Week two of the Raccoon clan spring session opened to a fresh 3 inches of powder laid down the night before. Already the signs that spring is on its way are being noticed as the sun is rising earlier and earlier, much to the enjoyment of instructors and the kids. With some luck we were able to quickly gather wood and get a fire going to help with warming our bones. This fire we kept going all day to sing songs and eat by. It is such a gift on these winter days to have a central fire to gather, share food and enjoy each others company.
We have been blessed the past few weeks to welcome new members to our little community so, we spent time in the morning welcoming, sharing names and reviewing the hazards present on the land (poison ivy, thin ice, lightning, ect.) with fun and entertaining skits.
Having a fresh blanket of snow afforded us an awesome venue for tracking exercises. Including a game in which a group was trying to travel in a way that would confuse a second group tracking their footprints. These confusing tactics included walking in a single file line to make a group appear to be a single person, backtracking (walking backwards in your own tracks and then splitting the trail at some point) and walking backwards (to make it look like you are traveling in the other direction). All of these techniques were used by native tribes to confuse people who may be following them to harm the tribe.
Quickly before a nice lunch time break we played a favorite game of mine in which the kids try and make it across an imaginary bridge in which they can only cross through teamwork. I knew that the raccoons would be able to easily perform the task so decided to up the anty by making it a rule that they could not speak to one another. This posed a much greater challenge and is a great lesson in scout communication. In the end the kids were so close to getting all away across the bridge challenge but will definitely have to try another week.
After lunch we broke up into groups for some free form wander time to just enjoy exploring the land. After incorporating some still sit-spot time, we gathered back together around the warmth of the fire to hear a story to close out this snowy blue bird day.