WEEK 3: Walking Blind and Barefoot

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Howdy There!

Week 3 was a rousing success.  While the weather has been looking and feeling a lot more like fall around here these days, Wednesday was dry and warm!

We started the day off with a bang.  After sharing some snack and thankfulness, we started talking about being blind.  The kids talked about times they had been blindfolded before and how it changed their other senses.  I let them know that Kyle and Tim at Sparrow Circle had set up a really cool and challenging blindfold rope course… I explained that we would be taking off shoes and putting on blindfolds at the bottom of the hill. From there, we would be doing a blindfolded caterpillar walk over to the start of the rope walk.  Once at the rope walk, I would be sending one at a time to walk by themselves while always keeping a hand on the rope. I also explained that part of course would have them crossing the river!  We talked through any fears that the boys had and slide down the hill to get ready!

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This is some advanced stuff here that normally would happen a little later in the year, but your sons seemed mature enough to give it a shot. And I am sure glad I did!
We got ourselves into a quiet mindstate and took off our shoes. Then the blindfolds went on and everyone grabbed the shoulder of the boys in front of them to form our 12-legged caterpillar!  There was a bit of nervous shuffling and talking but everyone did a great job overall!  When we hit the rope, I asked each boy to count quietly to 60 when the boy in front of them started before beginning themselves.  It is nice to have a little space so each of the kids get to experience the feeling of completing the challenge themselves.

It was quite the experience, especially during the river crossing.  There was also a section that turned out to be a minefield of thistles that we became very intimate with. (OUCH! We are alive!) The ending of the walk was the coolest part. The boys had to cross under a fallen Willow log by crawling on their bellies and emerging on the other side next to some ultra fragrant Cat mint that we had looked for the first few weeks.
An especially sweet thing at this point was that the Sparrow Circle boys had finished the walk probably 30 mins before and we’re having a sharing circle at the end of the rope.  They went silent when we got there and as each still blindfolded Chickadee boy finished the course a Sparrow boy guided him by the arm silently and placed him as part of the Sparrow circle.  When everyone was in, I had the boys take off their blindfolds – the looks on thier faces when they realized how far they had come and that they were with the Sparrows was priceless!  Each boy was given a chance to share his experience with the group before Sparrow Circle took off on thier own adventure!  With blindfolds off we backtracked the course and collected our stuff!

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After that the kids requested that we do a sit spot.  So we spread out in the meadow and practiced sitting quietly  and observing the world around us.  After holding so much quiet energy with the blindfolds on, the fellows got squirrelly quick so we needed to play a big running game to get that energy out!

Speaking of squirrels and games, I had actually thought of a new game that afternoon while biking to programs! After reading in two separate source about Coyotes and Badgers working together to hunt burrowing rodents, I decided they needed thier own game… so “Badger and Coyote” was born!

For an inaugural run of a game it went pretty good.  We delineated some bushes and trees as burrows and started the game with one Badger, zero Coyotes and a heap of Ground Squirrels.  The Squirrels were safe in their burrows until the Badger mock scratches the burrow and counts to three out loud. Once three is hit, the burrow is compromised and the Squirrels have to run!  Once a Squirrel gets tagged they become a Coyote! As you might have guessed the Coyotes take advantage of the chaos and pick off panicked Squirrels as they flee their safe, cozy burrows. It ain’t pretty, but it is nature!Badger-and-Coyote

See you next week!

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2 Comments on “WEEK 3: Walking Blind and Barefoot

  1. Amazing story and great pictures, Pat! I’m impressed with the Chickadees!

  2. This is so wonderful to see and hear about. The boys are loving their time with you! Thanks for taking the time to share this with us!

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