Finally fighting fire!!!

After a year and a half of waiting it finally happened! I have been an Explorer for one and a half years and I was really looking forwards to a brush fire I could help mop up. Explorers are not allowed to fight and active fire but we are allowed to help mop up after a fire. Today when the brush fire came through I was sitting down doing my Algebra and Papa was outside working on his motorcycle. I immediately jumped up when I heard the magic words "Station 10 Volunteers" and "Brush fire." When we got to the station most of the trucks were missing. However in a few minutes another volunteer, Mr. Chris Seymour, and his father showed up. Mr. Seymour chose to roll in the 4x4 pumper known as Attack 10. Soon we were charging through the light in town and down the road with LIGHTS, SIREN, AND HORN. We drove on down some residential paved roads and then on to some bumpy residential dirt roads. Once on scene we saw the smoke and a line of three or four inch tall flames. Papa was all suited up so he engaged the fire while I suited up. Once the flames were out I was allowed to help drag hose for Papa in the mop-up. Then Papa gave me the hose and I got to mop up under his direction! We ran out of water and were sent back to the station to refill. By this time the fire was out and the brush trucks that were there could handle it. At the station I was given a hands on lesson on filling up Attack 10's water tank. Then another call came through. This time we passed our house on the way to the fire. Mr. Seymour sounded a long horn blast for the boys. We were cancelled before we got to the fire and returned to the station. This great series of events made for quite a memorable time that will always remain as my first fire call where I got to help mop-up the fire.

-Daniel R. H. Cook


Explorer Conference

This weekend Papa, Daniel, and Anne went down to an Explorer/Fire Cadet conference/competition in Coral Springs Florida at the Coral Springs FIre Academy. They left Friday in The Keystone Heights Volunteer Fire Department's Squad 10 accompanied by Caleb Eades and his mother Laura Eades. After the long drive down they slept the night in a classroom at the fire academy. Saturday after breakfast they completed the conference registration and were of to the days events which included vehichel extrication, hose drills, technical rescue, rapelling, and a class on SWAT medics and dive rescue.

Daniel and Caleb agreed that they liked extrication best of all. After all, how often do you get to puncture tires, smash windshiels and rear windows, and cut up cars in the name of training! (Daniel is on the left of the photo Caleb is in the center of the photo and an explorer form another post is on the right of the photo holding the cutters.)

The ground based monitor was fun to control!

The technical rescue included lifting Caleb up high in a stokes basket!

After Technical rescue Daniel, Caleb, and Anne all rapelled from the fire tower. After the conference and cleanup the fun began. Blow up toys including a velcro wall, bungee run, and clibming wall were brought in. The activity Daniel enjoyed most was the blow up obstacle course. He and Caleb did it many times and were definentely sore from doing it at full speed a couple dozen times!

Anne and Papa competed in the bungee run!

After the raffle in which Caleb won a t-shirt and acquired a CD carrying case, they watched Fireproof in the room Papa, Daniel, and Caleb were sleeping in. On Sunday they observed the competition before heading for home. Once back at the station Caleb and Daniel washed and vacaumed the Squad.

Authors note:
This is a highly abbreviated account of the action packed weekend and only touches on a few major points.


Homemade Icicles

Last night, we left a sprinkler on to try and make some icicles...It worked! The bush was partly covered in icicles over an inch long. The bench had a few little tiny ones. The water garden was frozen over (we turned it off last night) and most of the ground had Ice all over it! THe rocks were also covered in ice, not to mention the short bushes too. Here a few pictures:


Bookcases Part 2

Yesterday,Daniel and I went to Mr. Gordon's again. The day before, we had "conditioned" over 40 bookshelves and resanded them down. "Condition" is a pres-stain applicant, which helps the stain apply evenly once put on. Today we conditioned and stained two bookcases, while Mr. Gordon stained shelves. We also were able to work on our AWANA cars. So far we have spent a total of around 15 hours working on the bookscases/shelves! Below this, is a little video that the Garoom Media Corporation put out (The GMC is run by Daniel and I) called "Swenson's Would Werk". In this episode, he shows how to stain a bookshelf:

-Written by Joseph

Doodle 4 Google Contest

Google has put out a drawing contest in which normal schools and homeschools may enter. The goal is to draw a logo for the Google website (using the Google symbol) that explains "what you wish for the world". The google website says: "If you're a teacher at a homeschool, you can submit up to two entries for your students." I will defenitely be entering, along with one other sibling.
There are several age groups:

Kindergarten - Grade 3
Grade 4 - Grade 6
Grade 7 - Grade 9
Grade 10 - Grade 12

More information can be found at ://www.google.com/doodle4google/info.html
To register visit: http://doodle4google.appspot.com/register
Prize information is here: http://www.google.com/doodle4google/judging_prizes.html

-Written by Joseph


Bookshelves Part 1

Yesterday Daniel and I went over to Mr. Gordon Swenson's house, to work on the family bookshelves. All of the bookcases have been assembled and five have been sanded -so Daniel and I have been sanding the bookshelves down. The first day I went over, I sanded One bookcase. The next day, Daniel and I sanded a total of four bookcases. (Two each) Yesterday, we sanded down about 22 shelves (not bookcases-shelves). We still have about 20 left to go! Today we should be going over to sand some more.

Edited By Daniel