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April – May 2014


stuff Fun things to do for parents & kids

Also Inside

The Diplomacy of Being an Aunt Science Day at Dartmouth

Awwww! Baby Animals at Billings Farm

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kid stuff | April – May 2014


editor’s note stuff Hello all,

P.O. Box 500 Grantham, N.H. 03753

Today is a snow day. I’m juggling two kids, a dog and a deadline.

Publisher 9Dot Publishing, LLC

And the snow keeps falling, peacefully, quietly — making me want to indulge in a cup of cocoa and a nap. It’s February, and I’m working on April/May Kid Stuff editorial, so this may be one of our last snow days. Or maybe not — I do remember a storm that dumped three feet on the Upper Valley in the mid-1990s in early April. Snow or no (I’m a poet and I know it), this issue is going to forge ahead to spring, and talk about spring (and summer things) like baby animals and summer camps for teens. We’re all ready for the new and the green.

Laura Jean Whitcomb Editor

Editor Laura Jean Whitcomb Art Director

Laura Osborn Advertising

Amy Davis Laura H. Guion Writers

Barbra Alan Chery Fish Kim J. Gifford Keith Marino Abby Reidy Kata Sasvari Jenn Stark Klaran Warner Laura Jean Whitcomb Emma Wunsch Photographers/illustrators

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kid stuff | April – May 2014

Ben DeFlorio Laura Osborn Kid Stuff is available for free at 140+ locations across the Upper Valley. We’re happy to provide copies to kidrelated businesses or organizations related to tourism — just email us at Kid Stuff Magazine is published five times a year, in February, April, June, September, and November © 2014 by 9Dot Publishing, LLC. All photographs and articles © by the photographer or writer unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Except for one-time personal use, no reproduction without written permission of the copyright owner(s) is allowed. On the Cover: Baby Animal Day at Billings Farm in Woodstock, Vt. Photography by Ben DeFlorio


Photo Courtesy of GWISE

April – May 2014

FEATURES 4 Adoption: How to Get Started in the Upper Valley The adoption process seems complicated, even daunting, as you scroll and click through information on the Internet. This article will help you sort it out. By Chery Fish

8 The Cutest Day of the Year Get up close to newborn animals at the Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vt. Text and photography by Ben DeFlorio


26 Science Day at Dartmouth There are fewer and fewer women choosing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM fields). Fortunately, groups like Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWISE) at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., are combating the decline with support and mentorship. By Barbra Alan



Seasonal Safety 12 Spring Safety Tips

Your Pregnancy 20 Quit Smoking Now

By Emma Wunsch

Nature 14 Name that Frog

By Keith Marino, Gifford Medical Center

Your Child 0 to 4

By Laura Jean Whitcomb 21 The Biddy Committee By Abby Reidy

Photo courtesy Celia Chen

Kids with Disabilities 16 Talking about Talking,

Part III: The Listener’s Perspective By Klaran Warner, OT in Motion

Aunt’s View 18 Sunshine and Lollipops:

Your Child 5 to 9 22 Let the Music Play By Kata Sasvari

Your Child 13 to 18 24 Camps for Teens Compiled by Jenn Stark

The Diplomacy of Being an Aunt By Kim J. Gifford kid stuff | April – May 2014


Adoption: How to Get Started in the Upper Valley By Chery Fish


here’s a child out there, destined to come home to you. Yet the adoption process seems complicated, even daunting, as you scroll and click through so much information on the Internet. There are many steps to take before adopting an infant or toddler domestically or internationally, and this article is meant to help you sort it out. Right: White River Jct., Vt., resident Celia Chen and her daughter, Maya, in Nanjing, China, right after Maya’s adoption in the summer of 2001.

Photo courtesy Celia Chen

Below: Six year later the family (Doug Bolger, Maya and Celia) returned to visit the orphanage in Zhenjiang,China, where Maya lived prior to adoption. The manager of the orphanage (right) poses with the family.


kid stuff | April – May 2014



Contacting a licensed, nonprofit adoption agency is the first step. You will have an intake session, and then very likely a full day of orientation to find out more about the process. A reputable agency — such as Lund family Center in Vermont, Friends in Adoption in Vermont (and New York), and Child and Family Services in

New Hampshire — will guide you through the entire process. Two international adoption agencies to consider are China Adoption with Love and Wide Horizons for Children. You will find more listings at, or at Vermont Adoption Consortium at index.html



Once you choose an agency to work with, you submit an application. Fees vary between agencies and between domestic and international adoptions. Adoption is expensive, and you should expect your agency to provide a fee schedule so you can plan. A social worker with training in the adoption process will do your homestudy, a series of about six meetings, one or two of which are in your home. She or he will get to know you in order to guide you through the adoption process and help you make decisions that are right for you. A good, easy relationship with your worker will be essential as this person helps you navigate emotional hurdles and face issues that may come up through the homestudy process, through the wait for your baby or little one to come home, and finally through the period with your child at home as you wait for the court finalization of the adoption (usually six months after placement).

copies of your most recent federal income tax form, and discuss your finances in regards to your ability to support a child (or another child). Trust your worker and share personal information candidly, all with the express purpose of preparing for an infant or child coming into your life. Guidelines for the homestudy are set by the state where you live (and by another country if you adopt internationally). Think of your approved homestudy as your “ticket” to adopt. Adopting internationally will require much more paperwork; in fact, a dossier will be compiled before you begin your wait to bring home a child from another country. Maryanne Ludwig at Wide Horizons for Children says that the wait is long for a young and healthy child from China, sometimes years. How-

Trends in Adoption Open adoption is where there is contact to some degree between adoptive and birth parents and in a closed adoption there is no contact and identifying information is not shared. According to Caroline Glennon, manager of Adoption Services with Child and Family Services, “adoptive parents are choosing to do more legal risk placements…meaning they take the child home right from the hospital rather than using foster care for those few weeks where the legalities of the adoption

ever, children with medical issues that are routinely handled in the United States, such as cleft lip and palate, are coming home much quicker. Children are coming from Asian countries — South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan — and from the Ukraine, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ethiopia, just to name a few. International agencies must be Hague Accredited.


