If it were up to the kids, Cousin Camp would consist of only two things:
1. Epic games of four-square (epic in terms of length and intensity, and also in some other way as the kids kept using “epic” as some sort of new slang term)
2. Marathon crayfish-catching sessions
But since it isn’t up to them (or at least I still like to pretend that I am the one running this thing) I asked the 7 eldest cousins to teach classes as part of College for Cousins. I wasn’t sure what to expect from these classes, but in the end I was pleasantly surprised by how much thought and planning went into them.
Cousin #1 and Cousin #6 taught Fencing 101, in which they gave a short history of the sport and then demonstrated how to parry and lunge. Jim had made lovely dowel rod foils for this class, but apparently wood is not the material of choice for fencing foils as they all broke by the end of the course. I audited this particular course and found it to be very educational. Plus, the instructors told me I had excellent lunging form. So I am quite proud. I am also extremely annoyed that I have no great photos of this class. Indeed, the class was so well done that we were taking video most of the time and as a result, have few stills. sniff.
Cousin #2 taught Friendship Bracelets 203, which proved to be an absolute hoot. Did you know that 15-year-old boys don’t know how to braid? Shocking! So thanks to Cousin Camp 2011 and the eldest girl cousin, these boys now know this valuable skill.
Cousin #3 taught Tennis Ups and Downs 101. There didn’t seem to be much planning for this course as the instructor brought all of 3 tennis balls with which to teach. But despite the apparent lack of planning much fun was had by the students as they got to practice serving into the vacant yard next door (formerly known as Robin’s house, which she refused to buy – yes, I too question her commitment to this friendship – and now appears to have been bought by some other phantom owner). I foolishly offered $10 to the first person who could hit the maple tree trunk in said vacant lot and within minutes two cousins had accomplished this goal. Sigh. The instructor switched things up a bit for the class of little kids and taught, literally, ups and downs. Please note the appropriate footwear and spot-on tennis stance of these cousins.
Cousin #4 taught Intro to Volleyball where she demonstrated how to set, serve and bump a volleyball. Again I was impressed with the thought behind and the framework of the class. I think the kids actually learned something here. I mean other than the obvious: that volleyball is like torture to uninitiated wrists.
Cousins #5 and #7 taught separate art classes. Cousin #5 chose Drawing Cartoons 304. Again, I was amazed at the thought that went into the planning (it appears that I think my nieces and nephews are slackers as I was continually amazed by what they presented). He had the kids choose a sport item (a tennis ball, a football, a bat, etc) and then add a face to it (happy, sad, guilty, angry, etc). He had examples of each face that the kids could copy. One cousin drew a fencing foil with a guilty face after breaking a wooden foil in the class before. The ballerina drew a happy ballet shoe. The volleyball instructor drew a nervous volleyball about to be spiked. Funny stuff. Cousin #7, an expert in this field, taught Intro to Painting Monkeys. He taught the kids step-by-step, from ears on down to the banana held in a foot.
Still more Cousin Camp recap to come! Stay tuned for the next episode where Aunt Courtney is forced against her better judgement to allow rafting down a river and under a highway. The things I do…