Photos by our newest sponsor Wildeman Photography
Unleash the World of Wild Craft Play
Where youth dive into their own imaginative way of being that is as engaging as a Video Game, yet it is in real-life with Real People.
There are quests to be had, places to go, people to see, stories to be heard and things to do! Are you looking for an epic One-Day Outdoor Game to run with at least 16 people?
This game is the most epic when A) played for 4-6 hours, B) You have at least 16 players, and C) Youth are at least 8 years old or older. It is really fun to play with a mixed age group.
The Wild Craft Play Secret Society is a small group of epic game creators who are hosting regular 1 day games across Vancouver Island.
What makes it epic?
Well, it’s like Capture the Flag, but way more epic, it has a feeling of living in a real-live videogame (with no technology but the trees, the open landscape, the tree flags, the people, the flags, the props, the story-line and your willingness to fully engage.) The game incorporates collaboration and cooperation, keeping the epic fun of finding, chasing, building, deciding.
I asked a 13 year old “why did you come back” he said “because it’s just fun!” It is hard to describe exactly what makes it epic, it is different for everyone. It’s fun, it’s outside, we have quests, there is a dramatic on-going storyline, it’s facilitated The Hummingbird Way, there are friends, new acquaintances, costumes, characters, sacred items, lore, and a safe and fun space on the land to open your imagination and live in an alternate world for a while.
Our epic story production team is open to requests to have this game hosted in YOUR neck of the woods. CLICK HERE to let us know.
“You created the space, you put out some props, you laid the story-line out and you just welcomed people to be the people they are, use their imagination and play, with no real limits.
My children were talking about it the whole ride home and saying how much fun they had.” ~ Jarrett Krentzel
- We are open to offering in-person training across Vancouver Island
- Available for Online Consultation anywhere
- To inquire about running THE GAME or training in your neck of the woods, click here:
What really stood out the most when all adult helpers came together and had an initial meeting, was when said
“You won’t understand anything that’s happening until the end.”
I thought “Ok, so I won’t ask any questions until the end.”
The game started and continued and to be completely honest with you, aside from understanding the tidbit rules that you offered, like build the healing temple, creating homes and a school and the market place, with a “brief descriptions of projects,” most of the time I was walking around watching everyone wondering “What is going on here?”
How do you play this game?
I was so clueless. I didn’t understand the objective, the goal, the mission. I didn’t get it at all until THE END. Just like you said.
When it ended, it all came together for me. What I really loved about it was… You say that this is like a real-life videogame, and although I thought I understand what it would mean and feel like, that’s exactly how it felt. It felt like the types of videogames of today’s time like [Minecraft or World of Warcraft, those strategy role-play types of games].
Nowadays, strategy-based videogames are such a big, vast world, plopped in it, and you can go in any direction, talk to people do all these things. You just put me in a place, in a time and in experience and said “go” I knew the boundaries, I knew the players and I didn’t know what to do.
I can see, especially that type of gaming, the deeper, the wider, the further you go, you don’t really know. That’s where Wild Craft Play totally encompasses the saying, it’s not about the destination it’s all about the journey. It’s all about the Journey in Wild Craft Play.
I just kept looking around at all these children who “beyond got it,” in it, playing and running around, creating their own experience.
You laid out these pieces and spat out a couple of ideas and they just ran with it.
I know you have something REALLY REALLY cutting edge, you totally nailed it.
I just loved watching every single child totally engaged in whatever it is they were interested in. The total embodiment of child-lead play in a game that provides very minimal direction and very maximum setting. You are definitely guiding, yet at the same time letting the experience guide itself, letting the children co-create this experience with tidbits of information.
I think you nailed it.
Loose guidelines of the game, allows the player to be free. The game could never really get boring, because of weather, ideas, emotions, affecting the results of the communal outcome.
A game like capture the flag, there’s very little room for it to alter or change. The game is played the same way over and over again until you get bored.
With what you have created,
especially because you sort of weave in projects, and level up with a storyline and characters and once you complete it, what’s next? what do I have to do next?
If you just told a group of kids of all different ages what to do…
Go and put these puzzle pieces together and build shelters… ok, some may be super into it, some may be too cool for school…
There’s this story-line underneath it all, it feeds into the imagination of the child.
When I watched the children putting a puzzle piece together, a swear that a shining light was going to come through it. it was magical.
You created the space, you put out some props, you laid the story-line out and you just welcomed children to be the children they are, use their imagination and play, with no real limits.
My children were talking about it the whole ride home and saying how much fun they had.
What is it that they actually did? What were the actions of their play? What were they? Quite simple, and even elementary to where they are at developmentally, but because of the story-line and the imagination and all the rest. You could be digging the hole, but if you think there’s gold down there, it’s a whole new adventure.
