Saturday, June 4, 2011

Harnessing a Memory


This past week my daughter and I spent a week up in the Redwood forest
to complete the final credits for her Science class called
Outdoor Education.  Although not required, the experience 
is better than a textbook in the classroom.

I went along as a "Counselor",
however this title is cleverly disguised under the multiple headings of
Parent/Guardian, Discipliner, Harnesser, Hiker Aide, Zip Line Aide, 
Naturalist Aide, Camp Song Aide, Kitchen Police, Trash Bag Poncho maker, etc, etc, etc.

I didn't get to take many pictures because my 
camera battery died soon after we arrived
and I was busy, busy, busy with the kids. I averaged 1-hour of 
free time for myself each day while the kids were in the 
care of the Camp.  

The kids had "class" 3 times a day and on our first day it was only a few hours
after we arrived and immediately I could see this was more than I bargained for.
"Class" consisted of many challenge themes designed to take the kids
out of their comfort zones and push themselves to conquer fears
and learn how to work together to solve multiple initiatives as the "leaders"
and "followers" emerged in the team exercises.

As parents, we helped the Facilitators with each class and we naturally stepped into
female and male roles when it came to specific duties.
What I didn't see coming was that I quickly took on the 
role of getting all the children harnessed up for 
all the Zip Lines and Repelling we did each day.  The guides gave me the instructions and
away they went up into the trees leaving me with the huge responsibility
of knowing that I was the one to get them geared up safely.  
But before each child was released they always checked my worked.
And I didn't even break a nail all week and I've got some LONG nails! (smile)

My favorite part of the week was actually on our way home
when we stopped to walk beneath the natural moss 
paths under Redwood tree canopies. It was very beautiful!
Our guide was very knowledgeable about the region and the kids were
very attentive to everything she had to share. The kids were very excited 
to walk beneath a tree that had previously fallen and it's bark
was slowly stripping off.

I had stayed toward the back of the group, slowly walking 
and taking in the beautiful views.  Then suddenly, out of the corner of my eye
I saw my daughter skipping along the pathway.
I thought, "Wow, when was the last time you saw a child skip?"
How simple and child-like to freely play among classmates, 
not caring what anyone thought, lost in her own enjoyment!

At that moment, we harnessed a memory!

Would I do it again... hmmmm... my first response is No,
but I've got another child in the wings who'll be going to
Outdoor Education in a few years and I might get called back 
for Harness duty! ha ha


2 Cha Cha Bloggers left a comment:

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? June 7, 2011 at 5:52 AM  

Just lovely, Janeen! This is exactly what our children need -- is exposure to nature.

It seemed like much fun was had by all! And I couldn't imagine a more involved and enthusiastic Harness dutier! :))

p.s. I thought it was my blog, but I noticed your playlist is off too, Janeen, which causes me to believe it's not blogger but playlist. I've now emailed them twice about it.
I miss listening to music when I visit or even while I'm on my own blog. I hope to hear from them soon!

Have a wonderful day, Janeen! :))

ChaChaneen June 8, 2011 at 7:50 AM  

HI Petra,
I see what you mean now, the playlist shows up but doesn't auto play like it used too. I had to click the play button, I'll send in my report today as well.