Pure, Unadulterated Magic
Essentials Field Notes: Week Ten
This week, our last week of our beloved fall Forest School season was pure magic. Pure, unadulterated magic.
The magic of childhood.
We celebrated with each other, cooked foods over an open fire and played like wild ones! The learners had all the time and space to do what they wanted, just how they wanted to do it. After 9 weeks of creating imaginary worlds, unique games, testing their physical, emotional and social boundaries, our learners fell naturally into place doing exactly what they loved.
One group found a manhole cover in the woods. A few were convinced it was a bottomless pit, while others knew it was actually a magical portal. They worked together to try and remove the cement cover to see what lie beneath. They grabbed ropes, used sticks for leverage and heave-hoed together- it was teamwork and tenacity at its finest. As us leaders peered over to see what was happening, our learners would cry out, “teacher alert, teacher alert,” and we would gladly step back and let them play out of sight (although in ear shot). All children deserve this opportunity, as we trust our learners and they trust us. We believe in each of them.
Other learners ventured deep into unknown brush in the woods and learned that getting stuck is easy but getting unstuck- not as much. They named this area of brush a “ninja stuck house” and they used their ninja skills to kick, chop, kick, chop their way out. These incredible learners don’t just see, smell, touch, hear, and taste nature, they fully immerse themselves deep within nature. It lives inside of them and it’s our privilege to help them unleash this birthright.
As our session came to an end, we all gathered around the bonfire to ceremoniously close our time together. We did this by putting the fire out, one mini bucket full of water at a time. Prior to putting our water onto the community fire, we expressed our gratitude for our time together and each learner stated what they will remember most. Our learners most loved, “nature”, “PLAY”, “everything”, “all my friends” and “all the fun.” One learner eloquently stated that he “didn’t feel invisible at Forest School.” And that’s what matters most, that each of us knows that we are home and loved in nature and that we’re stronger when we’re together.
Thank you so much for being a part of our forest family- it has been our honor. We love you all. Can’t wait to see you in the spring.