Our camp will root us into the earth, our community and ourselves. We will tune into our bio-region by remembering ways to communicate with what is around us, the birds, the plants and trees, the animals, the human ecology and how we can deepen our relationship to this living web.
June 11-15 Roots: Earth Walkers Camp: Moccasin Making, Scout Skills, Tracking, Wild Foods
In this Earth Walkers Camp, we will be crafting our own pair of leather moccasins over the course of the week. Learning to sew leather using and awl and completing a pair of earth walking shoes, that protect our feet while reminding us to tread lightly on our Mother Earth. Throughout the week we will also hone our tracking skills practicing moving through the forest silently so that we can blend into the ecology and get to know our more than human neighbors. This overnight camp will bring in many skills of navigation, ancient fire making, shelter building, nature awareness games, and other earth skills needed to keep a healthy village in the forest.
In Roots camp we take to the forest to learn, be inspired, and grow. Many of our students return season after season and year after year to deepen their Nature Connection and grow their awareness, as they further their earth skills like friction fire, edible and medicinal plant wisdom, tracking, basketry, cordage, pottery, bird language, shelter building, make wonderful friends and much more. We focus on the inner ecology, the earth ecology and community ecology. As we come fully alive and awaken our true natures, we begin to see more clearly and connect to the more than human world around us that gives us our life, as we connect to the ecology together we become a better team and empower one another to be our wild, natural, and beautiful selves.
Our program inspires skills of awareness and listening, teamwork, and empowerment as we learn:
- Ancestral Crafts: Make your own pair of leather moccasins!
- Primitive Skills: debris shelters, cordage, friction fire, cooking
- Plant Wisdom: Identifying edible and medicinal plants
- Nature Awareness: tracking, bird language, camouflage, stalking, mapping
- Community Connection: Storytelling, team building, nature awareness games, earth songs
Learn more about our core routines:
- Nature Awareness Games
- Giving Thanks
- Expanding our Senses: Sensory Awareness Games
- Story of the Day: Using our senses and paying attention, we imprint nature through connection, awareness, and storytelling. We tell stories by practicing seeing on the inside, this 'minds eye imagining' is a true naturalist skill. Can we close our eyes and see the plantain, where do the leaves come out? How about the seeds? What we can't see in our minds eye, we know to notice for next time.
- Primitive Skills: Creating relationship through the things that are most deeply within us as humans, skills for living with the earth. Using inner bark to make rope, sticks and leaves to build a shelter to keep us warm and dry, knowing where the water is, and how to safely drink it, knowing the foods and medicines right under our feet!
- Mapping: We use the drawing of maps to bring awareness to the features of the landscape, the directions, where the animals live, and navigating through the landscape while feeling safe and aware.
- Animal Forms: We can learn a lot from animals by becoming them, walking like them, sneaking, hiding, running like them, just like the ancient martial artist learned their craft, through such thorough noticing and observing that they actually became the striking tiger or the silent crane.
- Tracking: Animal tracks lead us to curiosity, Who made this track? How many creatures are involved, When did this happen? What gait was this animal using? Why? It's a way to get a picture in the mind’s eye of what the animals are doing and even feeling. Where they are going? What are they eating?
- Songlines: This is an ancient way to map through the senses and the details of the landscape. It comes to us from the Aboriginal first nations people of Australia, who believed that when we walk upon the songlines of the earth we are sung into life and we also bring the Songline to life by our presence. This is way to create and share land based stories that tune us into our surroundings, our minds eye imagining, our senses, nature's details, and our memory. The ultimate place based story experience!
- Journaling: We practice Nature Journaling as another way to support awareness and have fun. We sketch what we see, and record what we smell and hear, draw maps and record our experiences in nature as a way to help us to integrate all we are learning through our growing awareness.
- Sit Spot: Through solo time in nature, listening to the birds, watching the dragonflies, seeing the life stage of the plants and trees. This is one of the most potent pathways to deep nature connection.
- Wandering: There is a deep thirst to take to the forest without a plan, without a destination and to follow the curiosities of the group. One of the best ways to achieve timelessness, joy, connection and learning. Yes, sometimes the not-doing is the greatest teacher. Surprised? I was! When I first started Nature Connection mentoring nine years ago I thought it was all about the doing, the teaching, the information, the children and nature taught me that free un-structured time is one of their biggest needs in this world of driving, going, cramming, fast paced life, they want to be free to experience nature at a natural space. That's where Earth Path received its motto. "Listening to the Earth as the wisest mentor." And it can be a challenge to be mentored by the earth if we don't slow down enough and tune in to listen to the bird calls, the stream, the tracks, the changing skies.
- Plants: At Roots, we love the plants! We eat them, we use them as medicine, we honor them as wise teachers from the trees to the flowers. We notice them and how they are growing, when they are fruiting and what they tell us through their characteristics and even how they are interrelated. Plants have families too.