Our older groups this week geared up for their first field trip of the year – a paddle down the Beaver River. Collectively, the groups paddled anywhere from the Epping put in to the Slabtown Dam. The Fall colours were stunning and seemed to intensify as the week went on. All groups learned basic canoe skills, with our older students having the chance to learn to stern – and they nailed it!
Along the way, we took breaks for moments of silence in hopes of developing the Quiet Mind (one of our indicators of awareness) in our children. Of course we learned quickly that there is a lot of noise in silence. We were rewarded with the soft ripples of the current, wind blowing in the leaves, birds chirping, bugs singing and so much more. We were even visited by a Great Blue Heron, who seemed to travel with us every day – our guardian on the water.
Of course the highlight for many were the salmon running up river. If you have the chance, take your kids and go see them jump at the Slabtown Dam – it’s incredible right now.
Our Chickadee programs spent their days exploring Bygone days. Monday’s group dove into mapping as they created new homes and mapped bridges in hopes the Trolls will move in. Friday’s group was out paddling, building dams and got a sweet intro to fire making!
It’s the perfect time of year to reflect on Thanksgiving as one of our core routines. At FNS we practice an attitude of gratitude and start everyday with what we are thankful for and we’ve found most students are eager to do so. It’s amazing what the kids come up with and share!
Throughout the day, we also find opportunities to give nods of thanks as we go about exploring. Each day ends with our airing of appreciations where students can thank one another, nature or anything else in our closing circle. It’s all about finding in ourselves a grateful heart.
And with that we’d like to extend a HUGE thanks to Jim, our Beaver River expert and friend for coming along with us this week to help out! And of course all the folks at Free Spirit in Heathcote for the help over the week.
Have a great long weekend!
The FNS crew