A Cicada, A Cup, And A Great Big Smile!

This morning, a child came to camp so excited. He found a cicada on the road on his way to Camp Power. He was thrilled that he was able to help rescue the cicada and share it with his friends. I loved the excited chatter so much that I had to record this little video. 

This cicada experience took me back to my “slug sitting” memories from years ago. That was the year that we had everything from a slug to a snail, worms, and even cockroaches, as class pets. I love all of the wonderful questions, theories, and learning that comes from nature!

It was these memories that I thought about when the child wanted to hold onto his cicada today, even when he was encouraged to leave it outside. One instructor mentioned that cicadas eat “tree sap,” so I took the child with me to try to find a tree on our property. We found one, but he was reluctant to leave the cicada on it. He wanted to bring it home and let it eat off of one of the trees in his yard. While I tried to convince him that we could check on the cicada throughout the day, he was worried that the bug would move when we went inside. How could I argue with that?! I saw how upset he looked, so together, we found a little branch with some tree bark on it — to hopefully provide some sap for the cicada to eat — and put it inside my Tim Horton’s cup. The child made sure to dump out every last drop of coffee “so that cicada doesn’t drown.”

I promised to bug sit … and I did (all day long)! The cicada even made it down to the gym to listen to the amazing musical talent of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. There may have been a small mishap down there, but I think that the bug recovered. 

I share this cicada anecdote here because throughout the day, this child checked in on me and his pet bug. He thanked me profusely for watching the cicada and keeping it safe, and he left camp this afternoon with the biggest smile that I’ve ever seen. All I did was hold onto a Tim Horton’s cup for the day, but for this child, it was so much more than that!

Today was a great reminder for me that sometimes it’s the small things that matter the most. What are some of your “small moment” stories? As another school year begins, I’ll be thinking about what happened today, and hopefully, trying to find other ways to make children smile. A happy child is truly one of the best gifts of all!


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