At Opening Circle today, after our usual fun and gratitude in the morning, we parted ways with the Woolly Bears with a round of "Dear Friends"—a nice song for the occasion. The Cobblers played a big game in the field and then we were off to our separate camps for snack.
Over snack, each group oriented to the challenge that lay ahead. The Pine Barons were up to a spectacular challenge. They were tasked with starting a fire. Blindfolded. Yes, it's true! And they did a fantastic job of using their senses to navigate the building and lighting of it. Talk about taking things to the next level! Congratulations, Pine Barons!
The Bobcats, meanwhile, had been left a string of clues—neatly rolled scrolls hidden all over the Cobble. A mysterious, wild creature calling himself "The Raven" had written these clues for the students to follow, using their wits and memory of previously visited locations, to the treasure that lay waiting. They solved riddles, used their naturalist knowledge, and even unlocked a coded message to find the chaga waiting at the end. Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a fungal growth that is found primarily on birch trees. It not only makes a savory beverage, but is renowned for its health benefits. The Pine Barons were lucky to receive a jar of cacao to add to the chaga tea and we all enjoyed sipping on the hot chaga-late later on!
After lunch and a fire, upon which the chaga simmered, each group spent a moment honoring each person in the group. This is such a wonderful way to end our time together—hearing words of appreciation from each other. Everyone was so sweet and thoughtful about what they said and we ended feeling very happy and appreciated.
It was time for the highly anticipated Naturalist Game Show! Max emceed wonderfully and the staff had prepared many questions for the show. Each group sent up their contestant to pair off against the other team to answer questions. The questions were challenging and fun, like: Name two local sources of tinder for flint and steel. What type of rock is encouraging the abundant growth of flora here at the cobble? How many toes are showing in a deer track? Name four evergreen trees found at the Cobble. Each group did spectacularly and we all celebrated!
We closed with a nice circle in Ashley Field, showing off our beautifully handcrafted items, and describing things we did over the past 10 weeks. See you in March!
—Josh and the Cobble Staff