Play in the Wild! invites us to explore the interdependent relationship we have with all life – within ourselves and the entire world around us. The settings for our programs are chosen for their inspired beauty, preserved wild, and the ability to live in close quarters with the elements. Depending on the program and the group, all or some of the following skills will be covered to varying degrees:
Tracking: We will learn basic skills in tracking so that we can deepen our listening and observing of all who inhabit the community in which we live. We will learn to hear the story of those who have passed before us. We will learn how our footprint upon the earth leaves our own stories.
Camouflage: We will learn the artistry of “becoming one with our surroundings” through stillness, use of natural materials at hand, and immersing ourselves in nature.
Observation: We will sharpen our skills of stillness and listening in a way to be able to take in all that is happening in the micro and the macro of our environment. Observing an ant carry a grain of sand, an eagle dip into the water to catch a fish, or the stars as they fill the night sky, we find our thread in the web of life and discover our innate intelligences to live interdependently with all life.
Shelter: Depending on the program, there may be an opportunity to learn the artistry of debris shelters – utilizing the natural material at hand.
Leave no trace: We will learn how to camp in an area and leave it more beautiful than we found it. The best camp site is one that has never been there. An even better camp site is one where the people lived so interdependently with the land, water, and creatures that their presence enhanced the health, well-being, and peace of the site.
Water: We will learn how to take care of any lake or river we play in or camp near. We will learn how to purify, transport, and store water. We will come to understand this interdependent relationship all beings have with water and develop a habit of drinking water to sustain health and vitality in our bodies.
Fire: Play in the Wild! has what we call Fire Keepers who are people who have experience with making a proper fire. They walk with a respect and understanding of fire that gives them the ability to make fire in the rain, the snow, or even when necessary – from friction, without the use of matches. Although all participants may get the opportunity to enjoy the fire whether for cooking or for storytelling circles, only a few will be ready to apprentice during a program to learn the art of being a Fire Keeper.
Indigenous Peoples Philosophy: No matter what land we are on, there is someone who is indigenous to that land and who carries with them a knowledge of how to live interdependently. Play in the Wild! will invite elders from communities to share their wisdom when they can. On team, we have Animators who have been taught traditions from their elders, teachers, and grandparents that they will pass on. It is important to Play in the Wild! to walk in respect with those who have walked before us and those who will walk after us.