Originally posted February 17, 2016
With 5 months behind them, the children have become such wonderfully strong hikers and outdoor explorers. They have built up those powerful walking legs, they’ve learned to keep their bodies warm through the frigid days and revel in the dampness on the soggy days. With this rapid conversion from mere humans into fully fledged super adventurers, their relationship with the forest has strengthened and they have become more familiar and intimate with Lynn Canyon and its many magical treasures. They have each established their own special connection to different places in the forest, and their requests for destinations have blossomed to reflect those unique connections.
While we still re-visit these well-trodden locations that they know and love, we have recently introduced the kids to a new one—one that requires they put those strengthening muscles to the test! While this location is not new to Fresh Air Learning alumni, it is a new and exciting spot for many of the first-time students. It provides endless possibilities for play and exploration, with streams, steep hills, mud, tunnels, burrows, caves, and waterfalls all concentrated into one green wonderland. With something special and exciting for every unique individual, we have returned week after week to see what new treasures we can find, which familiar provocations have evolved or disappeared, and how the ever-changing world has altered our now-familiar space into something different each time we go.
In addition to the ever-evolving forest and our relationship with it, the world outside of our Lynn Canyon home-away-from home has maintained its constant cycle of change as well. During this past month, we were fortunate to be invited to the Morten Creek Hatchery to observe the brilliant work being undertaken there. The salmon and their life cycle offer a most exhilarating example of how powerful and self-sustaining nature is, and it was really special for the children and a few parents to see some of these stages of life, as well as the ways in which people are helping them along.
As locations are changing, muscles are building, and salmon eggs are hatching, the children themselves are also emerging anew. It is amazing to reflect on how far they have come since their first class in September and to observe the way their confidence and self-assurance have both positively aggrandized in regards to their relationship with the forest, their relationships with each other, and their relationship with themselves.