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Outside in Nature

January 9, 2012

kids and pigs

sit spot

tiny teepee

the fire starts and the woodpile is ready

mesmerized

This weekend we spent a few hours in nature with kids, thanks to OutSide In Nature, a kids’ program that is starting up for winter at Tara Firma Farms.

We arrive late, and so we stay with the kids instead of hunting down the adult tour of the farm. And we are glad we did. It is a special treat to be with the kids, as they explore the creek, journey across a meadow to find the pigs, look into a culvert, and explore the farm and the forest, with adults on hand to help them ask questions of their surroundings.

There are moments when we are hiding from the adult group, and all the kids stay really still and listen for the sounds of approach. Other moments where we are scrambling up and down creek banks and I’m reminded of my sister and I doing the same when we were kids. One girl found an old rusty trike in a tree by the creek; what a treasure for a kid to find!

After looping around, the kids look for firewood to make a campfire. First tiny sticks, then bigger ones, then even bigger ones, and make a teepee in the firepit. An adult brings some cottonwood inner bark for tinder and a bow drill, and the older kids make a fire without matches. Michelle, the leader, brings the flaming bark into the center of the wood teepee and then even little kids can blow on it to get it going. By now, other parents are around too and the dads go find willow branches to make roasting sticks. Then everyone roasts hot dogs and apples. Of course, this is Lukie’s favorite part.

I completely recommend OutSide In Nature for locals looking for their kids to learn nature awareness skills.

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