Our weekly Young Rangers after-school club sessions have been going well up in Denmark Farm’s woods, near Lampeter. We’ve had a guest tutor, Bernadette O’Grady (a professional musician) who has been showing the kids how to make music from nature. Thanks to Bernie, we’ve even got our own theme song.
It’s an exciting time for learning outside the classroom. Landmark books like Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods have brought attention to the increasing issue of what he calls nature deficit disorder. Louv campaigns for ‘no child left inside.’ He tells us; “Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature.” Alongside this there is a growing movement in an approach to environmental education which began in the U.S. called the Art of Mentoring. This is by no means a new way of thinking, but rather a method which calls on the knowledge passed on by generations of indigenous peoples from across the world. In the U.S. this has been championed by Tom Brown Jr. (America’s answer to Ray Mears) who learnt his bushcraft skills and nature awareness from an Apache scout he called ‘Grandfather.’ Rather than to give learners the answers to each question, the Art of Mentoring encourages them to find the answers for themselves through trial and error. A child learning fire-lighting skills is going to have more success if they have discovered the best methods for themselves; this makes their learning experience more personal and valuable as they have strived for it rather than being handed the secret. It is important for the teacher to allow the student to fail. How does that old saying go? That; “there are no mistakes, only learning opportunities.” Their eventual triumph will be all the sweeter.
New Tuesday Group Taster Day
The people have spoken and demanded it, so after the Easter holidays we will be running a second weekly after-school group on Tuesdays out in the woods at Denmark Farm. On Tues 17th March we hosted an introductory taster session for new children that wanted to try out this Forest School club before committing to the full term after Easter. The regular Thursday sessions are continuing as usual. This taster session included woodland games, a walk to spot the signs of spring and rounded out with marshmallows cooked over the open fire. Every child that attended signed up for the full term starting after Easter, so we’ll call that a resounding success.
If you’d like to find out more about booking a place for your child on the upcoming Tuesday after-school sessions then get in touch with us via our contact page.
School Easter Hols Activity Day: “Way of the Wilderness!”
On Thursday 2nd April. We’ll be hosting a full day of activities in the woods for kids, from 10am until 4pm entitled ‘Way of the Wilderness.’ Ever wanted to see like an owl or walk like a fox? We’ll be stepping into the wilds as we learn ancient tracking and stalking skills, how to observe wildlife and nature awareness. There will be a hot campfire lunch for all. To find out more, get in touch via or contact page.