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Last Day at Camp Hemlock

It was great to see you all today at Camp Hemlock! The kids have been so excited to show off our home and hard work!
We said goodbye 'til next time to the Cobblers, with hugs all around, and sang a loud, lovely "Good Morning Dear Earth" in our small circle. We checked out our completed "A Tree in Spring" book, bid Ms. Maple farewell, and agreed to say hello to any of her Sugar Maple relatives we may cross paths with during the break.
We settled into the shade and heard a theatrical Irish story about a little boy, his animal friends, a leprechaun, some meadow fairies and their fluffy magic, and how to tell time by the breaths it takes to blow the downy seeds from a dandelion. On the way to camp, we tested the story's theory and gathered the remaining flowering dandelions for pancakes and crowns. So pretty!
For the rest of the day, we started a fire, played, took turns on the swings the children made, prepared camp for the parents' arrival, and did one other very special, last-day tradition we call "Honoring." The children line up outside of our camp circle, and enter silently to a drum beat. They sit on the benches respectfully waiting, and anticipating, their turn to move to the "seat of honor," where they speak aloud their nature name, it is spoken back to them by the group, and an instructor tells them, and all of their friends, the gifts or special qualities we see in that person. It is a happy, special moment, and a solemn one at the same time, for each child to be recognized publicly for who they are, who we see them becoming, and how we see them offer those gifts to the group. It's a celebration that honors the self and encourages selflessness.
Thanks everyone for a really fun, full of learning, very lovely time together this spring! 
—Theresa, Julie, Lila, and Tucker