Book Club Ideas: Summer in the Woods by Steven Smith

Summer of the Woods by Steven K Smith.
142 pages

Since we don't have woods by our house here in Utah, I thought I would send them on an adventure- through our neighborhood!

Our book club boys love to be sent on treasure hunts- or scavenger hunts. I set them off with a clue- and they run around the neighborhood following clues until they get to the final destination,
 that  has a treat to share.

It works great!
It gets them answering question about the book, gets them running (expending some energy) and when we get back together- they are ready to sit still, talk about the book and enjoy a snack.

The boys in this group are also 11 year old scouts. While not yet ready to work on Boy Scout Merit Badges, I thought this book introduced coins and the value of coin collections so well.
 Here is a link to BSA Coin Collection Merit Badge

I thought I would help jump start them in their own coin collections!
(A requirement they need to do- if they want to eventually earn the Coin Collection merit badge.)

I pulled out our coin jar.
This is the jar I toss any loose change- I find.

 It was like a treasure hunt- in my coin jar!

 Some of the boys were able to find a complete set. For the BSA coin collection requirement they had to pick a coin (penny, nickel, dime or quarter) and find the year they were born, and every year after.
I offered up all my pennies for this activity.

It was a fun book club.
I really enjoy being able to tie in scouting when I can.
The BSA has such a great quality program- their activities are always worth while and not "busy" work. My boys hate busy work. They like doing activities, and it is more satisfying when it "counts" for something. Are your boys the same?

My boys stop enjoying whimsical about the same time they become teenagers.
It's sad.
But I respect that they want to spend their time being productive.

Summer of the Woods by Steven Smith was a great adventure.
It would be a wonderful read-aloud as well.

Here are some examples of questions you can use in your book club discussion:

1. Derek and Sam had just moved leaving friends behind. Exploring the woods behind their new home, helped them be excited and less homesick. Have you ever moved? If so what helped you be excited about your new home? (This was great- because our neighborhood is a new housing development. All the kids in our neighborhood just moved in!)

2. What was Derek and Sam's first impression of Henry, Alex and their dog "bear"?
What can we learn about first impressions? Are they always correct?
Why do you think Derek and Sam misjudged Henry and Alex?

3. What would you do with $10,000 reward money?
(assuming your parents let you spend some of it. lol)


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