Babysitting Class

A few days ago, we decided to let S10 stay home alone for a short time.  O8 had soccer practice, and DH was on his way home. It seemed like a good opportunity for her to spread her wings a little. She was very pleased with the idea, and handled it very well. When I got home, she had folded her clothes plus a basket of mine (unasked!) and was enjoying some computer time.

Now that she’s a staying-home-alone expert, she has decided it is time to share her new abilities with other, younger kids. She wanted to know about doing some babysitting. I mentioned that the Red Cross offered a babysitting class, and suggested she look into it. Turns out they have an online class. Of course, we had to do it NOW! TODAY!  I agreed to put up the $25 for the class as long as she agreed to finish it. Otherwise, she will have to pay me back.

The class, a canned online program, is supposed to take about 4 hours. It includes videos, quizzes, and scenarios for kids to think about (what would YOU do in this situation?) and discuss. She stayed up the first night and got through two of the four components. The next night she almost finished the course.

Babysitting class

I’m not sure when she will actually do some babysitting for realz, but it was a really good exercise to get her thinking about safety and using “common sense” in situations. Next step is to do a real CPR class, so she can add that to her ‘resume’.


Man vs. Wild Day 2

Today S9 attended the second of four “Man vs. Wild, Jr.” camps at On Target Outfitters.

For today’s camp, the kids were allowed to bring a locking-blade pocket knife. They used the knives to make wood shavings for starting camp fires. They learned how to build a fire and also how to be safe with it (don’t leave the fire unattended, build it in a ring or other contained area, etc.) Again, they split up into teams. S9’s team made a “heat trap” out of bark and were the first ones to have a successful fire- a challenge, since we have had a lot of rain lately.

Fire Station Tour

Every year we try to hit the fire station tours, especially the one at the Liberty station. Unlike our local station, which is all volunteer, the Liberty station has full-time firefighters on staff and they live at the station in shifts. The tour is organized by the library in conjunction with their storytime. In addition to seeing the full-time firefighters, the kids also get a safety talk and some good materials that cover fire safety, including fire prevention. It’s great to know how to call 9-1-1, but it’s even better to know how to prevent a fire from happening in the first place.

We started off inside the station, in the “living room”. This is where the fire fighters can hang out between calls.


Here the kids found out what the firefighters do at the station, and learned about fire safety.

We even met the fire dog.


The station has an office, dispatch room, the living room, a bedroom, kitchen, and shower/bath area. Then there is the garage, where the truck and ambulance are kept.


We got to see some of the equipment that is carried on the truck. Of course, there are hoses. The truck itself carries a little bit of water and a smaller hose, and then there is a larger hose that can hook up to a fire hydrant.


The firefighters wear a lot of equipment to protect themselves from heat, smoke and fire. Here is S7 trying on the helmet.


Some of the other equipment the firefighters wear, which can be as much as 100 pounds of gear, includes an air tank.


The trucks also carry a lot of other equipment for non-fire emergencies, like car accidents. The most surprising piece of equipment was a tub of cat litter, for blotting spills.


This truck also has the “Jaws of Life” for extracting people from mangled cars.


In addition to the fire truck, there is also an ambulance.




At the end, the kids had a chance to hold one of the hoses and pretend they were fighting a fire.



Finally, the truck came out of the garage so we could see the whole thing. It’s a really big truck


We learned a lot and are looking forward to visiting again!