Council of the Wild Forests

All in the Circle Nature camp 2017 was a great success! We had 43 campers and 8 camp counselors, a talented staff team, and generous volunteers. This year’s theme was Council of the Wild Forest. Much of camp took place under (and in!) the canopy of the walnut, oak and white pine forest by Lake Wirth in Theodore Wirth Park. We learned from the forest about interconnected community as forests listen and look out for each other while standing firmly on their own ground. Forests are most connected through their root systems with a cooperative system of communication, information sharing about disease or threats, and sharing of nutrients with plants and trees that need it. The forest supports the life of so many animals and is in a constant exchange with us humans as we breathe in their oxygen and they breathe in our CO2.

We discovered and explored these lessons from the forest in nature through story, the making and practice of abiding by a group agreement about what kindness looks like, councils to resolve conflicts and learn more about each other, storytelling to capture our imagination about the beauty of using our whole selves to connect to the natural world, sensory based activities such as solo time connecting with trees, camouflage kick the can running through the forest, and group shelter and fort building with sheets and tarps and ropes in the white pines. With Master Drummer and Dancer Fatawu Sayibu the children sat in large circles under the shade of the forest and learned how to listen to each other, how to play their own rhythm and how the combination of individual rhythms creates beautiful music. They made their own musical creations with Emily John and the Orff instruments and they played with size and scale making tiny wild forests in art with Katherine Parent. Check out the beautiful pictures from camp here.

The mission of All in the Circle is to give young people the skills and practice of creating a culture of kindness and to provide essential developmental experiences that help children develop into their fullest selves as they fall in love with the earth. Healthy and whole people who are connected to self, other and the natural world are natural advocates. These are the kinds of people we need to build an interfaith climate movement that will help us build a life sustaining future. Thank you for all of your love and support that helps make All in the Circle possible. Remember you can host a screening of All in the Circle: The Film in your community. Please sign up here to set that up!