Weekly Program / Classes

NEW UPDATE as of Sept 28, 2020>>> Rangers in the Woods NANAIMO is a GO. Click Here
To Learn More!

 

Welcome to the World of Wild Craft Play

  • Wild Craft Play is best played weekly for a minimum of 8 weeks.
  • It is suited for groups with youth between the ages of 8 and 14, with a minimum of 10 youth.
  • To be honest, the best way to understand what we get up to is
    • A: play the videogames Minecraft or World of Warcraft, then imagine yourself playing it in real-life, OR
    • B) By booking The Game, a 1 day adventure to see for yourself the depth of play children engage in.

Watch this short video to get a basic sense of the natural process.

(Please note, we recognize that this is an older video, it is where we got our name. We are in the process of generating new material, yet this video gives you the gist of it)

Do you want to Wild Craft Play in your neck of the woods?

If so, we would like to hear from you. Will you provide your input by answering 8 questions? We are considering offering day classes that meet BC Curriculum through a whole lot of fun and adventure.

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Do you want to bring Rangers in the Woods to your area?

Wild Craft Play ‘sCool is able to offer this program. If you are interested, inquire, as we figure out the logistics.

Where: in a forested area, on farm-land and on a field

When: 

Nanaimo:

Full-day program

9am until 3pm

Starts Wednesday October 7, 2020

For 7 weeks

Cost: $370

 

Comox Valley:

TBD 12-3pm half-day program in the works.

Cost: $230.00 1/2 Day

 

Financial support may be available, let us support you.

About this Program

Join Wild Craft Play for an after-school adventure program full of fun, adventure, and real life skills! Activities may include but are not limited to: Field games, archery, swordplay, hiking, crafts, song/music-making, poetry, story production, hosting events such as The Game, community engagement, wilderness awareness, survival, role-playing, emergency first aid, camp cooking, and more.

The youth lead by deciding together!

All programming implements COVID- strategic planning based on VIHA and WorkSafe BC requirements.

CLICK HERE to speak with Jamie Black founder and facilitator.

This isn’t any ordinary game, this game was build from the shoulders of giants.  World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Survivor, Dungeons and Dragons, Wild Craft, Vesta Entertainment, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Royal Roads University, Vancouver Island University, Excellence Seminars International, John Dewey, Steve VanMatre, Questing… the list goes on. The children take this world to a whole new level depending on their skills and abilities. They engage in an economy of barter, trade, hand-crafting, entrepreneurship, community, connection, all on the playing field of Nature.

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At Wild Craft Play ‘sCool Our Adventures include:

EARTH
  • Land-based connection: bringing participants to a deeper understanding of the land, who tends it and our role as an Earth ambassador
  • Cultural Awareness: each community has different origins, nations and teachers.  Even the trees are our teachers.  We continually expand our awareness of the traditional local Indigenous protocol, practices and ways of the land so that we can foster stewardship and a love for all living beings (seen and unseen).
  • Equity: all participants are valued and accepted for who they are.  This is a learning grounds for the practice of acceptance. We hold strongly the value of being allies for one-another and empowering youth to engage in peaceful, mindful acts during epic adventurous play.  You can imagine the conflict that occurs… this is the perfect playing ground for developing these skills, especially at this ripe and impressionable age.
SELF
  • Physical Awareness: engaging in outdoor activities will allow the body to move and explore, and we thrive on adventure. At the end of the day children don’t usually realize how active they have been, because the adventure is all in their mind.
  • Imaginative Play: this game was built from the imagination of children. CLICK HERE to learn about where it all came from.
  • Emotional Intelligence: we never expect children to be emotionally savvy, we only expect that they be willing to improve.  When facing a difficult situation, we lead children through the emotional processes to find Peace in their Hearts, find Coping Mechanisms, Practice Reconciliation and Accept others.
  • Mental Stimulation: this program offers both right brain and left brain stimulation; from calculations, analysis of circumstances and problem solving, to creative thinking, artistic design and Entrepreneurship.
  • Spirituality (in a non-denominational sort-of-way): some say that just being in nature is an opportunity to make a “spiritual connection.” In Wild Craft Play, we integrate practices that allow children to connect with their natural spirituality, whether one believes in unicorns and faeries, or believes in God or Goddesses, all beings are welcome.
COMMUNITY
  • Village Building: within a short amount of time, youth build their own village, engage in community politics, decision making and practices of “saving the world.” This happens naturally, allowing youth to guide the process through creative inquiry learning
  • When they are ready, we engage in the region’s community happenings: only when the group has modeled a level of understanding, support, finding peace in their heart, collaboration, cooperation, clarity and focus, we “level up to ACT 2” which means that we transition from being very self-focused, to community focused. This is where community projects, networking and entrepreneurship truly thrives. Children learn the world of inquiry, research, planning, budgeting, marketing, and engaging in the community in an ecologically, culturally and economically sound way.
THE HUMMINGBIRD WAY
  • Guided Discovery Learning: At Wild Craft Play all facilitated through a Guided Discovery Learning approach that has been practiced and proven to engage children for over 18 years.  Following the practices of John Dewey and Jerome Bruner (early 1900 philosophers), Jamie Black calls it The Hummingbird Approach, learn more about Jamie’s research HERE.
POSSIBLE ACTIVITIES
  • Basic and Affordable program activities include: Quests, village building, storytelling, hikes, sword play, hand-crafting skills, music making and story production. The Game is a familiar 1 day adventure that lasts about 4 hours. It’s like Capture the Flag, but way more epic.  
  • Advanced Activities Include: Forest Bathing (in forests and by bodies of water), Archery, Wilderness Survival SkillsMountain Biking, Caving, Kayaking, Trekking, Indoor Rock Climbing, Cross Country Skiing, Snow-Showing and Snow shelter building, Adventure Questing and beyond.
  • Experiential Learning: relying on group cohesion, we dive into experiential activities that can be as simple as time in a forested area, to leveling up to more adventurous activities
  • Connecting with Nature: is an integral teaching tool within all of our programs through Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by John Young, following the 8 shields model at www.8shields.com
  • All programs involve outdoor adventures, it is just a matter of what the group is ready for.
  • 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…”

Did we tickle your curiosity muscle? If so, inquire here:

Are you an Adult who wants to learn how to lead this program?

Training for Adults:

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

  • Nature Connection
  • Adventure Questing
  • Wild Craft Play the Game
  • Wilderness Survival Scenarios
  • Program development in more risky outdoor adventures
  • Specific Training in Archery, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, rock climbing
  • Risk Management and Group Dynamic Management
  • Digital Storytelling in Nature

CLICK HERE to see our Teacher Training Page

What you need in order to play

NOW HIRING an Assistant Program Leader

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:

  1. Appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. Expect to run in The Nature.
  2. Eventually you will hand-craft a Pouch, an Journal and a fancy Pencil, but if you happen to have your own, bring it along!
  3. You need a good lunch with extra snacks and a water bottle (or two).
  4. To close your eyes and keep your mind WIDE OPEN. Bring your whole self and your wildest imagination.
  5. 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).

INFORMATION FOR ADULTS

If you are a Parent, Teacher, Program Leader or student, this information is for anyone intending on working with or supporting children through this adventure.

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 with rediculously 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!

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