How amazing that the rain held off until after our program time! A big welcome to our new families. To the families who weren’t able to join us yesterday, we missed you, and look forward to your return — hopefully next month!
This Friday, we celebrated life with a beautiful day on the land at Camp Sealth! We kicked it off with a story from the instructors introducing a fantasy world where there are 4 main characters that have specific skills that they contribute to their village. This set us up for splitting up into 4 guilds that we will focus on for the next couple of meetings. Here are the four groups and what they did:
Hawk (Phoenix Guild) – Phoenix’s focus is on fire and shelter. To start the day, we learned how to identify the western hemlock and practiced looking around the landscape for these magnificent trees for they provide us with some of the best flammable small kindling that you can find. As we explored the land we collected hemlock “wispies” and learned a technique to dry semi wet materials – put them against your body and dry it up with your own body heat: we stuffed ourselves full! We later brought these materials back to our Fire Tender community to share for the year. Other things we worked on were shelter basics, lighting a fire with matches and a lighter, and the basics of using a hatchet.
Ted (Plant Guild) – My guild encountered the new “road” cut through the forest along with stumps and tried to show respect for the plants and landscape that was injured by using what materials we could find, like incredibly old huckleberry for digging sticks, or even trying to replant an entire uprooted fir tree.
We puzzled over the morphological differences in the same species, talked about how some plants go into hiding along with their medicine in the ground through the winter, and talked about our love for and experience with making medicine with plants. We were watched over by a Barred Owl while we conspired about what to do next with plants.
Ariana (Art of Wandering Guild) – The focus of this guild is to learn about intuition and navigation on the land. This clan began at Rainbows End and went on a quest out to find a hidden message in Hartman meadow. We expanded our awareness to begin making a mental map of our landscape. We encountered a deer that bolted from the tree line. Preformed the lost lest through a thick section of forest and rounded back silently to the Labyrinth Fire pit. At the end of the day we made a wheel mapping the four directions.
Willow (Mammal Tracking Guild) – The group transformed into cougar who are slow and quiet and freeze when spotted in order to sneak up on Willow who was peacefully browsing on huckleberry twigs. Later they studied the track characteristics of some animal families – rodents have 5 toes on the hind feet and 4 in the front while cat and dog family members have 4 and 4. Over lunch they brainstormed questions they had about Camp Sealth residents: “are there apolodontia here?”, “where are there bird nests?”, “where do the deer most like to hang out?” and then they headed out to search for answers. They found that the deer like to walk on the new logging road and poop a lot in the meadow. Ok they already knew the last one. Also they found a very interesting marking on a tree that Willow was very excited to see!