On the last class before Thanksgiving, we wanted a way to stretch out and explore the landscape as well as continue to allow the friendships in the clan to flourish! Our answer was a hike to high ground – and a special appearance by the Challenge Hat! The Challenge Hat is a fun way to mix things up on a hike. Basically we just write a bunch of challenges for the group on little slips of paper. The kids take turns drawing them out and then the group tries to meet the challenge.
There we some memorable ones on this day. A lot of kids really enjoyed that challenge of taking 5 whole minutes to go from a standing position to lying down. The challenge is to move as slowly and fluidly as possible – in this modern age, we are so often moving at the fastest possible pace! In our bodies I think we all appreciated the chance to slow down and let the sun warm our cold bones. After the first round, the Bobcats demanded that we do it again! So the second time around we took 5 whole minutes to go from lying down to standing up. It was definitely smoother the second time around and everyone got in the flow!
After that we decided to go straight up the hill to an old Bear Clan shelter and eat some lunch! Once we got to the spot, which was a brand new place for me, I was astounded at the beauty of the space! A tree-lined flat meadow at the top of a hill with the sun pouring down! What a special place on the land. After settling in we sang a song and had our lunch circle. Besides our challenges, there was a lot of talk of ancestors on this day too. Wendy helped facilitate a lunch discussion that went pretty deep and included EVERY SINGLE VOICE IN THE CLAN! There was some deep sharing of life and death and some remembering of pets and ancestors gone by. It was very touching to be a part of this and it really showed the level of comfort and trust the kids (and us mentors) all have at this point in the year!
After lunch there was some solid free play in the meadow before another epic challenge was pulled! This one was a blindfolded smell/taste test! Melissa had been anticipating this and assembled an array of found natural items to test the Bobcats with! The children sat in a circle blindfolded while one by one items were passed around or held under noses for a whiff! There were intimate experiences with Pine Resin, Juniper Berries, Sticky Gumweed, Yarrow, and Prickly Pear fruits! There were a few tricky ones but the kids guessed most correctly. Wendy slipped in a marshmallows so the last round was HILARIOUS to watch!
I challenge you at home to have a meal blindfolded and see if you develop a new appreciation for your favorite foods!
The last challenge pulled for the way home was to learn 3 new things about someone you don’t usually talk to in the clan! This was perfect in fitting with the flow of the day! We made a stop at the rope swing on the way back! This was another first for me and some of the other Bobcats and we LOVED IT!
The Bobcats all left for Thanksgiving break tired and happy!