First Day Back at Raccoon Clan, 2014!

First day back at Raccoon Clan!

The land has a strong energy all its own. It really runs the program. When the children arrive, they get swept up and folded in, whether they notice it or not. We as staff thrive when we are most in tune with it. The whole purpose of the place seems to be to help all of us deepen in to this thriving force. The flood has definitely introduced a brand new energy to the landscape.

We began the day as we love to, by waking our bodies with a game and gathering together in circle. Circle began that morning with low sunlight shining on the group as we embodied each of our nature namesakes for everyone. We then had the chance to give thanks to whatever was in our hearts, and sang a song to follow.

We were led into the morning’s mystery by our own Evening Grosbeak (Kyle) and Wandering Garter Snake (Hanna), who had dreamed up lyrical songlines for all of us to follow as we broke off into smaller clusters. Songlines offer an opportunity to view the land in a new way– as interpreters of someone else’s songline, we must decipher their clues and discover the way others see the landscape in order to complete the journey. All the groups ultimately landed in the pristine upper meadow; the first group to arrive camouflaging themselves so well, they were undetected until exposing themselves after the final group’s arrival.

Lunch was a great opportunity to review our agreements at Raccoon Clan (and FOTE at large):  1. To Respect Each other; 2. To Respect Ourselves; 3. To Respect Nature; and 4. Not to leave the group without checking in with an instructor.

With the help of our Boreal Chorus Frog (Lorene), we began the afternoon transforming into families of deer, each eager to find a cozy place on the land to curl up for a while. The deer, after deepening into the land silently, eventually found their way back to the Juniper camp for a short round of “Stick.” The group gathered in circle for an engaging ancient tale told by our newest addition to Raccoon Clan staff, Hermit Thrush (Marcus). Tracking, intuition, and Grandmother Spider all featured prominently in a tale of a quiet young journeyer.

After hearing everyone’s impressions of Hermit Thrush’s story, Pika (that’s me, Wendy) and Downy Woodpecker (James) brought the day to a close with a song called “Let us See the Beauty.” And thus sealed our beautiful day back on the land together.

Until next week!

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