Mothers are often the fount of sage advice and wisdom. Last weekend, my mother advised me to just do things for the sake of it, be creative without having a goal other than the creativity itself and the joy it brings me. So good was this advice that I passed it on to anyone whom I thought might benefit from a little “art for arts sake” passing it off as my own wisdom, naturally.
The relevance? Bear with me. I then chanced upon a link to an old blog post of mine which gave me pause for thought and led me into blog fuelled reminiscence of sessions gone by and children grown.
Anyone who has written a blog for any period of time will appreciate that one can become a slave to it, it becomes a chore, timetabled into life alongside a myriad of other “must dos” and that is how I often felt. But reading back reminded me of the pleasure I had in recording, retelling some interesting or humorous observation or anecdote.
Today was the fourth After School Bushcraft Club. A hybrid provision aimed at being as child led as possible while still offering opportunities to learn and develop bushcraft knowledge and skills. We have children from 8 – 12 who are left in our tender care, over fives who come with a parent and the parents themselves who are demonstrating a real desire to do more than sit on the logs drinking coffee.
So far every session has been different, busy, manic, challenging and seemingly over in moments. With no activity structure, children can be asking for help with a whole range of tasks from sharpening sticks, to finding chalk, wearing face paint (home made of course) to firing darts from atl atl. And that’s just the first five minutes!
Over the last four weeks themes have begun to emerge and I am hopeful that the ownership that children and adults are showing of this session will grow and expand. Imagine a place where children can play, be safe, make friends, share food, learn new things which interest them, take risks, make decisions, a place where children can Be More Outdoors.
One of my Forest School catch phrases is “reflection supercharges learning” and writing this blog was always as much about reflection for me as a practitioner as it was recording for funding or marketing purposes. Looking back at the whimsical nature of some of the posts it is entirely possible that this is my creative outlet, all be it as a manifestation of my work life.
Next week I might draw a picture of me toasting a marshmallow.