Photo courtesy Lisa Hayes

You will have a criminal record check, and be asked for a copy of your marriage license, birth certificate and other documents. You will be asked a lot of specific questions about your lifestyle and relationships. It will important to remember that your worker is on your side, supporting you as prospective adoptive parents in your preparations for a child. You will provide


When you are approved to adopt, you begin the waiting process. Lyme, N.H., residents Ken and Lisa Hayes adopted their sons Ryder (left) and Spencer from Chicago, IL. Celia Chen, a White River Junction, Vt., everything they can get their hands mom who brought her now teenon and talking with others who age daughter home from China, have already adopted. Preparing a says “once we actually saw Maya’s nursery, child-proofing the home, picture, we could hardly wait to and making arrangements at work meet her, but the preparation for for maternal and paternal leave the trip to China and getting ready keep the focus on changes about to to bring her home kept us busy and happen in the family. While it isn’t focused.” always possible for both parents to Most families prepare their take time off from work at the same homes and their hearts by reading time, it is especially important to lighten workloads so that parents and the new member of your family are being worked out.” In some situations have time to bond. Creative parents the birth mother will have signed a are sometimes able to take their consent form to free the baby legally to be maternity and paternity leave from adopted, but the birth father will have work at different times, or are able either not been identified, or notified, of to cut back hours when their child the birth, or he has not signed legal comes home.

documents giving his consent to the adoption. Glennon also talked about a tendency in recent years to choose a semi-open adoption where letters and pictures are provided by you, through the agency, to the birth parents, once a year.

For more than six years Chery Fish worked as an adoption social worker with Vermont Children’s Aid Society in Woodstock, Vt. Part II of the adoption series, The Homecoming, will run in an upcoming issue of Kid Stuff magazine.

kid stuff | April – May 2014


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The Day of the Year


Text and photography by Ben DeFlorio

o the great delight of children and grownups alike, Billings Farm in

Woodstock, Vt., annually hosts a “Baby Animal Day.” It is a wonderful chance to get up close to newborn lambs, calves, ducklings, chicks and more, as well as participate in crafts and go on horse-drawn wagon rides. The day is a lovely way for families to welcome spring and the rebirth of the world around them. Here is a selection of photos from the 2013 event.

Tate Merchand of Strafford, Vt., edges up to see young calf with his mom, Randi.


kid stuff | April – May 2014

Jakob Bergquist, with mom Sarah at his side, look in at Roman tufted goose.

Billings Farm staff member Heather Johnson feeds a lamb from a bottle.

A Roman tufted goose chick

Baby chicks under a warming lamp

kid stuff | April â&#x20AC;&#x201C; May 2014


Allison Bowman of Barkhamsted, Conn., holds her son, Beckett, while her other son, Oliver, reaches in to pet Harriet the sheep.

A little lamb, looking for someone its size to hang out with, approaches young Ava Herschel.

Caitlin Eames is held by her grandmother, Ginny Eames of Woodstock, Vt.

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seasonal safety

Spring Safety Tips By Emma Wunsch

hhh, signs warning of frost heaves, giant melted snow puddles in parking lots, and mud, mud, mud. Welcome to spring in the Upper Valley. While snow-free days and above freezing temperatures might make you dig out the Crocs and send the kids outside, spring in the Upper Valley can come with its own set of safety issues. Here are some tips from the experts about spring safety for your family.

Playground Safety Parents can learn a lot from Elise Thayer. Thayer, the founder and administrator of the Montessori Discovery School in Lebanon, N.H., has been supervising children for more than 18 years. For her students to be especially safe on the school playground, younger children (3 and 4) are only permitted on the smaller structures that don’t have monkey bars, high slides or any balancing activities. Older children can use the bigger structures but are always closely monitored by the school’s staff. Constant supervision means that the school’s staff will notice if a swing seems loose or a slide gets a crack. At home, you should also check your backyard slides and swings. Spring is also the time to check and possibly replenish the surface underneath a play structure. Mother of two and Dartmouth-Hitchcock pediatrician Tricia Groff says that wood chips, a common cover for playgrounds, “work well to break a fall.”


kid stuff | April – May 2014

Courtesy U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission


Wearing the proper size bike helmet and adjusting the fit is critical to protecting your children from an accidental head injury while cycling. Wear the helmet flat atop the head, not tilted back at an angle. The side strap should form a “V” around the ear with no slack. Adjust the side and chin strap so that the helmet does not move either sideways or back and forth.

Groff says one of the most common, preventable playground injuries she encounters is a parent riding a slide with a child in their lap. While this may seem safe, Groff says that having the adult with them can cause “a child’s leg to get caught on the slide and easily break.”

