A morning hike with older children watching out for younger children in the cedar grove led to a morning wander while identifying wild mint, strawberry, trillium, jack in the pulpit, vetch, columbine...Not to forget to mention the older children gathering and carefully identifying poison ivy with the little ones teaching them their poison ivy chant:
'Leaves of three, let them be!'.
The Dream Catcher teachings and workshop with Two Bears was well received as the challenge of slip knots ensured the practice of mental patience for all of our keen eager beavers.
The younger 4-6 year olds and those needing a diversion from the difficult tasks of Dream Catchers ventured out to the outdoor classroom to identify and weave cattail reeds, cedar and horsetail into their grapevine crowns and feather wands. We followed up with having 16 free spirited youth voluntarily running through the rain to keep the mosquitoes at bay...
Settling the children into some relaxation time without the aggravation of insects, we sat together with a mid-day storytelling session of an Inuit Legend about how Fox playfully and cleverly bamboozled an Eagle.
Out of the blue, one lad expressed interest in teaching the others his personal choreographed dance routine...so we all jumped into a sharing circle dance activity which inspired other children to share their explorative movements, talents and skills. We had children teaching children the waltz (with a dip) as well as volunteer group routine collaborations which then led into hoop dance exploration. I thoroughly enjoy the surprises that arise when child-led activities take the lead to enrich the program's development.
Children are my teachers.
To satisfy every child's need to get physical, there was a group of boys who were in dire straits to exercise their wrestling strategies on one another...With me baring the role of responsible adult, i hesitantly allowed this activity while offering constant reminders of the risk of being hurt and the only rule being that no-one gets injured when wrestling. Then with holding my breath and thinking optimistically, i gave the go ahead for the boys of ages 5-9 to wrestle with a sense of care and sensitivity to each others' pain thresholds.
And yes, with a sigh of relief, no one was hurt.
The closing Appreciation Sharing Circle with 21 very tired yet content participants took time to pass the talking piece, reflect and feel gratitude with one another for their experiences out on the land…