Here are the stories of week 1. Enjoy!
Our first day at Wild Craft Play ‘sCool
Drawn by Nature on Tuesdays: 10am to 2pm
For youth ages 11 – 17
Where youth came into their own potential through a Guided Discovery Learning process called The Hummingbird Approach, founded by Jamie Black. For youth who thrive in uncertainty and minimal, if not any,
help, this program gently pushes these young fledglings out of their next and lets them learn by real-life experience in today’s world using today’s technologies. The fantastical story of this day, for me, was when the plane crashed and we were the only survivors, I, the facilitator developed amnesia, and one of the youth had a broken knee. We had 20 minutes to get ourselves safe, warm and dry before the cold black of night was upon us.
Holding space for this is most exciting for me, because I get to let go of teaching, and allow them to do many things for the first time, like realizing how useful a bandanna is for splinting a leg, or how heavy a person is when they relax their body and play dead. The laughter, the miscommunications, the awkwardness, all of it was exactly what they needed to break the ice, learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and learn just how un-helpful I really am.
Trust was a big lesson, and although I do things to encourage them to trust me, I also do things to encourage them to not rely on me and trust themselves. This was a powerful lesson on this day, heightening their awareness and pushing their edges. These youth truly developed a new sense of self on day one.
Wild Craft Play on Thursdays: 9:30am to 3:30pm
For children ages 8-12
Where children thrived in their natural environment, creating their own imaginative games, quests and adventures. This day was filled with so many adventures that felt like Huck Finn, and I could spend a lifetime sharing about this one day, but the story that tickled me the most was this one…
You see, a little bird told me a tale, and I captured it to share with the children. They were skeptical at first, yet it sparked curiosity.
“Over the bridge, then Right through the woods, before the Burnt Tree
Some kind of creature left something for you to see
I wonder who it could be?
Then past the huge fallen tree, down the trail
You come to water, flat and calm, you will not fail
Seek carefully beneath the roots
Be mindful, protect your loot
For you never know who might try
To pilfer when passing by.”
The best part was, that even though the children knew there was a riddle, they had listened to it a number of times, it wasn’t until they chose to go exploring, they packed up their things and headed out on their quest. Just past this bridge, the “Burnt Tree” was only 20 steps away, but in their imaginative minds, they discovered a trail to the right that took them on a completely different quest of their own for 2 HOURS. I had the biggest chuckle inside, because they could have seen the burnt tree if they had looked up.
In the practice of The Hummingbird Approach, it is in these moments that I let go and allow the child to lead. It turns out that they had discovered a water-covered land so fantastical that even I had never experienced it before.
Whilst fishing with string on a stick, and a hook hand-crafted by the boys from a piece of bookbinding I had, they got absolutely soaked and soon were wandering the wild in complete joy and freedom. I find these are the best moments to capture their attention and create boundaries because they know the feeling of freedom and joy that they are experiencing at that moment, and it is a teachable moment to create moments or memory related to why they want to do what is asked of them, when asked.
At the second hour, one of the boys said, “Hey, what about the burnt tree?” I chuckled and said, “What about the burnt tree?” They packed up their things all on their own and headed back the way they came. Their faces of awe and realization were priceless when they saw the burnt tree just 20 feet from that trailhead.
Stories from a little bird…