It inspired my son to re-create Zelda in real life, and just be kids with his friend for hours after. It was like you ignited the world of Peter Pan.
You just believe.
WARNING – you might have so much fun, you will NEVER want to quit!
We had a blast, and we can’t wait for the next adventure. Stay tuned for new adventures coming soon. Watch this video where Jamie explains the experience:
Are ya hooked?
Want to know more?
Book The Game for 1 Day in your neck of the woods. We facilitate and train.
Watch this precious video of a mature 7 year old’s experience.
Unleash the world of Wild Craft Play where children dive into an economy of barter, trade, hand-crafting, entrepreneurship, community, connection, all within the context of nature. (This is generally an outdoor program).
Wild Craft Play is magnetic when it is played over and over again (like a videogame). You get to come back again and again. Learn by doing, having fun with a purpose.
Ask us by clicking here:
Once the children get into the game, they say that you can’t just run it for a couple of hours. I find that anywhere between 2.5 hours and 6 are a good amount of hours, AND you will want it to be consistent. Think of it as a dramatic theatrical play that you sit down to, and each 20 minutes of the play is drawn out along that 2.5-6 hour day. You need a beginning, a middle and an end, this is key. So, Whether you wish to run this as a camp, day after day, OR once a week for at least 8 weeks, analyze your situation, and decide which works for you. FYI: my research says that 7 weeks was not enough, children complained that it was over way too soon.
Jamie Black has been running Wild Craft Play in different renditions annually since 2008, continually honing different aspects of the program based on how the children respond, and also how the teachers she is training respond. Jamie is continually curious, analyzing, creating, re-creating and offering different tactics, techniques and tools to see what works.
For example, during a recent training of staff, while playing with children, Jamie discovered that the teachers became overwhelmed by a few aspects of the game and how children were showing up. She witnessed that the tension and discomfort of the teachers lead to an un-expected, and slightly unfortunate dismantling of the game, leaving children feeling like the game was incomplete, unfinished and frustrating. This is the type of work that Jamie continues to uncover.
“What is it that keeps children engaged?”
“What is it that causes adults to dis-engage?”
Ask us by clicking here:
If you want to know more about Jamie Black’s Story… click on the image of her below:
THIS PROGRAM IS FOR AGES 8 AND UP. WHY, YOU ASK?
This game requires dexterity, capacity to think for yourself, experiment with autonomy, cooperation, collaboration, guiding others, coaching, experimentation itself. Sometimes I find that if a child is younger than 8 years old, the concepts of a bank account, quests, entrepreneurship and independence is too much for young ones to handle, and therefore become very hard for adults to cater to the needs of the group as a whole.
Sometimes I find that age 13 – 16 become “too cool for school” and they don’t want to PLAY anymore, THEN, when people are age 17 and older, they REALLY WANT TO PLAY… funny huh? To me, it’s hilarious. So if you can convince a 14 year old to play, GOOD ON YA!
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. Expect to run in The Nature.
- Eventually you will hand-craft a Pouch, an Journal and a fancy Pencil, but if you happen to have your own, bring it along!
- You need a good lunch with extra snacks and a water bottle (or two).
- To close your eyes and keep your mind WIDE OPEN. Bring your whole self and your wildest imagination.
- This game brings out our best super hero and sometimes the worst of our shadow selves, but through Guided Discovery Learning and other gentle facilitation tools, tonnes of practice and a big heart when it comes to LEARNING by DOING, we can help you through anything (or your money back).
Wild Craft Play is more than an experience, it is a model designed to help children hone their life skills, fall in-love with the Earth, with the hopes to take care of it. We have discovered that it conveniently meets core competencies within the BC Curriculum, and can work as a game-like approach to helping teachers teach core curriculum, making learning more interesting. Specific curriculum and specific topics such as: Social Studies, Business structures (Entrepreneurship, Business, Social Enterprises, Not-For Profits), Marketing, English, Math (Financial Literacy), Environmental Science, Economics, Consumerism, Chemistry, Botany, Herbalism.
Understand that it isn’t about telling them to love the Earth, it’s about being a bit of a trickster, like Raven or Coyote, and bringing the video-game outside. The following is just a small list of what happens during a program:
GUIDED DISCOVERY LEARNING: Children are guided by the facilitator using a very particular approach that takes Guided Discovery Learning – an approach that was initially generated by John Dewey in the early 1900’s, progressed through the years with experimentation demonstrated by Maria Montessori called (Discovery Learning – unguided), and where I have added my own twist, using more of a Hummingbird Approach (opposed to a Helicopter Approach) to leadership. According to Brown & Campione who championed Guided Discovery Learning, suggested that it is the middle ground
between a more didactic (or receptive approach) and a discovery approach, like Montessori. SEE MORE HERE.
