In order to transition into our first winter of offering programs with Wild Child Forest School, we offered a “Late Fall” program. This program was four weeks long and structured around the reality that the weather may get in the way of us completing the four full sessions before the holidays.
Our late fall programs included many of the same students from our fall programs. Unsurprisingly, many of our program numbers dropped, but we were still eager to run a great program for the remaining students; building up the skills and knowledge as leaders to what new obstacles might arise in the upcoming season.
This late fall, we offered three programs a week: Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The Wednesday program was offered as either a half or full day; an option we were able to offer due to the ability to stay warm by fire at this location, and not others. We combined our Tuesday and Wednesday Fall Program students into one class, opening the registration up for student ages 4-12; though the average age of this group still remained quite young. By adding these two classes together we ran our most age diverse class yet and encouraged the opportunity for older students to lead by example. Being a very learner-led program, we always encourage students to work together whenever they can – from setting up hammocks to building forts – we know that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and by working together they can overcome and grow.
We ran this program at “Cole Harbour Kiwanis Beach & Park Morris Lake,” as we did the previous Wednesdays beforehand. We are grateful to be able to have fires at this location. By building fires at Forest School we open up a whole new realm of teaching opportunities for our students. Though many of these students are quite young and far from building and starting their own fires, we are able to start them off with fire safety basics that they may not have been taught in their home lives. We teach about how fire’s work and the importance of keeping a safe distance when one is burning. We talk about having water nearby incase of emergencies and of course all the fun that comes with properly using a fire.
This season we made fires for warmth (though it’s been an abnormally mild fall) and to make lots of delicious popcorn!
Another bonus of this program location is the water feature. This location has access to beautiful Morris Lake, where we have spent many days splashing in and appreciating the wildlife that calls this lake home.
The ducks are especially a favourite for this group: and this group for the ducks. The ducks begin by meeting the students in the parking lot in the mornings and following them around the park throughout the day. A sunflower seed or two between friends makes for a quack-tacular afternoon!
The quickest season yet, in just four short weeks we’re once again parting ways until the next program. We are wishing all of our students and their families the happiest of holiday seasons and are looking forward to reconnecting in the new year!