This week I have the astounding pleasure to serve as co-instructor to twelve kids, age 4-6, in deep nature connection. This is by way of the Vashon Wilderness Program Summer Camp.
Today we explored mammals and animal tracks and sign. We are adventuring in a beautiful woodland filled with extremely talkative ravens. (Have you ever heard a Raven say, “Gloop!”? This is a vocalization very much in the vocabulary of these forest Ravens!).
We had lunch by a large pond, where we watched swallows dive and skim the water (for water striders?), and we played “Grizzly In The Grassland” in a field. We finished our time at the pond with each child blindfolded and silent, listening to the birds and other sounds surrounding us, and making squiggles and other marks in their journals, depending on what they heard.
Stacey Hinden, who I am instructing with, and I were deeply moved and astonished at the attentiveness of these kids. All of them (even brand-new and very young campers) were silent for 7 minutes, and some of the more experienced kids went the full ten minutes they had challenged themselves with. We had originally set them to a five minute challenge, but they had clamored for ten (breaking the record of the campers of last summer who had pursued a similar sit for six minutes).
And, as the minutes passed, and the silence continued, birds came closer and closer to the kids, singing away and comfortable in the company of these gentle, curious young humans.
Have you shared some special quiet moments with kids in nature?
And how about yourself. Care to challenge yourself to a blindfold nature sit? Just find a place outside where you feel comfortable, blindfold yourself, and sit and listen. For 5 minutes. Or ten. If you’d like, have a journal on your lap and make special marks for everything you hear. When you’re done with your sit, take a look at what you drew, and recall your experience.
Then tell someone about your adventure.
I invite you to share your stories — about special quiet moments in nature with kids, and/or your blindfold sit spot adventure — in the comment box here!