Ticks While running around in the fresh grass can be a wonderful respite from winter, spring is the beginning of tick season in the Upper Valley. Ticks are small insects that live on the blood of mammals, birds and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. They are carriers of a number of infectious diseases, including Lyme disease. Symptoms range from headaches and fatigue to a circular rash and fever. Groff recommends “nightly head-to-toe tick checking during the spring to fall months because as long as a tick is not in place for more than 36 hours, it is unlikely

to transmit Lyme disease.” Groff also thinks the head-to-toe checks are important because they can help parents “catch the rash of Lyme disease (target lesion) early on.” Lyme disease caught early can often be successfully treated with antibiotics.

Bike Safety Spring is the time to get kids back on their bikes, but before you send them on their way, you want to make sure that their bikes are 100 percent safe. Jonathan Wilmot, one of the owners of Omer and Bob’s sport shop in Lebanon, N.H., has a few recommendations for

children to be as safe as possible on their bikes. First, squeeze the tires to be certain that there’s enough air. After sitting unused all winter, it’s common for tires to be flat. Also, parents should test the bike’s brakes before allowing their child to ride. Bike helmet laws for minors vary from state to state, but it’s undisputed that bike helmets make riding infinitely safer. Generally, bike helmet manufacturers recommend replacing bike helmets every three to five years. Wilmot says it’s the small impact damage, like being thrown on a hard surface, that can undermine a helmet’s strength, so look to make sure there’s no visible damage. The other crucial part of helmet safety is making sure the helmet covers the child’s forehead. Wilmot says he often sees children with their “foreheads exposed” because their bike helmets have been “perched on the top of the child’s head like a bird’s nest.” According to Wilmot a good rule of thumb for helmet placement is to “have the front of the helmet be a finger width above the eyebrow.” Bike helmets come in three sizes: child, toddler and youth and, unlike clothes, helmet size does not strictly go by age. Wilmot has seen some 6 year olds with the same head sizes as 12 year olds so making sure a helmet fits is essential for optimum safety. If the helmet has a dial adjust fit system, it should be adjusted so the helmet will not easily move out of position and helmet straps should also be adjusted so they are comfortable around the ears and snug under the chin. Wilmot says parents should trust their instincts and if a helmet “looks small it probably is.” In addition to properly maintained bikes and lowfitting helmets, Wilmot recommends getting your child a pair of gloves, especially if they are new to riding. He says that the gloves can help keep bike riding more positive since it’s common for kids to fall and cut up their hands. Gloves that prevent minor scrapes and cuts can help a kid get back on his bike long into spring. Emma Wunsch lives with her husband and two daughters in Lebanon, N.H. She works in donor relations at Dartmouth Hillel and writes fiction in her free time.

kid stuff | April – May 2014



Name that Frog By Laura Jean Whitcomb


id you know that there are 10 species of frogs native to New Hampshire? The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department does, and shares information about these species — from American toad to Fowler’s toad — on their website. The Fish and Game’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program also produces a series of handy wildlife identification cards that families can use as they are out and about enjoying the local landscape. “The Wildlife ID cards were originally produced over several years and given as gifts to private supporters who donated to the Nongame Program. We do maintain a supply in stock and the cards are available to anyone for a suggested donation of $1 per card,” says Allison Keating, program planner for

Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. “However, if a teacher is interested in them for educational purposes we can provide a limited

supply at no cost.” The Wildlife ID cards currently available are: Frogs, Snakes, Salamanders, Turtles, Hawks, Owls, Coastal Birds, Marsh/Wetland Birds, Butterflies and Dragonflies. New cards come out annually as well. Get your set by writing to Allison Keating, Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, New Hampshire Fish and Game, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301. Checks should be made out to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program with a note specifying any preference for the ID cards. Laura Jean Whitcomb is the editor of Kearsarge Magazine, Upper Valley Life and Kid Stuff. Her son loves facts about animals, especially turtles.

The back of the each card features six species with four species on the front.


kid stuff | April – May 2014

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kids with disabilities

Talking about Talking, Part III: The Listener’s Perspective By Klaran Warner


hen meeting someone for the first time, we ask where they work, where they live, what pets they have, how many children they have. When we see our friends, we ask what they did last weekend, how they feel about the weather, how long have they been sniffling. We want to know where they are coming from so we can meet them at that point, and start to talk in a sharing manner. We want to have the information we need to take their perspective, to understand what they might be thinking and feeling. Adults are adept in “perspective skills.” We use our perspective skills in social language with other adults and children. When speaking with our friends, we might complain about the cost of gasoline, or our fatigue with shoveling yet another snowfall. With children, we don’t start a conversation about the price of gas because it is not relevant to the child’s experience or enthusiasm! If talking about the weather, we veer away from a technical listing of snowfall amounts or temperature variations, and chat about whether sledding is possible. We are adept at taking the perspective of our children, because we know them thoroughly. We have lived through most of their experiences. We can anticipate many of their next thoughts, words, actions and reactions. The skill of taking perspective develops during childhood. If you have heard a baby join in and start to cry when another baby cries,


