Melissa and I are about to unplug and go offline until Monday.
We wrapped up another fun little Wild Wanderers camp this afternoon and hit the road to the Northwest String Summit where will will be teaching Cattail Sun Visor Weaving and Wild Edibles as well as dancing with friends and strangers in the woods!
Just wanted to drop a quick note about this week's camp... We had a blast climbing trees, making fishing poles, playing running and hiding games, building shelters, breaking sticks, imitating animals, laughing, telling stories, listening to bird voices, slowing our breathing, increasing our heart rates, exploring the creek bed, and generally gelling as a group and enjoying the beautiful summer days out at Lake Padden!
We ate more yummy wild berries including favorites "Taco"berries (sounded like one of the kids said Tacoberry insead of Huckleberry and it stuck!) as well as some yummy ripe Saskatoons! Melissa taught us a rhyme to remember....
"In the months of July or June, ripen the blue berries of the Saskatoon. With oval-shaped leaves that have teeth on one end and delicious berries that taste best shared with a friend!"
One other theme that was prevalent this week was multiple encounters with Yellow Jacket nests... Over the years of teaching camps, these remain our biggest hazard. Pat actually mention in a story he told about a young boy who got stung when he was playing in the woods. Luckily his friend new about Plantain, our ubiquitous plant ally that helps heal a bite or sting instantaneously!
When on the second day a member of our group go stung, we managed to get everyone out with only one single sting. They boys who didn't get stung new where plantain was growing and ran to harvest some medicine for their friend. It was scary but brought some extra awareness and everyone was O.K. afterwards.
Today on Day 3, the boys were more wary of ground-nesting bees and walked with fox feet and deer ears to keep their awareness up. In the last half hour of camp, just when we were about to head home, one of our 4 year old adventures accidentally disturbed a nest several feet up in an old rotten cedar tree... He was stung/bitten by a Yellow Jacket under his eye and several times on his shoulder.
The beautiful thing was that he and the other kids knew what to do and ran down the trail far enough that the protective and aggressive yellow jackets wouldn't follow. Melissa got a big bite on her leg too. We assessed our situation and while it really hurt and was obviously really scary for him and every one, we were all ultimately OK. We put some plantain salve on the swelling bites and that sure helped. We were all back in better spirits soon as we made our way back to the waiting Mamas!
I was really impressed at how our students handled what can be a tough situation and I am confident it can be a prime learning experience for all involved! We still love the bees!
We have 2 more camps this Summer, one more Wild Wanderers camp next week at Fairhaven Park from Tues 7/18-21 for the 4-6 year olds and an Earth Scouts "WIldcrafting" camp 7/24-28 for the 6-12 ready to make things using our hands, our knives and a whole variety of natural materials! It is going to be a real good time! Spaces remain in both camps, ENROLL ONLINE TODAY!
We will be back in radio contact on Monday, have a great weekend wherever you are!