Week 1: Relearning the Land

Welcome back, Hawk Circle families!

We had a joyous first day at Chautauqua last Monday. We welcomed our wonderful new intern, Melissa. In order to welcome her into the circle, we began our day with an epic snowball fight! The snow was just perfect for packing snowballs, so we chased each other around and nearly froze our fingers off!

After the laughter died down and most of the snow had been tossed about, we sat down for our snack. We reconnected by sharing stories of our winter breaks. Girls shared stories of vacations and fun times spent with family and friends.

I then framed our season with the idea of our overnight in mind. I offered the girls a challenge to prepare for our time overnight. The challenge was this: think of the one thing you feel you need to learn (or learn better) in order to feel prepared to stay out overnight. I will be continuing this framing throughout the season, and our lessons will focus on practicing different skills that will help us to feel confident during that time under the stars and braving the elements!

Next, I challenged the girls to teach Melissa about the land that we have come to know so well. We visited many spaces that we have come to love, including the Robin’s nest, and the upper meadow. At the nest, we climbed rocks, and Melissa challenged the girls to help her identify a large bush that sits at the base of the Robin’s nest. Though they did not identify it, it created some excitement around what kind of plants are around us! We plan to do more of this identification throughout the blooming season!

We then wandered up to the meadow, while playing a few rounds of Eagle Eye! Melissa learned quickly how easy it is to hide in the brush, even when you’re wearing bright colors! The girls have really grown strong in their hiding skills!

Once near the meadow, I called the girls over. I had found a hill that some others had sledded on. This invoked their playful nature and soon enough, we were all sliding down the hill together! (During this time, my phone unfortunately decided to go sledding as well and I lost all the great photos I took this day!)

Once tired and cold from the snow, we wandered slowly back up to the tables, and shared some highlights of the day.

We are looking forward to seeing the girls next week! I have another exciting challenge for them  :)

With gratitude,

Arielle

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