kid stuff | April – May 2014

you are noticing an empathy that is present during the first year of life. Somewhere around age 1, the child can distinguish his own discomfort from that of another child, and will show concern for the crying baby, but will no longer start to cry as well. By the time they are 2 or 3, children might be able to identify why another child is uncomfortable, and will know how to ask for help for someone else. By age 6, children can see things from another person’s perspective. The ways in which they try to support, help or fix it will increase in variety and effectiveness. Working through this growth in perspective skills prepares the child for interesting conversations. Without perspective skill, the child will talk only about his own interests, unaware that he is losing his listener. Dialogue becomes monologue with the child unable to tolerate interruptions or questions. If you know a child with autism, then you’ve seen this in action: a nonstop dialogue about dinosaurs that is interesting and fact filled, but completely one sided. Certainly, there are times when putting forth our own perspective is appropriate, like when we are in persuasive mode. But even then, to be maximally effective, we have to choose our words, topics and language structure. We do that through our knowledge about our listener. This is called “taking the listener’s perspective.” Children can be led to increased ability to take the listener’s per-

spective. If this skill is not developing naturally, the words and insights can be taught and practiced. Parents can model a concern for others; observations, with the implications, such as saying, “Mary seems tired. I noticed that she’s not talking as much today. Maybe I won’t bother her right now.” Remind children of topics and connections they have in common with others: “Remember Jay loves trains, too — why don’t you ask him about his trains!” Help children to see when they lose their audience with clues like “Honey, sis seems bored. Maybe this story about trains is too long for her right now.” Congratulate successes saying, “Boy that worked well — you guys loved talking together about the snow day!” Klaran Warner became a speech pathologist because she was interested in the interface of thought and language. She has worked in schools in the Upper Valley since 1976, watching — and enjoying — the evolution of her practice, caseload and collaborators. She lives in Grantham, N.H., and can be contacted at OT in Motion in Sunapee, N.H. ( This is the third article in a series; the first appeared in September 2013 and the second in the February 2014 issue of Kid Stuff.

explore ‡ experiment ‡ express






kid stuff | April – May 2014


aunt’s view

Sunshine and Lollipops: The Diplomacy of Being an Aunt By Kim J. Gifford


his is the prevailing notion: being an aunt is all sunshine and lollipops. Like grandpa and grandma, you get to spoil, have all the fun, then send the kids home to Mom and Dad at day’s end. I’m here to dispel this notion — or at least offer some perspective. Being an aunt may have its moments of sunshine and a good share of sticky lollipops, but it is also a lot of hard work. Being an aunt requires a certain level of education and the initiative to keep apprised of popular culture, an ongoing task! We are responsible, after all, for knowing the lyrics to the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song, the plots of everything from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, the right answer to who is the hottest member of music group One Direction, and at what age Justin Bieber stops being cool. While parents can receive the proverbial eye roll and maintain their status, this is the kiss of death to an aunt who must appear “in the know” at all times. Interestingly, education, initiative and strong interpersonal skills are all characteristics prized in Foreign Service. Look at it this way: if Mom and Dad are akin to the President, responsible for laying down policy and overseeing the way a family runs, then aunts are the great ambassadors, skilled in diplomacy and maintaining the delicate balance between a child’s happiness and the rules her parents establish for her well-being. It takes a great deal of energy to pull this off in


kid stuff | April – May 2014

such a way that the child continues to think you are cool and the parents an acceptable influence. It’s not easy. Your degree of success often depends not only on your own highly honed skills, but also on whether the parents behave as dictators or a friendly nation. Consider the Ultimate Cheerio Test. A few weeks ago, I was visiting my 20-month-old niece, Ellie. She knows me well, calls me by my nickname “Auntie Bee,” and trusts me to make decisions just like her parents, and some-

times instead of them. Such was the case that evening. We were playing on the floor before dinner, climbing in and out of a makeshift tent, when she reached for a box of Cheerios on the shelf. “Open Mommy?” Her Mom caught it mid-air, saying, “No, Ellie. We are going to have dinner soon.” Not to be deterred, Ellie waited until her Mom’s back was turned, reached for the Cheerio box again, handed it to me, and, with pleading brown eyes and quivering lip, asked me, “Open Bee?” Her Mom spun

around and suddenly there were two sets of eyes staring expectantly. What to do? Negotiate as any good ambassador would. “Okay, Ellie, you can have two, but only two, because Mommy is making you a yummy dinner.” Ellie’s crocodile tears dried up before dropping and Mommy nodded approval. Disaster averted! Negotiation doesn’t always work. Sometimes in order to avert an allout nuclear war with the parents you have to come clean. A few years ago I snuck my then-9-year-old nephew Raine, high on sugar, home like a drunk in the night. I gave him $10 for a candy bar, expecting change, and he bought three bags of candy, eating half of the first before leaving the store. Unable to hide his ceaseless giggles and the fact that he was literally bouncing off the walls, I confessed to his sugar-conscious, vegetable-pushing Mama that he had devoured a bag of Peppermint Patties. I gladly suffered the stern look of disapproval, winked at Raine when her head was turned, and allowed him to sneak up the stairs with his remaining two bags of ill-gotten gains. Sometimes the only way to maintain your reputation with both parties is to be surreptitious. Aunts have the advantage with parents anyway. They’ll forgive you the next time they need a babysitter. Kim J. Gifford lives in Bethel, Vt., where she is known as “Auntie Bee” to Christian, Adam, Raine, Catherine, Avery, Tori, Ellie, Cameron, Keagan, Hailey and Kaleigh. A writer, teacher and photographer, her favorite job is being an aunt.

