I am happy to report that our first-ever week of Forest Camp was an outright success. By Wednesday morning I received this message from a parent:
My kids LOVE this camp! Last night they lay in bed with me for about an hour and we just talked about camp. It was so awesome hearing about all the fun they're having!....I can't tell you how happy I am to have found this... it's just the experience I want for my kids!
We have kept the group small, with a maximum of 9 children each week. Our campers are experiencing first-hand the intimacy with nature that can arise when adults are not dictating their experience for them, when they are allowed to follow their own interests and explore where they want. The fluidity of each day's activities depends on the group dynamic and individual interests, so every day is unique to the specific time and place. In fact, these Eastern Woodlands are the wonderland of children, a place where magic can happen at any moment. So let us begin...
Parents were invited to walk their children into the forest on Monday morning. Dave introduced our facilities to everyone then parents joined in the daily words of gratitude before leaving their children in our trusted care.
Once the campers were on their own with the instructor each day (Dave on Monday and Tuesday, Drew on Wednesday and Thursday, and Elizabeth on Friday - just like our regular school-year schedule) much fun ensued including jumping rope, lunch around the campfire, a newly-invented game of Forest Basketball, and hide-and-seek in the bamboo (Japanese knotweed) jungle.
They climbed in the culvert and hung from the "U" tree.
They discovered treasures (a crayfish claw) and made some of their own (an arrowhead) by grinding mica schist.
We taught them how to use knives safely so they could cut and carve.
Collecting spicebush and making sun tea brought many smiles.
And finally, another newly-invented game - PREDATOR!
Stay tuned for more adventures from Forest Camp...