Hummingbird Guides Training is coming soon!
Thanks to The Nature of Play Conference – Hosted by the Nanaimo Child Development Centre – Oct 5, 2016
It was a real privilege and pleasure to attend this highly educational and professional conference this weekend. I knew it was going to be motivational and educational because Hilary Leighton and Dave Segal are incredible people who were co-presenting as the key-note speakers. Their information, activities and knowledge influenced over a hundred people at the Vancouver Island Conference Center, downtown Nanaimo. I felt the urge to share about my experience because something miraculous came from this day.
As a long-time advocate for Vitamine N (Nature) adopted from Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the woods (2005), I have had an interest in generating more support to the education systems we have in BC to give children more adventurous outdoor experiences, I attended this conference in hopes to network with like-minded people who were ready to do something about this. My intention was met with enthusiasm and support. What tickled me most was when Dave Segal said something like
“Let’s shift from being helicopter parents and invite hummingbird parents.”
~ Dave Segal
It was at that moment that I had finished drawing this doodle on my page. The joy inside me was ignited in this synchronicity, because Hummingbird has become a real medicine in my life. It was brought to my attention even more this summer, August 2016. It was time for me to come to know myself deeper, having produced results with my masters thesis, I sought more guidance so I signed up for a week long gathering with Wes Gietz and Corinna Stevensen for a solo on Ravenwood land in Sayward. This was land that I had visited before, and was drawn to this sacred experience of self healing and re-focusing. In the duration of my stay, Hummingbird was very present for me in more ways than one.
While I was alone in the woods, I was visited by this joyful creature a few times. One of these visits was nearly a foot away from me, looking similar to what is in this image I drew. I could see the white in its eye. It said to me “You are on the right path.”
Once I had access to the Animal Speak book I was moved to tears. This is a great book that can offer more insight to the messages and gifts animals bring to us. I have much to learn from Hummingbird. And those who know me and my work with children have recognized the Hummingbird qualities in me.
I believe that we as guides, parents, leaders and teachers need to practice being more like Hummingbird when we lead children on adventures in nature. My analogy…
When we are a helicopter parent, we are hovering over the child waiting for them to almost make a mistake, and stopping the injury, or negativity from happening. When we practice being a Hummingbird Guide, we sit back, hovering in silence, waiting, and pretending almost not to notice, allowing the hick-ups, the mistakes, the boo boos, then right when it makes sense, we dive in with joy and playfulness to feed the children the nectar that they need to grow.
Richard Louv coined the phrase “Hummingbird Parenting” in the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada. He is recommending that we take a new approach. The interesting thing with this new development, is that I am also in the midst of developing a Hummingbird Guides Training Module for leading more adventurous outdoor experiences for children ages 5-12. Final training module coming soon.
As an outdoor guide for 15 years, now working with children with Autism, and teaching life skills to children and youth, I find that there is a need to generate a more joyful, supportive approach for teachers, leaders and parents to become more like a guide or even a life-guard. Using Guided Discovery Learning techniques and generating a more holistic and hands-off approach allowing children to fully engage in their natural environment and feeling the blissful freedom while they play.
Masters Thesis in progress
At the moment I am still finishing my Masters Thesis at Royal Roads University in the Masters of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication. I was given permission to study myself being a “Hummingbird Guide” with children playing my children’s game Wild Craft Play as a case study. I look forward to sharing all about my research once it is published, and yet offer this image that I designed as a sneak peak of my findings:
Presenting Hummingbird Guides
1 hr – 4 hr Workshop/Presentation Topics and Highlights:
My story and why I believe that teachers and leaders who want to provide more adventurous experiences for children need to spend more time tipping their own canoe
Nature Awareness as a Leader
Nature Awareness for the children
Group Dynamic Management
Let them climb trees!
Let them tip their canoe! So should you! Perceived Risk vs Actual Risk
Lets talk about Insurance & Licensing
Join the Network
I recommend this presentation for teachers in training, training trainers, child care program leaders and managers. Anyone who leads children and is seeking more ways to offer grand adventures for children in nature.
References & Resources:
Louv, Richard. (2005) Last child in the woods :saving our children from nature-deficit disorder Chapel Hill, NC
Andrews, Ted. (2002) Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small. Llewellyn Publishing. St. Paul, MN