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First Day of Woolly Bears Forest Kindergarten at Bartholomew's Cobble!

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What a fantastic fall day! After separating from the parents after circle, we hiked farther into Ashley Field, and introduced ourselves with a name game, called Snapping Turtle's Feast.  

Over snack, we went over some guidelines we have at Flying Deer. We have very few rules—only three, in fact. We call them the 3 Rs: Respect yourself, Respect each other, and Respect the Earth. We learned that different calls mean different things: The crow call means, "Come to the circle, we have something awesome to say!" And the Katydid call means "Shhhh...someone else is talking and needs our deer ears and respect." The kids saw a show (Rabea and I were the stars!) about some things on this land that might need extra attention and respect sometimes, and, if we give these things, we will stay safe—like poison ivy, ticks, camp fires, thorns, and climbing trees.

We were off! We hiked up to camp and made it our home, with hard work and careful, lovely finishing touches. Working together, we hauled logs for benches and rocks for a fire ring. We worked on a play shelter and started a firewood pile for next week. Some kids made slides, human and fairy size. Some made brooms from branches and swept out our campfire area, and others gathered treasures to decorate around the ring. We began work on our "playground" and, at the end, our bodies were energized and our spirits happy and proud with the accomplishment of meaningful work!

At lunch, I told a story about a great Sky Tree and the formation of the Earth on Turtle's back. And, when we were nourished, we played and played! Some highlights:

  • A toad
  • A New England Red-Backed Salamander
  • A fairy house
  • Hickory nuts
  • Pretty rocks
  • Birch bark
  • Eagle Eye (a hiding game!)

—Theresa Wood, Lead Instructor, and Julie Kunz; September 23, 2016