Bear Clan is awesome…

We began our day in Left Hand canyon this last Wednesday awaiting the sun’s emergence over the ridge. To warm up we ran to the biggest sunny patch in the field we could find, knowing that it would only continue to grow. Once in the sun, we played a quick game of fox tails to get the blood moving. In this game, the goal is to pull out the other players’ fox tails (aka bandanas), and after we were all breathing heavy, some of us worked on our reflex skills with the game screaming ninja before we sat down for opening circle.

In opening circle, we all shared what we were feeling grateful for during our thanksgiving address, sang a song about the unknown blessings that are all around us, and woke up our bodies as a a group as we each shared some movement or stretch that felt good to us in the moment. By this time, most of the field was blanketed by the warm sunlight and we all sat down for snack. During snack we talked about the team building challenge the girls had been given the follow week, and processed for a little bit around what worked and what didn’t work. For the girls knew, before they were given the final clue of our two week adventure all around the land, they were going to have to complete the more advanced version of the team building challenge.

Within this challenge, all the girls have to be standing on a blanket (or we like to call it a leaf), and without any of them stepping off the leaf they have to flip the leaf (blanket) over. After snack we all headed over to work as a team and complete the challenge. The girls group mind, trust, leadership, and communication skills shined brightly as they skillfully flipped the leaf over on two different occasions; each time the leaf grew smaller and smaller.

After the leaf had been flipped over and there was a real sense of community within the group, the girls read the final clue from the woodland fairies, which instructed them to head up the valley in search of a structure that a previous group of bear clan girls built for the celebration of one of girl’s first moon. As we walked up the valley, we took time to play with the ice that had formed along the river and to check out any cool animal tracks that we saw along the way. While climbing up into the valley our awareness skills had to be turned on when we started to hear and notice all of the noises that were happening around us. Many of us had been wondering where Wendy was and when she had left the group. We continued to climb and soon uncovered where Wendy had been all this time when we heard some strange bird calls coming from a tree just slightly off the trail.

From the ponderosa Wendy had been perched in, a few of the girls quickly noticed a structure with red ribbons tied to it and they all rushed over to see if it could be the structure the woodland fairies had sent us to. Sure enough, within the shelter was a bag filled with the gifts of leather and moon charts for the girls within our clan who have begun bleeding. As a group, we began talking about what we wanted to do with the leather and there was a lot of excitement around making moccasins, which we plan to start next week after we all have spent some time working with the leather and getting used to it. With the thought of making moccasins, we all quickly began working with the leather, many of us chose to make little pouches.

After working on our leather projects for a little bit, we broke for lunch. After we had eaten we got our bodies moving by playing hug tag, and while still giggling from our hug tag game we settled into our projects again. Some took tree climbing breaks, while others plugged along at their leather crafts. The afternoon wound down with a nice bit of quiet sit spot time– a time to be still with the natural world. After sit spot came closing circle, where we all shared highlights and difficulties from the day, and a closing song. We then began the long journey from the far reaches of the upper meadow back to the road!

Looking forward to next week…
Darilynn and Wendy

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