Field trips remind me of the Richard Scarry book, What Do People Do All Day. I could spend hours poring over Scarry’s spreads showing how logs become paper and wheat becomes bread. The book is like “how things work” meets the high school guidance counselor, providing a behind-the-scenes peek at different careers. Our monthly field trips allow us to find out what people do all day in a hands-on way.
Last week Finley and I visited our local firehouse. First, he tried on the firefighter’s helmet, pants and boots. Then he jumped into the fire truck; they even let him drive it. He got to spray the hose, twice. That was by far his favorite part.
Aside from all the “let’s pretend” fun, we did learn some important things during our visit. One of the firemen put on all his gear, including his “Darth Vader” oxygen mask, all of which weighs almost 50 pounds and looks pretty frightening. We talked about how if the children ever have a fire in their house, and they see firefighters in all their gear, they shouldn’t hide. Even though the firefighters may look scary, they are there to help. The scary-looking — and sounding — masks allow the firefighters to breath, while their hoods and suits keep them from getting burned.
The firehouse clearly made an impact. Finley now wants to be an “astronaut firefighter.” Hopefully he’ll never have to fight a fire on his spaceship.