Positivity... and negativity.

I believe that every camp has a place or person that is supposed to instill fear in children.
We had "the barn."
In school, there was "the office."

Threats were thrown in advance, "Do you want to go to the barn?" "If you keep this up, you're going to the office!"

Normally it worked. when I was younger, the threat of the office was intense - it left a bad feeling in my stomach. I even got nervous about the office when I was there for good purposes. The office was a bad place.

Of course, there were other children - some fairly friendly ones, in fact - who were not phased by the office... who had been to the office several times without turning white or wetting themselves.

When I was an instructor at camp, I noticed the same two kids always in the barn. Sure, there was a series of children that changed based on the threat... and then many more who cried and pouted in the barn, never to return again. Two campers, however, made the barn their home.

A couple of years later, I was in charge... and in a position that I could change camp in any way that I liked. I was able to rewrite the rules from the beginning and completely rethink how things were done... and I thought about my barn boys.

What is the purpose of the barn? Is it to modify the behavior of campers who make bad decisions through punishment? If the barn is a successful mode of punishment, then why are the same two campers spending more time there than arts & crafts?

I posed these questions to my directors... and suggested eliminating the barn entirely.

But now what...?

Kid disturbs class -> Class is disrupted -> Kid needs to be removed to restore order

That's the normal order of things. How, then, can this be remedied?

We established a new title at camp, a type of floating director called the "Care Worker." Dr. Bob was hired (the second year... when we got it right) as a 26 year School Psychologist with the instructions of keeping kids from disrupting while keeping them out of the barn... while freeing up my directors to manage the staff and do paperwork.

Bob used anticipation and positive redirection to change the landscape of camp discipline. He made reporting sheets for the counselors to fill out during the day and send home at night for campers who were "at risk." Bob's success came from a simple scoring method that allowed campers who had a certain number of smiley faces over a given time to participate in extra activity time. Most chose fishing, but others went for swimming... or anything. No matter what, Bob would arrange it with the counselor and give that camper a whole period of one on one attention while doing their favorite camp thing...

And it worked.

I have more to write about this after learning about other methodology, but I know one thing for certain: the barn didn't work. We scared campers into following the rules and every so often, we lost... and I think we can do better than ignore the problem.


Ah! Too Many Videos!

Ok, ok...
I promise I will stop posting the videos here. They have been occupying my life, so they ended up being shot over to Blogger when posted. Anyway, I have great news (as noted before) --- I am designing an activity curriculum for a camp company that serves approximately 15,000 campers a year!

Exciting, huh?

All of the work I do will be documented thoroughly and my own, in case I want to take it to other places or turn it into a book... what do you think? Book or consultant?

Kid's Site 2: The Webpage - "Episode 17" Tuesday, October 7th

On this momentous Tech Trek Tuesday, Pete talks about the different video game consoles... plus lots of unexpected wackiness from Jerry Jingles and Barry Buttons!

Kid's Site 2: The Webpage - "Episode 18" Wednesday, October 8th

It's Wacky Wednesday here on Kid's Site 2: The Web Page and Pete and Bryan demonstrate how to draw their quadraltastic masquot, Skwarie. Sharpen up your pencils, this one is a lot of fun!!!

Kid's Site 2: The Webpage - "Episode 19" Thursday, October 9th

In this very special and particularly short episode, Bryan shares a rather odd story about... well, you'll find out! Enjoy!


Kid's Site 2: The Webpage - "Episode 16" Monday, October 6th

Another wonderful "Knot Monday" is upon us, where between silliness and songs, Bryan teaches everyone how to do the entirely useful butterfly knot. Get your short rope lengths ready, 'cause this ones a winner!


"Episode 15" Friday, October 3rd

It's Friday here on Kid's Site 2: The Webpage and we're celebrating in usual fashion with a Casual Competition! See who will triumph in this daring fight for the glory of a rare bead... Will it be Pete or Bryan this week?


Kid's Site 2: The Webpage - "Episode 14" Thursday, October 2nd

It's Story-Thursday and what better way to end the warm season in NYC than by taking a trip to the Bronx Zoo! See Bryan and Pete checking out all sorts of interesting animals on Kids Site 2: The Webpage!


