach for some fun.


We are not allowed to take pictures of the campers so I don't have a lot of pictures during the sessions but here are a few I can share with you. :D


Fullerton gets blind experience. . . now he knows what his blind partner goes through every day. ;D

Fullerton takes a break under my bunk.
On break I went with Arwen and Ivy to get Art Supplies and while we were out I asked Fuller to Kennel into the trunk, I didn't think he actually would! It was pretty funny I had to get a pictures. . . no worried though, I didn't close the trunk and I had him get out the second after I took the picture. On a treadmill at Costco (it wasn't on)Fullerton and his pal Big Foot (a counselor)

That was pretty much it from this camp. If you have any questions about CB feel free to ask in a comment and I will try to answer them. :D

Monday, July 13, 2009

Staff Training Week

Training week was fun. We did a lot of get to know you games with the staff, and a lot of meetings. We did our blindfold activities and meals again and that is always an interesting experience. I really love our staff, everyone seems pretty chill and relaxed which is nice and there is not nearly as much drama as there was last year. I am having a blast.


During training week we went to JBA (Junior Blind of America in LA) which is the company that supports Camp Bloomfield. We had to get our ID tags and finish up paperwork and such. We started by cleaning out an office with stuff we needed to take back to camp. During that process a board that was leaning on the wall fell and caught me on the calf. It hurt so bad and I had to go to the nurse to get it cleaned out and bandaged. I now have a pretty gnarly scar on my leg, it was a pretty bad gash. Anyway, after that we went and got our ID badge photo done and Fullerton is in mine. Spanky was in my last one too. I really like my picture (I will have to scan it when I get home so all of you can see it.) :D Then I walked around the campus with Squirt and Burgess and got pictures of the dogs around campus. He is Fullerton by an elephant bush.


Here is Fullerton by a plaque for Norm Kaplan who was the second Camp Director for Camp Bloomfield.

Then we got into groups to practice skits and songs for campfire that night. My group did an elevator skit and donut song. . . can't really explain them but they are fun. :D Then we all played in the tactile playground. There is a lot of cool stuff in there. Like a bunch of stuff cemented into the walls that the kids can feel and different floor surfaces, jungle gym, slide, swings, rock wall (where some of the rocks make fun sounds when you grab them, we had fun with that) and a bunch of other stuff. Here is Burgess chilling on the stairs.


The we all went and talked with our bosses boss. Here is Burgess and Fuller during her talk, as you can see they were really interested in what she had to say. :D


Also, during staff training we had an over nighter on the beach. GORGEOUS!! I slept outside under the stars and it was wonderful. Anyway, when we first got there Taz (our camp director) had us hike up this super steep sand dune. It was fun but the dogs got a little too hot hiking up so we brought them back down and waited for everyone else to come down. Here is Fuller at the bottom waiting for everyone, he was one hot doggie and got lots of water when we got back to our campground.


And Burgess the handsomest dog ever. Everyone really loves him here. He is a fantastic dog and so much fun to have here. He just left to go back home and I know everyone is going to miss him.


And Fuller is ready for a good nights sleep after all that hiking.

That was pretty much our training week . . . more to come soon!

Here we are at Camp Bloomfield . . .

Hey guys. . . so, it's been a while! I have been trying to post but, alas, the internet is too slow, so you are lucky I have the patience to post this now because it took an hour to upload pictures. :D Well, I am going to try over the next few days (we are on break now after our third session of the summer) to update about our last six weeks. So, on Sunday June 7th me and Fullerton flew to California. Fullerton started getting nervous when I was packing up everything in the room and so he carried his dental dino all over the house and would not let it out of his sight.

