We had a lovely last week of camp with unusually warm weather and curious and playful children. We chose, measured and painted hiking sticks. The children measured up to their belly buttons and then broke the stick to the appropriate length. Autumn was excited about measuring and with our new kits, took out the measuring tape and measured his stick and then his body and mine. Other children were using the measuring tape to measure trees and branches. We used comparative words to describe the different size objects and some even knew their numbers. The magnified glass was another tool in our kits that the children excitedly used and even discovered a bug with the magnified glass on the earths floor.
We also talked more about the animals that live in our forest!
“Squirrels", “rabbits", “birds", "black pigs", “bears", “wolfs”, “skunk"“geese,” were what the children answered. We spoke about how they knew this. Autumn shared, “ I see their tracks,” , and Francine announced, “I have seen a bear.” L was very clear that their were “pigs in the forest but they are black.” As we were sharing, we heard the noise of a squirrel and I shared “sound" as another way we know what animals live here. So much rich discussion that will continue throughout winter camp as hopefully snow will line our forest and the sounds of forest silence will enhance our hearing.
Our final day together at autumn nature camp was a beautiful celebration of togetherness and connection with the forest and it’s magic!! Each child found special objects from our favorite places and we put them into cloth in made them into medicine bundles. Most all the bundles had a pine cone, a burdock seed, a pebble, a pine needle and wool. We shared that this bundle could be something your remember nature camp by or something to make you feel happy and comforted by wearing, holding in or smelling it (we added rose petals and sage and some put pine or fir needles). It was such a sweet way to honor their memories and connection to this forest.
Finally, we ended our day with a corn snake that teacher Sharon brought from home. Most of the children touched the snake reluctantly but with curiosity Jellyfish and Autumn seemed to really enjoy the snake and stayed late to have turns holding and touching the snake. What a wonderful surprise!
Thank you for a wonderful session and we will miss those that aren’t returning to winter camp!!
Each child got their own magnified glass to study the earth and its inhabitants more closely. Autumn noticed a small insect while he was checking out the terrain with his magnified glass and shared his observations with Mouse.
The group collected pine needles from the pine fort as another treasure for their bag. This fort is among their favorites and each time we visit we find another steep path to climb. Today, we probably hiked the steepest path up and they trudged and even crawled with their treasures bags in hand!
L spent the morning looking for bugs on tree trunk and looking more closely at the human inhabitants in our class!! She enjoyed looking at her peers eyes and noses as they grew in size with the magnified glass :)
After we collected our favorite materials, we added a sprinkle of rose and sage and wrapped them in cloth to wear around our necks as a way to remember our time together. They even added some beads to make them their own unique spirit on the outside!! In addition to their medicine bundle necklaces, each child received a certificate of completion of the camp!
On our final day at Autumn Nature Camp, we collected a few of our favorite items from our favorite places in the forest. Autumn and the group had found acorns and some special leaves to put in their bag.
Finally, a visit from a corn snake was a wonderful way to end camp!!