Last week I canceled Ski club. Organizers also canceled most of Winterfest.
Not for extreme cold or lack of snow, but because of the protest at the Capitol.
It’s been a surreal week.
On Wednesday, Superintendent Nerad closed Madison schools because so many teachers called in sick.
On Thursday, many other principals closed schools due to teacher sick-outs. I canceled ski club because we had no kids to take.
On Friday, schools remained closed and people continued to swarm the Capitol in growing numbers. Organizers canceled Winterfest which was to take place around the Capitol on Saturday and Sunday. A few events moved to the Memorial Union.
Since I had planned to take kids to Winterfest, we went to the Union instead. To avoid traffic headaches, we rode the bus. This was quite the adventure for the kids. Little did we know that we’d be crammed on a bus with dozens of protesters heading downtown.
The kids loved it. They got to see how peaceful protesters behave and they got to see all the people around the Capitol. They enjoyed reading the signs.
“Beam Scotty Back,” was a favorite though they didn’t get the Star Trek connection.
When we got to the Union, the kids watched sky divers land on the ice, snowboarders compete and snowsculptors sculpt. We ate our PB&J outside. And of course, they ran around on the ice and acted silly. The big fun was collecting snow eggs from the ice, as they called them.
It wasn’t the same as Winterfest, but they didn’t care. Perhaps they got something even better. They got to ride a city bus and see a historic political event. Teachable moments don’t get much better and the best part is that I didn’t have to say very much. They just soaked it up.
Have you ever been a trip where the unexpected happened? Did you take your kids to the protests? Do let me know.
Diane Schwartz takes kids cross country skiing at Blackhawk Ski Club every week until March 4. You can also find her getting ready for spring at Schumacher Farm Park in Waunakee. Become an email subscriber today and receive a free 11 page Bubble Activity Guide for free.