By Carrie Komesch, Educator
It was raining on the last Friday before Thanksgiving, but the students were keen to head off into the forest with some ropes and tarps and the intention of setting up some kind of temporary habitation. We veered off a main path and found a clearing of sorts where the children set to work making the space match what they had in mind.
They quickly decided that in order to properly hang our tarp in the area they selected, it would be necessary to pull down a good sized dead branch. However, the branch proved more resilient than they had anticipated, and its successful removal required a concerted group effort.
A tug of war with nature:
While shelter construction and play in the clearing continued, some students who were keen to wander followed a mysterious pathways through the moss to see where it led them.
It led them to…a pond! Where they immediately decided that they wanted to build a zipline using rope leftover from hanging the tarp. I was unsure of how this rather ambitious goal would manifest itself, but the students communicated their vision and needs to one another, and with only minor adult involvement (to tie the rope higher on the tree than they themselves could reach, after their prototype failed to live up to expectations), they produced something incredible.
This student originally fell in by accident, but then continued to “swim” periodically when the urge struck him. At one point, there was even a cannonball contest happening.
I was slightly concerned that the cold, wet hike back to site would dampen the students’ spirits, but their enthusiasm continued until everyone was changed into dry clothes and settled into cozy, quiet pursuits in the warmth of the cabin.
And finally, a shot of quintessential autumn leaves on a bed of rainy moss. I love this forest and the magic that happens therein!