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your Pregnancy

Quit Smoking Now By Keith Marino, Gifford Medical Center


s we have heard in the news, from our doctors and from the surgeon general, using tobacco, smoking or chewing is bad for our health. Not only does smoking cause harm to our own health, but that of people around us. This is especially true for our immediate family members. Our children are at increased harmful effects from smoking. We all know quitting is the right thing to do. Economically tobacco products are a financial strain. In some states a box of cigarettes can cost as much as $10. Knowing quitting is the right thing to do and quitting are two different things, however. Studies have shown nicotine is more addictive than heroin and cocaine. Research shows it can take as many as seven attempts to quit smoking, so if you have attempted quitting and have not been successful, don’t be too hard on yourself. Here are some tips to help increase your success.

1 Set a quit date. This is the most

important thing to do. You’re telling yourself this is when you’re going to quit!

2 Use the four “D’s”:

Drink water. Drinking water may distract you, and it flushes the nicotine out of your body. ■ Delay. Wait a few minutes. The urge for a smoke may pass. ■ Deep breathe. Take five deep breaths and relax for a few minutes. You may not want a cigarette as much anymore. ■


kid stuff | April – May 2014

Do something else. Spend time with people who don’t smoke. Do something you enjoy, such as calling a friend, seeing a movie or going window shopping. Plan ahead if you’re going somewhere with other smokers. Think about how great you’ll look without a cigarette. Hold a straw if you need something in your hand. Chew gum or eat a lowcalorie snack. Exercise! If you’re pregnant, the best exercise is walking 15 minutes every day. Start slow, and then get faster.

3 Think of what things or activities

you associate with smoking. And then think of ways to remove these from your day. You’d be surprised when you think about what triggers make you want to smoke. Brainstorm how to remove these triggers from your day. If these tips don’t work, other help is available. 802Quits (www.802quits. org) is the statewide resource for Vermont and

is available for New Hampshire residents. is another great resource. Locally, hospitals like Gifford Medical Center offer one-on-one counseling and group support classes. Free nicotine replacement therapies — like gum, patches or lozenges — are available through the state organization or a Vermont Quit Partner like Gifford. There are also prescription options, which would require a visit to your health care provider. Studies show that smoking cessation counseling combined with the use of medications is the most successful way of quitting. Keith Marino is a tobacco treatment specialist at Gifford in Randolph, Vt., and at Gifford’s clinic locations throughout central Vermont and the Upper Valley. He is also a member of the hospital’s Blueprint for Health team and an EMT in his hometown of Waterbury, Vt. To access a Gifford tobacco cessation class or resources, call (802) 728-7710.

your child ages 0-4

The Biddy Committee By Abby Walsh


wish I could respond better to snarky comments. Typically I’m stunned into speechlessness in the moment and then obsess for weeks about the perfect comeback. The intestinal fortitude one needs to be honest is not a quality I possess in words spoken. I prefer my bitterness to seep out in writing. A zinger came my way one Sunday morning. My family attended a breakfast put on by a volunteer organization to spread the word about their services. My husband was on son duty. Naturally this meant that I watched others steer my 20-month-old away from hot coffee and pulling down tablecloths. I cradled my newborn daughter in the crook of my elbow as I scurried after the little guy. At one point he had an open cup of apple juice and stains down the front of his shirt. The bright idea came to mind that maybe, just maybe, we could put the juice in his bottle with a lid. It was clear I needed to fix the situation while my husband sipped his coffee, ate banana bread, and socialized. As I went into the basement kitchen, my newborn arching her back over my elbow, a sippy cup in my hand, and an obstinate little boy wanting his juice shadowing me with cries, a grandmother stopped me with a gasp of horror. At last someone realized I needed help! Wrong. She was aghast that I held my daughter in such a way and scolded me as if she was telling a child to keep hands away from a hot stove. Burning with shame, I pleaded I just needed to get my son his juice. With urgency she asked if I had help coming to my house as if my

daughter’s life depended on it. She stretched out her hands and insisted on holding my daughter. It is unbeknownst to me why I handed my little baby to her. My son’s cries ceased as he chugged his juice. All was right with the world for him. Not for me. Granny and her compadres were giving me the evil eye. She asked me if I wanted my daughter back as if I was a fungus to which she reluctantly wanted to return my flesh and blood. There was no disguising her condescension as

she lectured me on how to hold my baby as if I was twirling her around with her neck adrift. I squeaked out a terse reply, left the kitchen in a hurry, and averted my son scalding himself with her husband’s drink. A dose of compassion will go farther than a reprimand. After a particularly hard time out in public with my children, it is then that I hear from seasoned mothers that it “only gets harder.” I’m on the verge of tears, please don’t tell me that. Then there’s the spiel about how time goes by all too quickly and to appreciate every moment. My toddler and infant are both in diapers. They cannot dress

themselves, feed themselves, or virtually do anything for themselves. At those moments of peak frustration, I am not thinking about how time flies when each day feels like an eternity. Rather, I’m looking to sell my children to the lowest bidder. One particular day, I realized I had outgrown a play group. There was so much chatter about nursing, sleeping schedules, and pureeing foods. I was now a mother of two, and I thought these mothers were so silly to be feeling this way. Just have another one ladies. It doesn’t matter what you do because every single tiny thing goes out the window and survival mode kicks in. There is no time to ponder anything when it is two against one! If I had a mirror in front of me, I would be forced to see my own hunchback and toothless grin…I became the biddy. I lacked the charity I was looking for in other women. In every stage of motherhood, each worry is real. Whether it is a birth plan, sleepless nights, nursing or formula, disposable or cloth diapers, immunizations, health, stay-at-home mothering, day care, preschool, full-day kindergarten, sports, dating, driving, college, employment, marriage, family, grandchildren, death — we are not immune to life and its joys and challenges, and we women feel every milestone in our weary hearts. Mercy. I need to extend it as much as I need it. Abby Walsh lives in Lebanon, N.H., with her husband and two young children. She is employed by her two children and, in her free time, works as a library substitute for the Lebanon Public Libraries. She blogs at