VIDEO-GAME-LIKE PLAY: When playing video games such as Mine-craft and World-of-Warcraft, there are aspects of those games that really hook a player. These aspects have been incorporated to a more un-structured outdoor experience, where children lead the game.
CHILD-LEAD LEARNING & INQUIRY-BASED LEARNING are both phrases that are becoming a catchy, that somewhat means the experience is lead by the children, yet I offer a bit of a twist on this theory. Based on my understanding, these two concepts mean slightly different things. Child-led learning means that the child makes the decisions, which goes hand-in-hand with the approach of using questions (Inquiry), to guide children to their own discovery. The difference between this and Guided Discovery Learning is the amount of effort, preparation and guidance training that the teacher (or Guide) requires in order to provide a holistic experience for the children.
WILDERNESS COMMON SENSE In addition to play that includes archery, swordplay, quests and expeditions, I believe that children need more training and experience to develop a Nature-Based COMMON SENSE. Based on a life-time of experience, it is my understanding that it takes experience to develop common sense, and we need to provide somewhat safe experiences, with perceived risk, in order for children to stretch their comfort zones and hone those skills.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: relying on group cohesion, we dive into experiential activities that can be as simple as a time in a forested area, or more complex strategic role-play with quests, characters, challenges and swords. Other adventurous activities can be offered such as Mountain Biking, Caving, Kayaking, Trekking, Indoor Rock Climbing, Cross Country Skiing, Snow-Showing and Snow shelter building, Adventure Questing and beyond. It all depends on what neck of the woods you are in, who your guide is and where you want to go!
CONNECTION WITH NATURE is an integral experience within all of our programs that has been practiced for decades. I grew up in Nature, and have been an outdoor guide for over 20 years. I believes that time in nature is what prevents ADHD, dis-ease, and it brings joy, magic, listening to our intuition, building self confidence and much more. We have integrated theories and practices of Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by John Young, following the 8 shields model at www.8shields.com since 2009.
A SPIRITUAL COMPONENT I believe that you can’t have a physical experience, using your mind and body, without having some emotional needs creep up, that force us to tap into our own personal spiritual practice to help guide, shape and mold our experience. At Wild Craft Play we are non-denominational, we do not preach any particular religion, allow space and time for people to use their own individual practices to help shape their experience. Some universal approaches include – time in Nature, quiet time, journaling, guided visualizations.
ALL INCLUSIVE GENDER IDENTITIES AND ABILITIES All are welcome. Even under age 8 (just know that it might be a bit over their heads, and you will have to support them). One intention for this experience is to build capacity, build community, and support an understanding of diverse abilities and cultures, with the hopes that by learning to be more accepting of people, that we can work together to take care of the Earth.
HANDS-OFF GUIDANCE Because this is a more of a child-led adventure, and it is facilitated in a way that children need to think for themselves, if your child needs direct instruction, you will need to provide an aid. There are many practices we use to ensure that each child has the best experience possible, we recognize that this game is not for everyone. Although we have many, there are only so many adaptations and mindfulness techniques that we can use to ensure that everyone feels welcome and safe. So come with an open mind, and feel free to let us know if you need more support. We use techniques such as box breathing,
CREATIVE STORYTELLING Whether it be poetic rhyme, story crafting, singing, acting, dancing, stage crafting, our approach to appreciative inquiry is usually more along the lines of “That’s for me to know and for you to find out, for without a doubt, I was destined to meet you, and I know what you must do…”
FRIEND OR FOE?
Ah, Friend! If you are looking for JUST an Archery & Sword Play 7 week training program with ridiculously fun tournament at the end, please inquire.
For ages 8 AND UP!
(especially those of us who are young at heart 🙂
Coming soon to The Nature near you! Last time we offered this, the City of Nanaimo partnered with Wild Craft Play ‘sCool and it was an epic success. We sold out in 3 hours and had to book a second day. The kids had a blast with the adventure of Archery and Sword Play and a funtastical tournament at the end. We had so much fun honing our skills like warriors, playing together in the tournament and enjoyed special guests who enhanced our game!
Book a Training Session
Training for Teachers, Parents and Program Leaders
Hire our facilitator to come to your community and offer training on any of the following concepts (please inquire for more details)
“I am hooked, and look forward to seeing how to incorporate this into my class.” ~ Annette Nobles, principal of Departure Bay Eco Elementary School
- Hazard Assessment
- Wild Craft Play the Game
- Wilderness Survival Scenarios
- Nature Connection
- Program development in more risky outdoor adventures such as
- Archery, Sword Play
- Adventure Questing
- Specialized Programs: Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Kayaking, Rock Climbing
- Hazard Assessment
- Risk Management
- Group Dynamic Management
- Program Creation
- Mentorship Training
- Program Promotions and Marketing
- On-going one-on-one support
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