The day began with morning circle and a game about a weasel named Bob. Bob is both predator and prey, and must always operate in the world with extremely high levels of awareness. We learned who eats Bob (eagle, fox) and who Bob eats (mice, voles). We learned to feel empathy for the hunter and the hunted, as neither has an easy life, just different ways of being in the world.
We stopped in the sunny field for a story about a boy who hadn’t yet learned to show gratitude and respect for the earth and her creatures. The boy was turned into a salmon by the King Salmon and spent four years living with his fish family down the river, in the ocean, and back up the river to spawn. When he returned to his people, he had walked in the metaphorical shoes of the salmon and learned the compassionate ways of the world.
After snack and story, we split into a wander group and a group that stayed at camp to make “nature jewelry." We cut pieces of sumac branches into beads, used a nail to remove the pithy core, peeled and sanded the bark off, and put our beads on bracelet or necklace strings. Beautiful!
When we were all back together, at camp, we sang our lunch song and broke bread together. We started to talk about what we wanted for Christmas or Hanukkah, but shifted to what we are grateful for that we already have. Some sweet things that were said: my dad, my kite, my slingshot, my family, pancakes.
The rest of the afternoon we looked for salamanders, climbed trees, built another fairy house, played hide and seek, made more beads, and played!
—Theresa and Julie