Kid's Site 2: The Webpage - "Episode 13" Wednesday, October 1st

For our very THIRTEENTH (spooky!) episode, Pete shows off how to make a basic airplane... and we're introduced to a new character, Larry Sponsorship. Enjoy!


Kid's Site 2: The Webpage - "Episode 12" Tuesday, September 30th

On this Tech Trek Tuesday, Pete explains what a Web Server is... along with some much more interesting / campy goodness that everyone loves!


User Update :-)

I get some great feedback here at the blog and through email... here's an update from Wendy, who wanted a better quote than what I previously gave her (oops!):
I enjoyed looking at your site. I work with children with special needs and they really seem to enjoy the action filled "camp" songs such as the ones featured on your site. I especially like the video portion of your website so I can see how the song movements go, especially when it's a song that I've never sung before. Keep up the good work!
That makes me feel really good! I got an awesome email from Jen who included:
My name is Jen and I'm a wildmannered humanitarian worker plying my passion
for education on the border between Burma and Thailand. I'm writing because
I recently found your videos on YouTube and wanted to let you know how much
I appreciated them.
Pretty awesome...

Janna gave me some great feedback on Kids Site 2: The Web Page:
My nephew has enjoyed seeing the videos and trying out some of the songs. He even practiced the 2nd magic trick for about 45mins. My hope is that he will be able to watch y'all more and want to go to a sleep away camp finally this summer!
Will you be having special guest females? My 9yr old cousin watched two of the videos and proclaimed it was only for boys. Granted you get that attitude in real life at camp as well.
I really am thrilled for my nephew to finally see it can be fun!
In response, Janna, I am going to have regular segments produced by females - tell your cousin not to worry! I believe the first one will be up this Friday, barring any technical problems!

I really think Janna hit the nail on the head with our goal for this site - show kids how fun camp can be... I hope we can spread that message through our random silliness!

Coach Lion left me this great comment:
I've only peeped a few days worth of KidsSite2, but it looks like you're off to a strong start. The pace is quick, but not overwhelmingly so. I wonder if there's any way to superimpose the words to the songs (like when you "follow the bouncing ball", or karaeoke) at the bottom of the screen so kids can learn the songs and sing along. Makes for more work, but it might make it more interactive (and a good learning/reading tool, as well).
Keep up the good work!
Yes, the pace is fast... The songs are... well, fast as well. I've been trying to figure out the best way to handle the songs. I've been working on the karaoke ball for a while, but it's not the best solution with this video resolution (the text it too hard to read). Instead, we'll include the lyrics as text beside the video and encourage the kids to learn them by practicing along with our other song-only ones.

I'll keep that in mind.

We're trying to add new features all the time, so it will be "right" by the time it's actually discovered! That also keeps me vigilant about updating this blog with new activities and ideas. BY THE WAY!!!!!!

I have big news~!~ Bryan and I were hired to design the entire activity curriculum for a (very) large camp company (I think around 10,000 campers). Hooray!

Quick Tech Rant

I am a loyal Google user. I am. I admit it... In fact, I'm really looking forward to getting an Android phone (Google's iPhone competition). One can find me using many of the free G services on any given day... Search, email, calendar, word processing, blog, chat, analytics - and many others.

Video, though, has proven to be a big problem. I used Google Video for almost 3 years now and it has progressively gotten worse - yes worse. The idea of hosting any amount of videos of any length is great (because YouTube has a space / time limit), but from now on I'm using BlipTV. I fear that Google sometimes spreads itself thin and stops supporting products after traffic goes down... and Google Video is a prime example of that.

Anyway, Kid's Site 2: the Web Page is up with the newest video... with nice quality and a much richer set of options. If you check out the BlipTV version of the site, you can subscribe to the newest videos - cool, huh? All free - so you can use that for your class or camp... Privacy settings come with a small subscription fee... What do you use?



Hey All -

My design firm just launched a new site: www.miza.com about a baby mountain gorilla... and the unfortunate plight of mountain gorillas in general. Let me know what you think!

Also, remember to check out www.kidssite2.com!


