Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Fun: When in Camp

Camp is over for the summer, going out with a bang.

And, well, something of a whimper.

See, yesterday was the end of Build-A-Roman-City camp at a local inventing museum, where the kids had used real tools--including a blow torch--to create their own villas and other landmarks in a traditional ancient Roman city, based on the book by David Macaulay.  Villas, baths (like I helped excavate in Tunisia), amphitheater, Colosseum, forum, city walls and gate (like we saw in London), and others.

Except Mama and I missed the open house.  We had specifically asked when it was and thought we knew (we showed up when the counselor said), but we (or more specifically the counselor) were wrong, missing presentations and the whole city together by about 15-20 minutes.  We arrived as children were departing with their houses to find our kiddos in tears.  Which means I was in tears soon, too.

And we weren't the only ones who didn't get the right time.  Several campers were upset.  And some parents arrived even after us and were not happy (one chewed out the director.)  

I had really wanted to see it.  We'd been looking at the book and even watching videos of virtual ancient Rome on Rome Reborn in preparation.  And I felt bad for the kiddos, who had wanted us to see the whole thing.

But we did get to see the city gate that Sis helped build and the amphitheater Bud helped build . . . and we got to bring them home!  That is some consolation.

Bud, however, keeps remembering things we didn't see--like the water coursing through the 70' long aqueduct they built and the bubbling fountain--and gets that face.

I hope we'll be able to forget the disappointment at the end and remember all the great fun they had.

Not now, though.

But look how wonderful:
The city gate Sis helped build

The colosseum

The amphitheater Bud helped build

Roman forum

Aqueduct

That round area to the right is the communal toilet!!!
I didn't get a good photo of the baths, which were filled with people in various states of undress.  Sis was amazed that others added butt cheeks, penises, and "dots" for nipples.  Otherwise, the baths weren't quite right, though, not being built with hypocaust tiles (I'm an "expert" on this, having excavated that Roman bath house in Carthage.)  There were actually people all around the city--soldiers, slaves, even actors in masks that Bud helped design.  Each child also made a family for his or her villa.

Their individual villas (villae!) were fantastic:  people, furniture, garden with flowers, a peristyle, even a market shop on the street.  And the bake ovens they scorched with a blowtorch!!!  I loved all the little details, each handcrafted and decorated by the kiddos.

Street view.  Sis' house has people an a cart out front.

Side by side, both houses had shops in front.  Sis's was an apothecary-like store, Bud's was a sculptor

With second floors and roofs, peristyle in back.  All of the roofs are removable--the second floor even has more rooms, for the slaves (who don't get shirts.)

Without any roofs--hard to see, but there are mosaic floors, fountains, staircases upstairs, an altar to the gods, vases, flowers, pottery, dining room with reclining couches, and even toilets.  Plus people.

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