kid stuff | April – May 2014


your child ages 5-9

Let the Music Play photos Courtesy Tuck’s Rock Dojo

By Kata Sasvari


laying sports isn’t the only way to learn teamwork. Playing an instrument — solo and later in a band or an orchestra — is another way to develop skills like cooperation, negotiation, compromise and other social skills. Tuck’s Rock Dojo, located in Etna, N.H., teaches music to kids in a nontraditional way, by nurturing their creativity and boosting their love for sounds. “The most effective way to teach a kid is if you listen to their goals and let them guide you through their imagination,” says Tuck Stocking. “Of course along the way you can show them important tools to get better and develop.”

Founder Tuck Stocking

Stocking notes that the school’s name is a metaphor for a center of focused learning. The focus, however, is on the child. Imagine, you come in for a lesson and the teacher asks you, “What is on your mind today?” You tell him, and he teaches you the skills you need for playing the song. The floor is covered with all kinds of instruments. It is a colorful and




Music is a gift you can give your child that will last a lifetime. Learn more at

kid stuff | April – May 2014

comfortable place with the magic of sound all around. It’s like a musical playground, really. And, in the middle of it all, there is Stocking, the founder of the dojo. His energy, enthusiasm and passion for music are phenomenal. Students look at him as not only a teacher but also a friend. Through one-on-one lessons a child can learn about the instrument he or she is most interested in. As a multi-instrumental musician himself, Stocking’s abilities keep the musical experience exciting and new. But Tuck’s Rock Dojo is also well known for its performance classes. “It is important to learn that together kids can make something larger than the sum of its parts,” Stocking says. “Playing in a band as a kid?” you may ask. Oh, yes! Week-by-week, twohour practices, and as soon as there is a stable set list, kids can be playing somewhere in the Upper Valley for real audience. This could be a restaurant, a festival or a school dance. The events are developing the students’ musicianship, and the kids are learning cooperation, sharing, compromise,

creativity, problem solving and concentration — skills that become invaluable as they face new challenges, begin to form new friendships and develop social skills. “The bands play songs that the kids enjoy and identify with as a vehicle to first deliver the essential mechanics of music, and then lead into making it real on the stage and in the world. It is a great way to practice how it feels to stand up in front of others and present,” says Stocking. “Many bands even got to a level at the dojo where they also wanted to preserve the moment: they wrote and recorded their spark at the dojo.” The school is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year. Mark your calendar for a concert at Tupelo Music Hall on Sunday, April 27, at 5 p.m., featuring four bands and Tuck Stocking. Come and see for yourself what music can do for a child. Kata Sasvari is a mother of one. She lives in Lebanon, N.H., and spends much of her time juggling a 6 month old and organizing educational events for CHaD.

2014 Art Camps at the Morrill Homestead Taught by Jennifer Brown & Anmari Kicza. Drawing and Watercolor Workshop for Children Monday-Friday, July 14-18, 9:00am-12:00 noon Explore the fantasy of nature, history and architecture through drawing, writing, mapping, watercolor painting and more. Create handmade books of your new artwork! &ORKIDSAGES s&EE

Advanced Drawing and Watercolor Workshop for Youth & Teens

Monday-Friday, July 21-25, 9:00am-12:00 noon Explore color, value and creating a sense of depth. Practice new ideas and techniques in handmade books and realize your vision in finished paintings. Emphasizes direct observation of the environment. &ORKIDSAGES &EE

Ask About Our Summer Camps and Special Summer Tuition Deals! Call Today To Schedule Your Free Introductory Lesson!

Preregister your child for one or both workshops by calling 802-765-4288, or email: 6WUDÍžRUG9HUPRQW

Make this your kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best summer ever!

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Â&#x192;Â?Â&#x2019;Í&#x2122;ÇŁÂ&#x160;Â&#x2021; Â&#x2039;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2021;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2122;Â&#x2021;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201D;  Monday to Friday, June 30â&#x20AC;&#x201C;July 4

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Â&#x192;Â?Â&#x2019;Í&#x203A;ÇŁÂ&#x2020;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2021;Â?Â&#x2013;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2021;Â&#x2021;Â&#x2021;Â? Monday to Friday, July 21â&#x20AC;&#x201C;25

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603.523.3526 kid stuff | April â&#x20AC;&#x201C; May 2014


your child ages 13-18

Camps for Teens photo courtesy Camp Coniston

Compiled by Jenn Stark


t’s not easy to keep teenagers entertained over summer vacation. Sure, they could work (age and hour restrictions vary from state to state), but you’d most likely be driving them. And you certainly don’t want them in front of some electronic device for 8 to 10 weeks. But what about camp? Yes, Virginia, there are still camps for older children. Here are a few ideas. Teen Adventure Trips Newport Recreation Department Newport, N.H. (603) 863-1332, PJ Lovely, recreation director, will lead a small group of kids (10) on exciting adventures throughout New England. You must register and pay in advance for all trips. The following are examples of trips from 2013: Six Flags, Canoe the CT River, Laser Tag, Hiking, White Water Rafting, Sunapee Adventure Park, Hampton Beach, Laser Tag in our Town Forest, Bromley, Deep Sea Fishing and Rock Climbing.

portunities for children ranging from age 6 up to 16, divided based on age, and will culminate in a performance for family and friends. Camps are taught by a combination of Barn staff, members of the acting company, and professional guest artists.

state-of-the-art turf and practice fields, a fully equipped dining hall, modern dormitories, a student center, and a gymnasium and auditorium for camp gatherings and films. A day at camp includes skills, scrimmages and other fun activities.