ACTIVITY: Trash Balls

On our Friday episode of Kid's Site 2: The Web Page (yes, I'm a shill) we talk about making trash balls. This is an incredible activity for teachers and parents alike because:

  1. Trash Balls are 100% recycled material
  2. Trash Balls can easily be replaced
  3. Trash Balls are easy to make... and easy to make many of them...
  4. Trash Balls do not hurt (generally)
  5. Trash Balls can be played with safely indoors (mostly)
So what are Trash Balls?

First you roll some used newspaper into a ball - make it 2 or 3 sheets.
Then wrap a couple plastic bags (from the store) around the newspaper.
Finally, take a couple strips of packing tape or masking tape and (loosely) wrap everything together.

There you have it - a Trash Ball!

And what can you play with Trash Balls? We personally enjoy the game of Ultimate Dodgeball - it's a real tricky one.

(oh, this is great!)


  • A group of 10 to... hm... 1,000,000?
  • At least 5 - 10 Trash Balls per person
  • A tennis court or gymnasium
The best place to play this is on a tennis court with the net as a divider. If not, half a gym is sufficient. Split the group into two even teams. There are no outside borders beyond the center divider, so additional cones, etc, are not necessary.

The *goal* of this game is to get everyone on the same side... If you are hit with the Trash Ball, switch sides; If someone catches your Trash Ball, switch sides; If you catch a Trash Ball, the thrower changes sides.

WAIT A MINUTE, PETE!?! Doesn't that mean one side could just give up and the game would be over?
Yes. Will that happen? No!

I've played this with kids and adults... and no matter how much I emphasized the GOAL when explaining the rules, they all heard the same thing - throw the Trash Balls at the other team.

This game has excellent discussion points at the end - especially if you let it run for a while.
Did you understand the goal of the game?
Why didn't you just give up so everyone would be on the same side?
(and then approach the hold-outs... the guys that wouldn't say die no matter how few were left on their side)
What was your thinking when you were alone against the larger group?

& etc.

My favorite moment in this game was with a large group of parents who, though completely understanding the goal, turned the game into a ridiculously competitive romp... and subsequently an enthusiastic and intriguing debrief.

I know it's not the greatest...

...but we're at least trying!

Kid's Site 2: The Webpage is not being created by the best actors on the planet... in fact, it's probably obvious that we'd rather be outside than in front of a camera. And we *do* both have day jobs so until we streamline the long and tedious editing process, we're going to be limited in our ability to spend time creating quality content.

We're trying because of the numerous emails and comments we get about our songs. Granted, creating a web-show is a much greater undertaking than an afternoon of singing camp songs, but Bryan and I feel that we have a lot to share... and this is how we chose to share.

Constructive criticism is valued the most...

Here are a couple of examples why:

from Jen in Burma / Thailand
...anyways thanks for the great ideas, and
the entertaining videos. I love your trio - you are good children's
entertainers and your campers are lucky to have you.
from Jean, a Music Teacher
You've done a really great favor to a lot of teachers by including video and sorting the songs into types.
from Wendy, a librarian
I enjoyed looking at your site.

ANYWAY... we will continue to try until we run out of material or no one finds our content valuable... which will hopefully be a long time.


...so this is why I've been busy...

Let's see...
I ran a 1/2 marathon
I proposed (at camp... good pics to follow) - she said YES!
I moved to a new place
I started a new page (kidssite2.com)
I worked on another great kid's site*** (to launch soon)
I went to a bunch of Mets games...
oh... yeah...
I worked at an iD camp for a week (although they wanted much more!)

I'm falling back into a regular routine, so I should be able to actually be around :-)
and, of course, there will be daily updates to Kid's Site 2: The Webpage!


Hey All...

I'm launching a new website exclusively for kids... and by "launching" I mean, it's launched.
I'll be editing it and adding content as I go (remember, I have a full-time gig and full-time fiance!), but I'm sure your younger ones will be satisfied :-)


KIDS SITE 2: The Webpage


Bryan and I have been hard at work developing content for our new project, an online camp for kids called "Kid's Site 2: The Webpage."

The page contains new videos every weekday with lots of activities, songs and general silliness that we've picked up throughout our camp careers. There are NO ADVERTISEMENTS on the page... and there will (hopefully) never be ads. We created a simple interface allowing for maximum access to all of our content.

