It was with very heavy hearts that we said goodbye to our final group of summer camp Hazelhutters for 2019: just look what a lovely bunch they are!
As usual we headed into Ronciglione to do some sightseeing and shopping and to have a celebratory meal at Marilena's wonderful restaurant. On the way we found some street art which the children enjoyed interacting with
Then it was time to spend those hard earned euros!
Once all the kids had found a little something to buy, we sat down for a delicious meal.
We ate so much that it was hard to get back up the hill to the Hazelhut!
The parents arrived at 4pm and we held our last ceremony of the year.... There were a lot of Sports Day winners this week - here they are with the cups.
Our Hazelhutter song was bitter sweet this week as we won't be hearing that crazy ukulele for another year, however the children did it every justice with a very cheerful rendition. It's been a great year! Thanks to all the parents for sending us your children and to the children: work hard at school and we hope to see you all again in summer 2020!!!!!
Today was our day to celebrate the arts and the first activity was making magnets in the art room. The children worked really hard and had so many different and original ideas.
But, for obvious reasons, this magnet really captured our hearts and attention!
For some reason snack time is the moment that these kids love to get close to the animals!
The next activity was a game of Jenga for all the Hazelhutters and this set the brave apart from the fearful!
Before lunch we had time for one more activity - the walkie talkie treasure hunt and this set the girls apart from the boys as they were better at following the rules and reaching the treasure; luckily they were good at sharing too!
After lunch we had to say goodbye to the Hazelhutters from the UK, who left early for the start of school... Everyone was sad to see them go and we wish them well in a new academic year.
The remaining Hazelhutters regrouped in the afternoon to pick fruit for the evening desert - apple/pear and blackberry crumble. It was delicious!!!
They also helped to bake banana bread and chocolate cookies for tomorrow's last tea party with the parents.
We have really enjoyed working with this group of children and can't believe they are all leaving us tomorrow.... :(
One of the Hazelhutters had a birthday today and for two others it was their last full day with us, so we decided to squeeze a whole lot of fun into one day!
In the morning it was sunny but a bit windy, so we headed to the lake and first enjoyed some quiet activities. Then the wind dropped away and most of the children went for a dip. The water was lovely and warm.
The next treat the children had in store was hot dogs at lunch time and they went down very well - literally!
On returning to the Hazelhut, the children were keen to swim some more, despite the pool water being not quite as warm as the lake.... so we let them go ahead!
The next treat we had in store for our Hazelhutters was a karaoke party, which some of the kids just loved!
In the evening we celebrated our birthday boy - 11 years old today! We brought the pizza party forward and all the Hazelhutters enjoyed having an al fresco pizza dinner until nightfall....
...and then, of course, the cake!!!!
What a magical day!
Today we headed off to 'La Martingala' for our last horse riding experience of the year.
The children spent time preparing their ponies for the day before they got into the saddle.
Then, under the instruction of Irma and her team, they headed off on a series of equestrian exercises. At the end of the morning they each had the chance to do something unusual and special on horseback..... trotting, jumping, being foot loose and hands free?
Once the ponies were back in their fold, the children enjoyed Rita's lunch with yet another adorable animal - can you spot the puppy, Anita, in this picture?
As soon as we returned to The Hazelhut, the children were keen to get in the water and play their favourite game of water volley.
In the late afternoon we all sat around the camp fire to learn some bushcraft skills from James.
The children were great at taking risks and being courageous and each of them managed to learn some useful skills for survival in the wild. We ended the day with a delicious home-made burger and a game of yogurt bingo(!)
We began today's sports with an exercise in observation and coordination during a Tai Qi session. Once the children were warmed up they showed determination and perseverance in a series of races.
Working as part of a team involved cooperation and consideration.
While frisby and football penalties required focus and occasionally the ability to laugh at oneself!
The children enjoyed relaxing at snack time and showed their comic and caring side with the animals.
The skipping activity was an opportunity for grit and personal drive.
While the nail game required strength and concentration.