Paul Hogan Basketball ID TECH Summer Camps 2014 and Soccer Camps (888) 709-TECH, Concord, N.H. In 1999, an independent family (603) 340-1719, company set out to reinvent “camp” Paul Hogan’s Basketball Camps are for the 21st century. Summer technoldesigned to help young people deogy programs for kids and teens are velop the necessary skills to improve held at more than 80 universities YMCA Camp Coniston and master the game of basketball throughout the United States, Grantham, N.H. and soccer. Coach Hogan’s camps including Southern New Hampshire (603) 863-1160, present a positive and passionate apUniversity in Manchester, N.H. For YMCA Camp Coniston is a co-ed proach leading to a lifetime of success, teens ages 13 to 18, there is an residential camp located on beautifitness, and happiness both on and off intensive two-week, precollege iD ful Lake Coniston and surrounded by the court/pitch. Each camp is varTech Academies at select 1,200 acres of camp-owned forested ied in length and format but each parent tip land. Camp Coniston is the perfect camp provides the camper with a Want Sports? place for a child to make friendships positive opportunity to learn more has a that will last a lifetime, as well as about the game while having fun. lengthy list of sports camps durlearn about themselves and the world New England Junior Prep Soccer ing the summer. Visit the website, around them. Ages 12 to 15. Camp Senior Overnight Camp select the sport you’re interested New London Barn Playhouse Lightning Soccer Club in, and you will be directed to a New London, N.H. (802) 649-7096, dedicated website and contact (603) 526-6710, This one-week camp takes place on information for that particular The Playhouse offers camps for the campus of Kimball Union Acadcamp. Camps are held on or near young performers. For five weeks over emy, a co-educational boarding school the Dartmouth College campus. the summer, each week will have oplocated in Meriden, N.H. KUA features 24

kid stuff | April – May 2014

universities. The company guarantees a maximum of 8 students per instructor for personalized learning.


photo courtesy ava Gallery

AVA Gallery and Art Center Lebanon, N.H. (603) 448-3117, AVA is offering a two-week camp, called Micro Macro, to kids ages 12 to 14. Participants will visit the Murdough Greenhouses at Dartmouth as well as the college’s microscope lab to look at plants from unique perspectives. Inspired by these visual investigations, campers will use innovative and traditional art-making techniques to create both realistic and abstract works in a variety of 2D and 3D media. This program is funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Session 1- July 24-27th Elite - Overnight or Commuter High School level players (girls and boys welcome)

Session 2 - July 28-31st Team/Ind - Overnight or Commuter High School level players (girls and boys welcome)

Micro Macro participants at the Murdough Greenhouses

Jr. Farm Vet. Camp Woodstock, Vt., (802) 457-2355, Work alongside a large animal veterinarian in the Billings Farm barns and learn the anatomy, physiology, and basic nutrition and the care of cows, horses, sheep, and chickens; help groom them and assist with a physical exam. Learn how to give an injection and practice suturing; watch sheep grooming. Review chicken anatomy, learn about the structure and function of feathers, and study the anatomy of an egg. This teen camp is held one week in June and one week in July. League of NH Craftsmen Hanover, N.H. (603) 643-5384, The League is offering some new teen camps; Clay! Metal! And Fire! — a camp held for a week in July — is an example. Each day kids age 14 to 18 will have the opportunity to work in either the metals or the clay studio. The week will culminate in an outdoor Raku firing and an opportunity to share each other’s discoveries in metal and clay. Tip Top Pottery White River Junction, Vt., (802) 380-1700, Tip Top Arts Camp is a multimedia camp for artists ages 8 to 16. The camp happens in three sessions, and kid will be learning glass fusion, cartooning, acrylic painting, pottery and more.

Youth - Day Session for ALL players ages 5-13 yrs of age. ‡

Sessions are geared towards the serious player interested in furthering her/his playing career to the next level. Emily Rinde-Thorsen peakfieldhockeycamp 603-443-2010 or


Summer Camp

Register Today! Preschool Nature Camp • Montshire Explorers Outdoor Discovery Camp • Inventors’ Workshop Upper Valley Adventures • Aquatic Investigations Aquatic Explorers • Montshire Maker Camp Sketchbook Studio • Exploring Nature through Art

Montshire Museum of Science Norwich, VT • Open Daily 10-5 802.649.2200 •

kid stuff | April – May 2014


Science Day at Dartmouth

GWISE supports girls considering careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

he United States has long been a global leader in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — collectively known as STEM fields — but like the old fable “The Tortoise and the Hare” taught us, there’s danger in feeling too comfortable in the lead. Studies are increasingly showing that, as a nation, we are losing our competitive edge in STEM fields, and not just against China and Japan, whose rigorous educational standards and impressive achievements are well publicized in the media. For example, in math, U.S. student performance lags behind that of the Netherlands, Singapore and Slovakia. In science, the U.S. trails behind New Zealand, Finland and Hungary. According to the United States Department of Education, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in math and are interested in pursuing a STEM-related career. Of those students who major in STEM fields in college, only half go on to work in a STEM field. When you look at the number of girls and young women majoring in STEM fields and pursuing STEM careers, the figures get even more dismal. Women earn only 20 percent of the bachelor degrees awarded in STEM fields. And while women make up 48 percent of the overall workforce, they hold only 24 percent of STEM jobs.