Our target is 8 - 10 year olds, although that is a moving target and may change as we continue developing the community.

The goal of our project is to share cool and interesting content for kids in a safe, non-commercial environment. That being said, we would love to make up for the web fees and development time through donations or B&P swag... but that will be added through the "Parents" section.

Anyway, please recognize that we're just starting and have a long way to go before perfection... I am not going all out to market this *yet* because we want to seed the site with a week or two of content. Any feedback can be posted here or directly emailed to me at vigeant@gmail.com <>


Several times...

Way... way behind on updating. I know.

I've been very busy between work and other projects, such as moving. Luckily, I had the opportunity to start working on a new site for kids... I don't want to spoil it yet, but I imagine a launch in the next month or so.

In addition, I have a handful of new camp songs (as always) just waiting to be recorded and posted... I've been getting a lot of positive praise on YouTube which is encouraging.

Some day soon, though, I am going to have to rant about YouTube... rather about the teenagers and tweens that choose to write negative comments. I'm not overwhelmed with negative words, but there are enough to startle anyone who works with kids. There's something about the perceived anonymity that the Internet offers that entices young people to spew what I would consider hate language.

I'll cover that topic soon. I'm just reminding everyone that I'm still around :-)


The Economy of Beads (Part 2)

Although I am a fan of the *free* qualities of Blogger, the application that I am using to post this information, sometimes it can be a pain - as it DELETED a portion of my bead post!?!

Until I got some positive praise that pointed out the error, I didn't notice that my entire rare through ultra-rare piece got cut. If you saved the original text, I will love you forever, but otherwise I'll just have to remember what I wrote :-)

Level-1 Beads are those that everyone in the institution can get once. They can be a bulk reward for behaving well or cleaning up trash between periods. I would always have some sort of trash day where every group was awarded a special bead if they had more than X bags of garbage (of course, this got corrupted by crafty kids / counselors who would actually TAKE trash out of the garbage receptacles to fill their own bags).

Here's an example of how to breakdown the bead distribution:
If each camper / participant has 20 beads at the end of the week / session, 10 - 15 of those should be common; 3 - 5 should be Level-1; and the rest should be Level 2+ (you do the math).

The PERCEPTION with Level-2+ beads is that the camper / participant thinks they have something wholly unique that no one else has, or perhaps only a small handful of people have. These beads are not hard to purchase, they can be found at the craft store in variety packs, but the real challenge is the distribution...

Only a few administrative people should be in charge of giving out anything Level-2+. Here's why:

You give Counselor A and Counselor B 10 Level-2+ beads each and tell them to give them out evenly throughout the week. By the end of the week, you find out that Counselor A gave them all out on day 1 and Counselor B has yet to give any out... BLAH!

Level-2+ beads, which I like to call Ultra-Rare or Super-Rare or Super-Ultra-Rare depending on the amount I've seen in my adventures, should be given out for the big things, like one camper helping another finish a project or a camper hitting the bulls-eye with all three arrows. Never indicate *exactly* what they are given out for because that takes away from the good deed... It's all right to motivate them to clean up garbage, but continuously putting on a show for administration in order to get an Ultra-Rare bead is... well... not genuine.

Don't forget the Pomp & Circumstance!!!

I would always wear my bead strand (as well as Bryan) which I had "since I was a camper." Mine was very long and filled with beads of every sort. Some of the beads I had were never even seen by campers at all, meaning that there was a constant circle of campers hoping to catch a glimpse at something Super-Ultra-Super-Duper-Rare. Once a week or once a session, during announcements, I would take a bead off of my very own strand and award it to a camper or counselor in front of everyone. ***That was so key... It not only meant supreme pride within the camper, but her tribe would boast, "Jenny is in OUR tribe!"

/more to come.


Making Beads Work in Every Situation...

I love working with beads... they are quite the motivator with kids, they are generally cheap and they can be displayed in many different ways. In order to use beads, though, whether at camp or functions such as Field Day, a system needs to be established...

The Economy of Beads

So you want to use beads at your camp / school / after school / Field Day / whatever. Great! Why would anyone need beads?

