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Fun in the Sun with the Fire Tenders – May 19, 2017

i May 20th No Comments by
What an ahhhmazing sunny day!!!
For the morning, the youngest Fire Tenders clan and the oldest Wind Gatherers clan came together. The Fire Tenders shared stories with the Wind Gatherers to prepare the ones moving up to Fire Tenders next year for the future. Then they played Meet a Tree. 
Meanwhile the other two Fire Tenders clans had morning circle, rich with beautiful, detailed nature updates. The appreciation for subtlety in this group is impressive! Then they moved on to the field where they became lizards and basked in the sun. Some “up-leveled” their basking by also weaving braids in the long grass, building scotch broom nests, admiring the tiniest of flowers, and watching bugs. Eventually everyone was thoroughly sunned, and we could play a game. Into the woods we went for hiding, howling, sneaking, and running. 
Ted’s clan joined us near the end, and we split up into groups to plan our end of year celebration. There is a cooking group, fire group, and decorating group. After lots of swirling ideas, plans were made. To close the day we played one last round of the howling game. 
Such a good day! Thank you sun! Thank you field! Thank you scotch broom and chickweed and tiny geraniums! Thank you breeze. Thank you forest. Thank you Fire Tenders kids and families! 

Magical Adventures with the Newts – May 12, 2017

i May 19th No Comments by
Last Friday, like all Fridays, was full of special moments with the kids and wonderful unexpected gifts from the natural world surrounding us at Camp Sealth. 
We began the day in a large group gratitude circle while we remembered our Nature Names from the beginning of the year.  I was surprised by how many kids could recall their creature, plant or mushroom name!  Ask them if they remember!
The newts then headed out of Dupar Meadow by forming one giant blindfolded caterpillar.  It was challenging and bonding to work together to move as one without sight.  Many took turns leading the group and expressed that they moved slowly and carefully to protect one another from falling or tripping.  Great! 
Then Jen told a story about a funny dream she had about a King Red Admiral Butterfly who was sick and needed help from all of his creature friends.  Luckily, a yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly lead the effort to find and harvest the magic pollen, dig a whole through the center of the earth, come out the other side, slide down a rainbow and deliver the magic healing pollen to the King to save him and all of the butterflies around the world.  Phew!  
We continued our day in a large grove of cedar trees to avoid the rain and transformed into our nature names and into ninjas.  Finally, as we returned to Dupar Meadow we were greeted by a beautiful music circle of Dragonflies welcoming us into our story of the day.  

Ecology and Community with the Wind Gatherers – May 5, 2017

i May 11th No Comments by
Last Friday we celebrated our connections of ecology and community! We began with a favorite song, “Wood Stone,” and learned a third verse, which was created by one of our Wind Gatherer families a couple of years ago. Then we dove into an all-Wind Gatherer game of “Fire in the Forest” in which we got to choose our favorite animal to be, and then had to move like your creature when we heard something that described our us in some way (such as, “if you have scales, run across” or “if you eat other animals run across”). What animal did your child choose, and what were the characteristics that signaled to your child that it was time to move?
We then separated into societies to have our own adventures. If your child is a Newt, you’ll have to discover from them what happened out in the woods! The Dragonflies heard a story acted out by Jane’s clan. Mother Nature was out enjoying the morning. One by one she met up with a Fisherman, Mosquito, and Frog. Each one was enjoying the morning too, and delighting on various delicacies — the Fisherman was looking forward to catching frogs for a frog leg dinner, the mosquito to some delicious human fare, frog was looking forward to a meal of mosquitoes. But each one also had a complaint, suggesting to Mother Nature that the world might be a better place if it didn’t have a particular creature in it. The Fisherman requested there be no more mosquitoes, the mosquito that there be no more frogs, the frog that there would be no more humans … 
What does your child think? Would the world be a better place without certain creatures? Which other creatures might disagree, and what might happen if the more “unpleasant” creatures no longer existed?
Next, several of the Dragonflies were blindfolded and the rest serves as guides, as we walked to the logging road to look for frog eggs or tadpoles in the vernal ponds. From there, Jane’s clan bushwhacked to a further pond, and then hid. Joanne’s clan found them! Then most of the kids bushwhacked further in, discovering a hidden area they named Funland. Fun was certainly had by all!
Back at Mossy 6, some of Joanne’s clan observed (and heard!) an Osprey pair building a nest, other kids became Raccoons, and other adventure ensued.
We look forward to more springtime fun with your children!

Guilds with the Fire Tenders – May 5, 2017

i May 11th No Comments by

As the awesome thunder storm that electrified the lands around the Salish Sea last night graced the land with its final gentle drizzle, the Fire Tenders returned to Camp Sealth for day two of our spring guilds.

Of course, first we shared stories together of our observations of nature this past week including many stories of said storm. There were also reports of increased chicken egg laying and farm activity, baby animals, and an eyewitness report of 29 GBH (great blue herons) lined up like fishermen on along one streambank!

The Archers began with an awareness game of Scout Sword or, as it was renamed in the spot, Samurai and Ninjas. Using the intuition (aka the Force) along with all the usual senses, Ninjas tried to penetrate the defenses of the blindfolded Samurai, who was armed with only a pool noodle.  To get to their archery range the archers took a familiar trail, but traveled it with senses awakened to the wind, their bodies, the voices of the birds and the possibility of hidden deer. Then the arrows flew.

The Scouts headed into the woods and must’ve been struck by a shapeshifting spell because not only did their bodies morph into the shapes of animals as they traversed a dangerous maze of lasers, but their voices changed too! Soon there were Australians, Brits, Russians, and people from who knows where!

The Sit Spot group which could also be known as the Nature Appreciators, the Deep Listeners, or Those Who Move With the Land, took in the exquisite beauty of a pair of Aminita pantherinas, before taking on the challenge to return to Paradise Meadow (their special place from last week) by a different route using only trails (animal or people) and not being seen. Moving across the landscape deep in appreciation with quiet minds and gentle bodies, they became part of their environment and were rewarded (as Nature will do) with special treats – a cougar scrape, a deer rub, and a bard owl.

As usual, we Fire Tenders staff have great appreciation and gratitude for the land that we call Camp Sealth and the creatures that live there and the great gift that being in nature with your children is.