Week Six: Hawks practice Camouflage and Stalking!

Dear Hawk Circle Families,

Today was a busy day of exploring for the Hawks!

To begin, we decided it was a good day to remind the group about our four agreements, just as a refresher. We talked about how important it is to make space for all voices in our group by not speaking over one another. We each shared a moment in our lives where we have felt like we weren’t being heard, or felt hurt when someone interrupted us. This has helped bring awareness to our group about how important it is to listen when one person in the group is speaking. We all have valuable perspectives to share and we want to cultivate a culture of sharing in listening within our group! We were so happy that the girls were receptive to the ideas of respecting ourselves, one another, and nature.

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We got to practice these respects throughout our day. We spent most of our day wandering around the forest, checking out different places that we haven’t been for a while.

To introduce a game of Camouflage, Pinar told the group a very exciting story of a bear sighting that we shared a few weeks back! One day, after we had met for Robin Circle at Chautauqua, a few of the Feet on the Earth mentors were doing a sit spot. All of a sudden, and all at once, we noticed a big, brown figure slowly moving on the ridge across from us. What is that burly shape? A Bear!!! Then, we noticed, there was a SECOND bear just behind it under a pine tree! There were two brown bears not 100 feet from us! We noticed that the bears were then moving toward each other, acting pretty playfully! They were walking together, cuddling, biting each other playfully, and at one point, even wrestled each other and rolled down the hill! What an amazing experience that we got to see this, and all because we were sitting, watching, and being quiet!

This story got us in the mood for a few rounds of Camouflage! We strolled a bit down the path, and all of a sudden, I called out “CAMOUFLAGE!” closed my eyes, and counted to 30. When I opened my eyes, there was no one around me! What amazing talent these girls have at hiding in nature! I called out the few that I could see from where I was, then closed my eyes again and counted to 20 as the remaining moved a bit closer to me! I found a few more, but there were so many that were so well hidden! In the last round, I counted to 10 and the rest of the group tried to tag me before I was done counting. With Tamar as our champion, we continued down the path, looking for another good place to play.

A few of the girls noticed 2 does just above us on the ridge, only about 10 feet away! We were so excited and surprised to meet these lovely beings in the woods! We continued down the path so as not to disturb them, when all of a sudden, I looked down to the dry creekbed to my left, and gasped!! A beautiful doe was standing there, not 6 feet away from us! We watched her in silence, as she calmly stood in our presence. What awe! She slowly made her way up the ridge, and we decided to follow her!

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Can you see the deer in this photo?

As we approached the ridgeline, the girls noticed that there were at least 4 deer in the brush just beyond where we were standing. In excitement, the group tried to get closer and closer to the deer. They didn’t run away, but we did notice that the deer were a little uncomfortable with how quickly they were being approached, and continued to move away from us. We then called the girls over to watch from a distance.

Pinar told us a story about a time that they were stalking a deer. Because deer are typically a prey animal, that when we face them and make eye contact, they can feel threatened. But when they turned their body sideways, the deer felt less threatened and let Pinar be in their presence with more comfort. Then, Pinar decided to take a more animal form, and got on all fours, pretending to eat grass, just like the deer was. By doing this, Pinar was able to get within 5 feet of the deer!

After the deer disappeared, we made our way back into the forest for one last game of Camouflage! Finally, we made our way quickly uphill to do a closing circle. The girls were feeling excited about our encounter in the forest, and couldn’t wait to do more with Camouflage and stalking in the future!

Many thanks for letting us spend such great time with your daughters. Looking forward to next week!

Arielle

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