  1. They are a great way to chronicle a kid's journey through your program.
  2. They are a cheap and easy reward.
  3. They are a positive motivation.
  4. They can be traded.
  5. They can be displayed easily (AKA Camp Bling).
  6. They are a take-away that *could* last forever (as long as the child is concerned).
  7. They are unique.
There are more, but you get the idea. Beads are far better than raffle tickets or other motivation strategies because they can have value in the eyes of the child - nostalgic value that translates into positive memories.

The key to any reward structure such as beads is aligning all of the rules about distribution with those that control the beads.

For instance, have you ever had a raffle ticket program that broke down because of an unbalanced structure? I remember watching kids flock to a certain handful of Penny Carnival events and avoid others - not because the content of the game, but because they know where they can get the most tickets. Sometimes, if older campers were giving out tickets, the value would fluctuate even more, because they could overwhelm the system with too many or too few - both situations that would break down the appeal of the reward.

What is the most common child phrase? "That's not fair!"

Are they focused on being treated fairly? Yes! And that's never more apparent when one child gets 200 tickets and the other one only gets 5. REALLY. We're not here to favor one skill over another, we're here to make sure each child leaves with positive memories that they take with them throughout life...

In other words: we want each child to come out on top, like they won... like they have something special that no one else has!

Wow, that's a really tough trick, isn't it? Not entirely. Perception is the key to making a reward stucture that works with everyone.

Here are the basics when working with beads:


First of all, you need to have a good way of displaying the beads. Imagine that at the end of the day / week / session each camper should have 20 beads. If that's the case, what is the best way for them to show off what they have for everyone else. We had the campers make totems, from which the beads hung. At the end of the day, we collected the totems because in many cases (ALL CASES) no one would remember to bring them back. Also, this prevents the sort of corruption that *could* possibly happen at home (I'll talk about corruption later).

Things to thing about when displaying the beads:

Everyone wants to customize their totem / object...

Boys may want to choose something different than girls. Boys will resist anything that looks like jewelry.

Putting beads at the end of a long string seems like a good idea, but can easily turn into a weapon... and just as easily lose ALL the beads when a careless kid swings them around.

Beads decorate backpacks really well and don't seem to both boys (because they see it as a badge of honor).

Approach the Arts & Crafts / Art person at camp / school and ask them to come up with a good solution.

Remember, every time a kid receives a bead, they will want to add it to their bling!!!


All of the beads have value. The value depends on how many other kids have that same bead. Let's say that at the end of the experience, a child has 20 beads. 10 - 15 of the beads can be common, every day beads... the rest should be varying levels of rarity. Each kid should think they have a bead that no one else has.

Value is achieved by the language the beads are described with, how the beads are distributed, what the beads are distributed for and how many beads are distributed.

I broke it down like this:

Colored pony beads are the most common and probably the cheapest. These would be given for attendance - both for coming in that day for camp / etc and for attending an activity. The colors should reflect the area...

For instance, the Nature beads were green. That specialist just had access to Nature beads and they gave them to every camper who came to the area. Since attendance was mandatory, this made the beads a breadcrumb trail of the camper's day.

The colors should be given out to the activity heads and then whatever main solid colors are left are for general attendance. This is valuable because now the kids have bulk and everyone has *something*.

As far as the kids are concerned, everyone in their group will have the same exact number of these of the same color (theoretically). We refer to these as "Attendance Beads" but they really are "Common Beads." They are not given out for any other reason. Once a bead type is given out for *one* reason to a large enough group, that reward has to be consistent.

Rare beads are where beads can be a big motivator. I suggest buying bulk beads off of eBay to try to get some really unique items. Otherwise, go through your local craft depot and pick up as many random assortments as possible.

Before you begin the event / season, the beads need to be sorted out. The rare beads are really determined based on the number you (as the event runner) has and the number of kids. If you can give one bead to all of the kids *once*, then that bead is a level-1 rare. Terminology, such as "Level-1" can be applied to rare beads in front of kids so they feel there is legitimacy behind the assessment.

"Level-1" beads are perfect for clean-ups or anything that you want everyone to do. "If each group can fill 3 bags of garbage, everyone at camp gets a rare bead!

[This is where Blogger cut out some information!]


