We have accomplished a lot this semester! The rocket stove was a huge success. Each student was able to complete a nice cattail sitting mat, carve their own backpack hanger (learning two good knots and a cool carving notch), and make an Atlatl dart and launcher. They are really accurate with their darts, too! In addition to the things we crafted, there was much learning in the way of wildlife tracking, bird language, survival skills like fire building, primitive cooking and so much more. The level of curiosity and enthusiasm for learning with this group is high and has helped us achieve so much this fall. One look around camp is enough to know that this group is full of avid outdoors enthusiasts!
After a game of Odawa Baseball, we had snack in camp and listened to a story from Kevin about a young prince on a quest. He was helped along his way by some extraordinary friends. Storytelling is a big part of our approach to teaching, and we find that the lessons really stick. Usually, our story is fortified with some experiential learning that correlates in some way, like in our team challenge later on.
After snack, we cleaned camp, taking down the tarp, organizing firewood, sweeping up and readying a fire structure to be lit for lunch. We wanted our camp to be extra nice for the parents’ visit later on. We all pitched in and made it shine! Then it was on to the team challenge. Five groups of three students—a blindfolded "searcher" being guided by a pair of “supporters,” one of whom could see the searcher (but could not speak, only gesture) and the other (who could speak, but not see the searcher). This proved to be an extremely difficult challenge! But, as with our other team challenges, the focus was on problem solving, communication, and teamwork (not winning!). After three rounds and some creative problem-solving, we celebrated our successes—and our failures!
We had lunch and spent the time honoring each person in the group for their unique gifts. It was a sweet thing to see.
Then it was time for the Atlatl range! We left camp and spent a good while launching our darts at a various assortment of targets, and even flying and rolling hula hoops! They are all getting to be great shots!
—Josh, Kevin, and Bella