Story of the Day: Forest Tea, Friendy Ducks and… Traps!

At Soaring Eagle Nature School, parents receive a Story Of The Day email to learn about what the kids got up to in the program. Here’s a Story Of The Day from March 2018, featuring the Weekly Forest Program for kids aged 7-12.

Our day started with a wild game of foxtails in the forest before we moved on to our opening circle.  We were ready for a snack and we listened as Scott shared a story about his experience of coming to learn about indigenous cultures through his experiences of participating in Sweat Lodges.

Our groups then split off to have our own adventures:

Tom and Scott meant to lead their groups off in different directions but our groups just kept crossing paths and having too much fun to go our separate ways. Sticking together we played some favourite games (including Caribou Caribou Wolverine) before finding an awesome spot for an intense game of warrior stalk.  What a challenge! We meant to finish our last round by the scouts and the warrior kept a tie going and going until they finally snuck 4 points in the last round.

While Tom and the groups were playing another game of watchtower, Scott snuck off to work on making a bear hang / trap. This turned out to be a creative experimental exercise to figure out how to do it just right!  Everyone crowded over by the time that he had raised a log (in place of a food bag)  up the bear hang. Everyone got to talk about what might work best to complete the trap. What was settled on was a stick trigger system which, when set off, caused a rope to tie itself around the person’s ankle- thereby (theoretically) preventing the taking of precious food items. The trap worked moderately well- definitely something to keep experimenting with!  

Peter’s group had a day of epic and far-ranging adventure.
For some reason though we started our day hanging out with a couple of cute and friendly mallards. Sitting by Rice Lake, they came near us and started bobbing. We encouraged them closer by tossing hemlock cones in their path, and they decided to come up and say “Hello” to us. Cute.

We next walked straight north for almost an hour! Far up the Seymour access road. We saw snowy landscapes appear in front of us and disappear behind. We arrived in a beautiful area near a creek. We walked around and checked it out, then gathered.

Peter pulled out dried Western Red Cedar bark and started pulling tinder off the inside surface with a fork. Soon we were all doing it. We worked until we had a sizeable bundle, then sang the fire song “Fire of Creation” and lit the bundle. Awesome to know a great way to make fire from natural materials.

We had time to peek into the creek and look for crawfish and to play an epic game of Manhunt before starting our march home. We stopped on the way, as always, for a Sit Spot, and on our return even challenged ourselves to pin clothespins on the staff without their noticing!

Julia’s Group:

We met up with the Young Sprouts group to share a game called Titanoboa which our group had previously invented. Part of the game involves searching for 3 “poison frogs” – which are just handkerchiefs. While searching for the poison frogs we found… a real giant frog! Everyone paused the game and gathered around to marvel at the frog and its long pink legs! After the game, we all enjoyed lunch together as a big group. Then we bid the Young Sprouts farewell and headed off to make forest tea. We found some tasty plants to make tea with and enjoyed the nice hot drink as we watched the ducks on the water. Before heading back to the main group we slipped in a quick yet exhilarating game of Watchtower in which the kids did a fantastic job hiding from view.

Have a great spring break and we will see you all in the first week of April!

Tom, Julia, Peter and Scott.