Whenever setting up something of value, corruption (AKA cheating) must be considered. Keeping the totems at camp until the kids leave means that *if* they have beads at home, they can't be added... This generally doesn't happen because of peer pressure. The more the kids want the beads, the more they will show them off to others. If everyone knows what everyone has, adding unearned beads is difficult and too risky for most children.

Trading beads or stealing beads is also a consideration. Do you want to allow trading? Yes and no. I wouldn't encourage general trading of beads just because a child may start trading other items (sandwiches, Pokemon cards, video games) matching the perceived value of the beads. Trading can occur with administration (HONESTY beads) or between campers during a trade-specific activity that doesn't involve common beads.

Some campers will trade an ultra-rare for another ultra-rare based on aesthetics and I think that is fine as long as it's not disruptive.


I suppose I could write a book about this, if I get into enough detail! I hope that I gave some relevant ideas that help and I am totally willing to share more specific information as needed - or give location-specific advice. Let me know in the comments or email (vigeant@gmail.com).

Hope your Summer planning is going well!!!


A quick note about camp...

I have plans... many, many plans.

This summer, I convinced Bryan to work at iD Tech Camps as an AD and my younger brother Ben is going to be an instructor at iD in Chicago.

This makes me jealous - because frankly, I miss the camp scene. The good news is that all of that will change soon... Bryan is moving to NYC and we have some projects ready to roll out...

Before then, though, I'm producing a Big Urban Game in NYC early this summer - stay tuned!


New Songs (+a couple forbidden ones)

Some friends on the net have been commenting and sending songs... as I said in previous posts, I will definitely get on taping these as soon as possible.

I have some really great news to that affect: BRYAN is moving back from Colorado... which is wonderful. We have some wonderful stuff planned for the future, so keep your eyes open :-)

"Mother Gilligan" (to "Father Abraham") [Thanks Rebecca!]

Mother Gilligan
Had some chicks
Some chicks had Mother Gilligan
And they didn't dance
And they didn't sing
All they did was go like this:
Right wing

...Right wing, left wing
...Right wing, left wing, right foot
...Right wing, left wing, right foot, left foot
...Right wing, left wing, right foot, left foot, bounce head
...Right wing, left wing, right food, left foot, bounce head, big tongue!

"Waddaleeatcha" [Thanks Rebecca!]

Simplest song there isn't much to it
All ya gotta do is doodleydoo it
I like the rest but the part I like the best goes
Doodley doodley doodley doodley doodley doodley doo

"A Ram Sam Sam" [Thanks Rebecca!]
A Ram Sam Sam
A Ram Sam Sam
Gullie gullie gullie gullie gullie
Ram Sam Sam
A Ram Sam Sam
A Ram Sam Sam
Gullie gullie gullie gullie gullie
Ram Sam Sam
Oh Waffy
Oh Waffy
Gullie gullie gullie gullie gullie
Ram Sam Sam

"Purple Soup" [Thanks Rebecca!]
We're makin' a purple soup
(Whoop whoop, whoop whoop)
We're makin' a purple soup
Purple potatoes and purple tomatoes and we

**and a couple of forbidden songs...
[NOTE: technically these aren't forbidden, but they can be slightly annoying if repeated too often, leading them to be banned in certain environments]

"God Bless my Underwear" (to "God Bless America") [Thanks Kim!]
God bless my underwear
My only pair
Stand beside it
And guide it
Through the rips and the holes and the tears
From the washer
To the dryer
To the clothesline
Full of air
God bless my underwear
My only pair
God bless my underwear
My only pair!

"The Song that Never Ends"
This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Somebody started singing it not knowing what it was
And they'll continue singing it forever just because... (repeat!)

"The Song that Gets on Everybody's Nerves" [Thanks Rebecca!]
I know a song that gets on everybody's nerves
Everybody's nerves
Everybody's nerves
I know a song that gets on everybody's nerves
And this is how it goes!


NEW SONGS [experimental, mind you]

...as always, videos as soon as I feel pretty enough for the camera!

"The King on the Phone" (to the "Wishy Washy Washer Woman")

Over in the castle
There's a king on his throne
And all day long
He just talks on the phone
He goes: (murmur, murmur)
(murmur, murmur)
(murmur, murmur)
(murmur, murmur)
That's what he does while he sits on his throne!

