What a lovely last two weeks we had at Sprouting Knowledge Outdoor Adventures you can tell summer solstice is nearby because the park is already warm when we arrive at 8:45 and there was another surprise in the park today…..something missing.

After crossing the musical bridge the kids immediately noticed that a very tall group of trees was missing from behind the bench. Many questions arose about why they were cut down, where did they go, how did they get them out of the park and whether or not new trees will be planted. Ms. Ashley remembered the cold wintery day that it rained on us and we used the trees as shelter and to build our own shelter. Others remembered stepping in dog poop that was often near the trees.

Ms. Krystal spotted some purple and some red berries on the bushes we walk by each morning. She told the kids that she knew they were saskatoon berries and the kids eagerly harvested as many of the plump purple berries as they could. With the creek back down to normal levels, we were able to give the kids a chance to play barefoot at our favorite place in Willow’s bend. Instead of throwing rocks into the creek like they often do, the kids decided to pull all the biggest rocks OUT of the creek and build a pile on the creek bank to show their strength and accomplishment! Cries of “the tides are too high! “Seaweed belongs in the Sea” and “I’m a tugboat!” demonstrated just how imaginative and enthusiastic they’ve become.

Summer solstice provides a perfect opportunity for us to reflect back and to plan how we want to move forward. Ms. Ashley shares her reflections about her first two sessions at Sprounting Knowledge:

As I think back to how the kids have grown this year, I can’t help but be in awe of how helpful, supportive and caring the group has become. As a group their play is both cohesive and diverse, and not one child is ever left out of the fun. They support each other, look after each other, and even help  self-enforce the rules and routines they’ve come to know so well. They ask for help when they need it, but truly prefer to do things themselves and demonstrate their independence. Their agility, physical strength, and fearlessness are worlds above other kids their age, and their social skills and expression bloom brighter every day.

It’s true. These kids are a group, a tribe, a cohort, next week we will say goodbye to some of them for good and some just for the summer.

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