All throughout our day out on the land 2 weeks ago the wind whipped violently, constantly reminding us of its presence. After we played a few games and brought our hearts, minds, and bodies together through our thanksgiving address and shared movement, we all headed out as a group to juniper camp to start some of our activities for the day.
Many of the girls had different interests for the day and when we got to juniper camp the group seemed to separate, or at least it appeared that way. I sat around the platform with Ann and Bryleigh working on some of the projects that were alive for them. Ann and I worked on cutting some of the wood off of her coal burned bowl, while Bryleigh and I cut some pieces of wood so that she could start to carve a fork. Soon after her piece for her fork was cut, Wendy and Bryleigh began the process of cutting the prongs of the fork.
After Ann and I were tired from using the saw and ready for a break from cutting, I got curious at where all of the other girls had gone to, because prior to this moment many of them were down by the frozen creek. I got up and began to walk with Ann in hopes of discovering where and what the other girls were up to. To my great surprise we quickly found all of the girls, who were each standing in and on different parts of a massive fallen tree and debris pile that was left by the flood. I was soon met by Isabella who was very excited and began to show me around the multi-layered shelter the girls had began to construct as a group. I watched for a little bit as some girls climbed into the shelter, doing the construction, while others ran about the land collecting and cutting wood to add to the shelter.
For the next hour or so, we all worked as a group constructing our massive shelter. Different possible names flew about, such as Deer’s Den, Badger’s Burrow, and Bear’s Burrow. Whenever I asked how everyone was doing or what we might want to do after lunch, the only answer I got was we want to build our shelter after lunch, and the next week, and the next week!! It was great to see all of girls working so seamlessly together on a project they all felt equally passionate about!
The following week, the enthusiasm for building the shelter was still very much there. The girls even began to work with some stonemasonry skills: piling stones to create a small wall, using a mud mixture from the land. It was an incredible thing to witness!
Last week we had a special guest mentor with us, Hattie, from the UK. Hattie introduced the game of Bat and Moth, which Lorene eventually turned seamlessly into an impromptu drum stalk for the girls. They sank into their deep sensory awareness for the blindfolded drum stalk, and we ended the day with a quiet sit spot, taking in the land from the perspective of heightened awareness.