Over in the castle
A king eats his scone
And all day long
He just talks on the phone
He goes: [**mouth full](murmur, murmur)
(murmur, murmur)
(murmur, murmur)
(murmur, murmur)
That's what he does while he eats his scone!

Over in the castle
A king starts to moan
And all day long
He just talks on the phone
He goes: (moannnnnn)
That's what he does when he starts to moan!

Over in the castle
A king sings a tone
And all day long
He just talks on the phone
He goes: (**dial tone)
(**dial tone)
("Please hang up and try your call again... this is a recording")
(murmur, murmur)
That's what he does when he sings a tone!

The Broccoli Haters Song
[this is a repeat after me song!]

Birds! Uh uh uh!
**repeat... and etc after each line
Birds fly up!

Rocks! Uh uh uh!
Rocks fall down!

Cars! Uh uh uh!
Car go fast!

Cows! Uh uh uh!
Cows go moo!

Stars! Uh uh uh!
Stars are far!

You! Uh uh uh!
You are near!

Kids! Uh uh uh!
Kids are fun!

Broccoli! Uh uh uh!
Broccoli is NOT! UH!


"Been a long time since I..." [NEW SONG]

Hey - Here's a NEW SONG... plus more to come (if I ever find that notebook!)

My Marshmallow
Ohhhhhh - I married a marshmallow in May
I married a marshmallow in May
Yo ho what a wonderful day
I married a marshmallow in May

Ohhhhhh - I ate a great s'more in September
I ate a great s'more in September
Oh no, where's my mate? Can't remember!
I ate a great s'more in September


Tonsils Finally Out

You would think that two weeks ago when they removed my tonsils that I would be writing more, not less... Alas, instead of taking that time to do something productive, I mainly slept and internally moaned about the ridiculous pain that plagued me when I awoke.

But now the swelling is down and the gross white patches have all but gone away... my voice is back to normal and perhaps more clear than ever (which can't be a bad thing).

[now for something completely different]

Do not ignore that a major election is about to take place. We have been inundated recently with bogus news stories about celebrities gone wild, when the fate of our nation - and perhaps the world to some extent - is resting on who will be the next president.

I was one of the many jaded from the past two elections and I am absolutely tired of sighing because of poor thought out decisions made by our current administration. Countless teachers have told me that "No Child Left Behind" is a flop... Young American men and women die every day in current war efforts that were based on a series of lies - yet we are *spared* from seeing the body bags and coffins returning from the Middle East because our government will not allow the media to photograph them.

When I was younger, there was another Gulf War that dominated the news. My older brother collected trading cards about the soldiers while I learned about Patriot and scud missiles in school. Are kids still doing this, or instead are they learning about what brand of underwear Britney Spears is wearing (or not wearing) this week?

OK, enough rant.

I do have a point. Sometimes we get lost focusing on a single issue, without understanding that full implications of our vote. Please do your research and pick the *BEST* person for the job - that's all I ask.

Personally, I am voting for Barack Obama. I'll let you figure out why :-)


New Year.

Ah, 2008... who ever thought we would see you. Another year, another chance to lament the fact that I spend my days inside a cubicle world (although I do enjoy my job) instead of being outside in the wilderness enhancing the lives of young people...

This year is filled with promising projects for me... There are a couple of museums in the works that will have my interactive touch. I am blessed to have gone to so many museums as a child (thanks Mom and Dad) so that I can give a fairly accurate viewpoint of the typical (or atypical) child. These spaces are becoming more and more interesting... to a point that we're not really allowed to use the name "museum" anymore, rather "experience" or "institute."

Anyway, I have a couple of projects JUST FOR YOU in the works as well. Certainly, I am way behind in my professional cuts of the more popular camp songs... so that will be a priority. I am teaching a Photoshop class to some high schoolers tomorrow (gasp!) so I hope that goes well... perhaps leading to more opportunities in that area. Jamie (my Assistant Director at iD Vassar) may be coming back to iD this year... and we're planning on running the NYC Marathon... or rather I am planning on jogging the NYC Marathon with moments of walking, crying and perhaps napping.

That should be fun. Other projects are in the works... I will start posting more and maybe some podcasting, newsletters and more... just be patient :-)