We are so thrilled to have had another spectacular day together learning and playing. As the Forest Trackers arrived this morning, rain drizzled down but despite the cool weather every Forest Tracker appeared bundled and excited to begin the day. In the field, a game of Bear, Salmon, Mosquito began and near the fire circle, several Trackers worked to scrape cedar bark into tinder bundles.
We came together to share our gratitude and the Forest Trackers settled in to hear the story of how Trickster Coyote helped to bring fire to the Human People who had none. In the story, Coyote and his animal friends steal a coal from the Fire Beings that live at the top of a mountain. Together the animals work cooperatively, passing the stolen coal on their backs, tails, and tongues in an attempt to outsmart the Fire Beings who are chasing them. Suddenly the coal is thrown and swallowed by a cedar tree. It is only Coyote who is clever and patient enough to find a way to draw the coal back out and deliver fire to the Human People who need it so badly.
After the story ended, the Forest Trackers knelt around the central ring to help create a fire of our own. Bark scrapings were gathered together in a bundle and placed as tinder in the center of the pit. Next hemlock twigs were seeded in, followed by thicker and thicker sticks. Finally, wrist and arm sized limbs surrounded the outside creating a strong and pointed structure. As the fire was lit, the center of the tipi glowed red. Fire began to lick upward then burst into towering flame. The dry wood crackled and popped, and warmth radiated out warming fingers and noses.
With the central fire lit, the Forest Trackers were presented with the challenge to make fires of their own. Separated out into three teams, they worked to collect and assemble fuel, find tinder, and set a structure that would burn. With the help of instructors, students transported coals from the central fire to their pit where they tried to get their fires going. For some, the task of making fire came quickly. For others, drawing fire from the wood required patience and dedication. But all the hard work paid off as three new fires came to life.
With fires burning brightly, we prepared for the final task of the day: AN EPIC GAME OF CAPTURE THE FLAG in the FOREST. In a most exciting game full of sneaking, running, and exploding through the bushes to steal and tag each Forest Tracker gave it their all. By the end of the day we were well worn out but excited for more days soon to come.
We would like to challenge the Forest Trackers to continue to practice the skills they learned today throughout the month. Whether lighting fires, practicing silent movement and stalking, or finding natural tinders we hope that today enlivened a bright spark in each heart.
Thank you so much for sending your kids to Forest Trackers!