We did some last minute packing and then my dad took us to the airport. (Fuller was upset about not getting breakfast too, and boy did he let me know it) Anyway, we said goodbye to my parents and then went into the airport. I went to the desk because I printed my ticket online but didn't see Fuller on it (I called a month in advance to add him so I wanted to check and make sure.) The lady at the counter assured me that Fuller had been added to the reservation so we went on our way through security, bum bum bum (ominous music plays) Security was a JOKE, an absolute pain in the fanny!! We waited in line and I got myself all ready, took off my shoes and belt and packed everything from my pockets into my backpack to make it easier. Then when it was my turn I told Fuller to sit and stay and started to go through the metal detector and the TSA guy stopped me and told me I had to take Fuller through with me. I asked if I could go through and then call him because I would not beep but he definitely would so then they just had to pat him down. The guy refused and then told me I had to take all the equipment off of Fullerton and I refused to do that. After a 20 minute argument about why I would not take off Fullertons equipment I asked for a manager. The manager came over and told me I had to go through the metal detector with Fuller. . . grumble grumble, so I did and we beeped. Then they stuck me and Fuller in this glass prison thing until they could get a Female attendant to come help me. . . tick, tock, tick, tock. . . I was so happy I got to the airport super early like my leader suggested. Anyway, the lady finally came over and took me and my stuff to another glass box and they patted down Fullerton first, checked in the leash luggage attached to the leash, his tag bag on his collar and under his jacket and patted all over his body. He did really well during all that and didn't hardly move at all. So, then it was my turn, they checked all my pockets and riffled through my bait bag and asked what was in it. . . umm. . . kibble? Then I got a thorough pat down, felt violated and then they finally let me go. Jeepers, I hope I don't have to go through that again in August going home. It was just annoying! Anyway, then we headed to our gate, but not before we stopped at Starbucks, after security I needed Starbucks. :D Chugged it down while getting lost on the way to my terminal, finally found it and took a seat until it was time to board.
Here is Fuller waiting for our plane. I gave him a sterile bone to chew on, and I read a book. When it was time to board we went through a maze of corridors and then had to board outside and go up really steep steps. (Fuller did great through all of this BTW, he was wonderful and I was very proud of his behavior.) Anywho, we got on the plane and it was TINY! I was expecting a big plane, we got a speck. And almost everyone else had boarded already so I thumped a bunch of people going down the isle and tried to keep Fuller in his own business. Then I found my seat, had to make a lady move to get to our window seat tucked Fuller in (At this point I am really happy he is so small and travel size, he fit great under the seat.) The flight went really well, it was about two hours long and Fuller jumped up when we took off and landed but other than that was perfect. I gave him a couple kibbles to, to help pop his ears. Our only issue was the screaming lady next to us. She obviously doesn't fly a lot because she would scream and grab my arm every time there was a touch of turbulence. It got obnoxious, but I started chatting with her a bit and that seemed to calm her down.
Fullerton in the plane.
When we landed I was so happy to get off that tiny plane, we then had to go down the steep steps again and Fuller was perfect and then navigate the airport. I didn't go straight to the baggage claim I ran outside and found the first place I could potty the boy and he was very happy to go after about six hours. We went back inside grabbed my bags and waiting outside for my Uncle to pick me up.
We spent a few days at my Uncles house, played Wii for the first time and it was FUN!! I suck and my 9 year old cousin kicked my butt, it was fun to play anyway. :D We also went and saw the movie UP and it was way cute. After that my friend from camp last summer came and picked me up with her boys Godfrey and Al. Al is her current PIT and Godfrey is one of her CC'd pups, he came to camp last summer and he and Spanky were best friends! It was fun to see them, Godfrey was actually excited to see me, I didn't think he would remember me at all.
Here is Godfrey, Fuller, and Al (Al is two weeks older than Fuller. . . look at that size difference)
During my few day stay with my friend we went to Olive Garden with our boys (Al and Fuller) were under the table together and did great cuddling together. They also had fun running around the backyard together. Fuller may be small but he can certainly hold his own, he is feisty when he plays.
On Thursday June 11th my other friend from camp picked me up and we drove down to Malibu together. We had a lot of stuff but Fuller didn't mind scrunching on top of the bags.
After a seven hour drive we arrived at camp. Woot woot. I am very happy to be back and Fuller has been doing great. He is sometimes a bit energetic and loopy but the campers have really enjoyed him. I think Fuller likes being here too, he enjoys walks around camp and there are six horses here that he loves saying "Hi" to almost every day since my area (the Rock Wall) is right next to the horses.
Here is my bunk while I was unpacking, so don't mind the mess. :D
Well, that is the first week and I don't have the energy to do any more tonight so look for the next post tomorrow sometime. :D It's nice to be on the blog again, I am working on catching up with everyone else's blogs as well. So have a good night!