Lunch time was another chance to leave the sports behind and enjoy the comfort of a tasty sandwich - Mmmm!
The kids had a swim after lunch and then they did a final sports day activity where they had to collect as many hazelnuts as possible - this required patience and strategy.
Later some children chose to walk in the woods in the hope of finding mushrooms and in order to spoil the donkeys once again!
What a super day!
It was an honour to welcome 11 more Hazelhutters for a week of summer camp - the last of the year! Unfortunately the sky was threatening us and the children didn't have much time in the pool before a storm broke.
However, it didn't take them long to find all the great equipment to help them pass the time indoors and we all enjoyed a game of 'Up Jenkins' before dinner.
Our Sunday night lasagna was a hit as ever and no one minded eating it indoors.
After dinner the children tidied up and got ready for a film. It is a Hazelhut favourite - 'Duplex'!
Friday is the day when Hazelhutters go shopping and this week we had decided to head to Sutri.... however our plans were delayed when we found 3 little kittens in the woodpile!
The children named the stripey one Tiggy and this little girl Lucky; the third one didn't show his face much, but due to his shyness he has been named Timmy.
Finally we were ready to set off for Sutri and decided to check in at the chemist for yesterday's injury, which then turned in to a trip to the A&E followed by an X-Ray... Fortunately there were no broken bones, so it was full speed ahead to go to as many shops as possible before closing time!
All the delays meant we missed out on our mid-morning snack, so by the time we reached Vescovado for lunch, the children were very hungry!
They even managed to fit in an ice cream on the way home!
We barely had time to set up the dining room than the first families had arrived and it was time to celebrate the week's winners....
...and to give an extra rowdy rendition of the Hazelhut song! Thank you for coming, you super 5! We had a fabulous week!
The weather was ideal for a long walk and these 5 Hazelhutters were not afraid to throw themselves into a hike.
So we went to the top of the Tuscia's highest point - Monte Cimino. The beech forest floor was full of beautiful cyclamen and we came across many large boulders.... perfect for a snack!
And to climb up!
There were also a lot of fallen trees to play on.
The kids were having so much fun that we decided to extend the walk and wound up on a pretty long hike, but these adventurous Hazelhutters were very positive and kept up the pace.
The next stop was 'Da Linetta' for a welcome plate of the famous fieno pasta. Back at the Hazelhut, the children enjoyed some free time and decided to have a game of football which is when one of our poor campers managed to injure her toe and knees, making the day not quite perfect!
Bust she didn't give up on the day, making her own pizza at the pizza party and cheering on her friends as they danced their last night away! - That's the spirit!!
In spite of the injury, everyone had a great last day - do we really have to send these kids home tomorrow???!!!!!
There was a great feeling of sisterhood between the girls today - clearly the arts have the power to unite! We started the day with and activity to decorate a photo frame.
Then a photo shoot for the picture to fill the frame, the girls made perfect models!
During their free time the children wanted to swim and they were very good at organising themselves into teams and activities....
In the afternoon we all went to see the donkeys and to make sure they had enough food, water and attention!
Then we went off to hunt for blackberries....
There were hundreds!!! We picked over 2 kilos and some of the girls also picked leaves for Fidel and Belen to enjoy on the way back - lucky donkeys!
The final activity of the day was karaoke and once again the Hazelhutters were united - this time in song!
It has been such a great day, full of magical moments. We wonder what tomorrow could bring......!
It was the perfect day to say 'hello' to the horses at La Martingala, so we headed for the stables soon after breakfast.
The children joined another group of riders and worked on their horse riding skills. They impressed Irma and the others at the centre with their ability and concentration.
The day ended with a competition to mount and dismount then remount and dismount a chosen pony as fast as possible - 2 of the Hazelhutters did it in under 9 seconds!!!
After they had finished the children took care of the ponies....
....and then enjoyed their own lunch.
When we returned to the Hazelhut, the children couldn't wait to have a swim. In the evening we lit the barbecue and the camp fire and enjoyed some home made burgers and chocolate stuffed bananas too! What a day!