Some Nature School days end up as memories that stay with you for a long time because they are so special. Thursday was one of those days for me (Zav).
It started with a few kids, mostly boys, wanting to go on a shovel hunting adventure (we mentioned that a few of our orange little trowels had gone missing and must be out there in the forest!). So I followed at a distance, and there was the usual adventure play that got them totally off track from their original mission, including "bad guys" to hide from, bow and arrows to be made, and some gold to dig for under a mound of snow. One little girl was following this pack of boys too, and as a few of the boys were discussing how to ditch her I overheard a wonderful moment when one of them said "Hey guys, remember what we talked about in the tipi this morning? How to be a good wolf pack? We need to include her!" And all of them immediately agreed. (Which meant she could play with them, as long as she didn't mind being the "bad guy" they were running from!).
Shortly after, one of the children tripped over a short snow-covered log, and the game immediately changed to lumberjacks trying to move this log.
First they tried to roll it, but it was pretty frustrating when that log just rolled right back down the hill. Next, let's try chopping it into smaller pieces! It seemed like such a great idea but their "axes" and "saws" (sticks, shovels and branches) just weren't performing. So then they tried to lift it; the biggest kid got one end up, instructions being given to lift the other end-- "and someone come help in the middle too!" This went on for some time, but every time they got the log up it seemed they were not able to coordinate moving forward without the log slipping out of their grasp and crashing back to the snowy ground. These efforts went on for quite some time, with little progress. Suddenly, one boy threw his finger into the air and yelled "I've got a great idea!" and ran off at lightning speed, returning minutes later with a length of rope.
Team work; tying one loop around the log while making another loop for the people. Everyone got inside the bigger loop and started to pull, and to their great delight, it moved! Whoops and yells broke out, and more ideas spontaneously erupted "you push the log from behind, on the count of three we'll all pull!"
And slowly but surely, tug by tug, push by push, this ever growing group of kids worked together to pull this log from the back of the forest, around a grove of trees, along the path and up the hill to the front of the tipi. It was a special moment to behold, and so many beautiful life lessons packed into the experience for everyone involved.