Networking So, what happens between grades K-12 — when both boys and girls are required to study STEM fields — and career, when the numbers of women in STEM fields are dramatically low compared to their male counterparts? According to the 2010 report “Why 26

kid stuff | April – May 2014

photos courtesy GWISE


By Barbra Alan

Dartmouth College graduate students lead hands-on experiments for Science Day participants in their labs. In this photo, students are learning about the carbon cycle and global warming in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department.

So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” by the American Association of University Women, environmental and social barriers, such as gender bias, stereotyping and the climate of STEM departments in many colleges and universities is contributing to the lack of females involved in STEM fields. To help combat this phenomenon, groups that provide support, mentorship and encouragement for female STEM students are emerging at universities and colleges across the country; groups like Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWISE) at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. GWISE is a community of female graduate students

majoring in the for Saturday, various STEM April 5. With fields. The groups like group provides GWISE and professional events like development Science Day and a growing supporting and social network encouraging of women in the the participasciences, with tion of girls and the overall goal women in the of supporting STEM fields, women during (Left) Enthusiastic grad students display sheep brains in Brain Sciences lab. who knows? (Right) Students extract DNA from fruit in the Molecular and Cellular Biology dept. their graduate The next Stecareers and empowering them to phen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson in 2013, welcomed more than 150 be successful members of the STEM students and adults. The event or Mark Zuckerberg just may be workforce. female. gives students — boys and girls — a “This is so important because, For more information on unique opportunity to visit laboin some STEM fields, women are GWISE and Science Day, visit http:// ratories on a college campus, meet so underrepresented that a woman and talk with real scientists-inmay be the only female in her whole training, and learn about a wide va- gwise.html lab,” says GWISE’s Anna Prescott, riety of fields of scientific research. a PhD student in Dartmouth’s Dartmouth graduate students in the Barbra Alan is a freelance writer based in Alexandria, N.H. Psychology and Brain Sciences sciences lead fun demonstrations parent Program. “It can be an isolating and and supervise hands-on activities. tip How to Encourage demoralizing experience, so a group “When we started to plan Science Your Daughter for women scientists helps to proDay we realized that we didn’t want vide a network of women who can to exclude boys from the activities, ▪ Have a can-do attitude: Tell your support each other personally and and we didn’t want to exclude male daughter that you believe she’s professionally.” graduate students, either,” says smart enough to have any career she Beyond Dartmouth Prescott. “However, more than half of wants if she’s willing to work for it. In the summer of 2012, Prescott our graduate student volunteers are Encourage her to take “can’t” out of and fellow graduate student Aarathi women, and seeing so many women her vocabulary. Prasad decided to expand GWISE’s scientists sends a positive message ▪ Remind her that science, technology, impact beyond supporting and men- to both boys and girls that science is engineering and mathematics are toring graduate students at Dartsomething women do and love.” mouth. “We wanted to increase the Prescott notes that Science Day part of her world and are areas that presence of GWISE on campus and is as much fun as it is educational. she touches in a variety of ways make it a more active group,” says “Seeing a cool science demonstraalready. Encourage her to be curious Prescott. “At our first meeting that tion in your classroom is great, but about how things work, or why things summer, we met with women from there’s something special about are the way they are. different departments throughout seeing a scientist in her own lab, ▪ Make it fun! Check out science the college to talk about what they with her own equipment, sharing museums; look into summer science wanted from the group, and many what she does everyday. There’s a camps; buy her a chemistry set; noted that they wanted the group lot of amazing stuff we can demonor simply get outside and observe to provide outreach opportunities. strate here that we can’t bring to a They wanted to encourage others classroom. It’s a different kind of what’s going on in the natural world. and to help younger girls succeed.” learning, and it’s exciting!” ▪ Introduce her to female STEM It was from this desire that SciGalvanized by the success of Sciprofessionals. Science Day at ence Day at Dartmouth came about. ence Day 2013, GWISE is eagerly Dartmouth is a great way to do this. The inaugural Science Day, held anticipating Science Day 2014, set

kid stuff | April – May 2014


Swim Lessons 6 months - 14 years NEW LONDON BARN PLAYHOUSE is pleased to announce



One-week sessions July 7 through August 8 introduce 6-16 year-olds to the world of theatre: acting, singing, playwriting, and more!


Auditions April 12 & 13: 1-5pm

A company of young performers who rehearse and perform five plays for young audiences, including When I Grow Up, The Quiltmakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gift, Musicville and Cinderella For more information, please check the Education pages on our website, or email with questions!

Winter session 2: Feb. 24 - Apr. 4

Spring session 1: Apr. 21 - May 31



Contact the Camp Office at 603-646-0321 or

Day Academy July 7-11 Ages K-12


kid stuff | April â&#x20AC;&#x201C; May 2014

Staff is led by Dartmouth Soccer Head Coach Chad Riley and his assistant coaching staff

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Kid Stuff Magazine, April-May 2014