March Break camps at Waldorf Academy have been a riot of fun! Junior camp explored the culture of France with French cuisine and a Spring French play. Madame Carrady and Madame Cole have taken such delight in creating this theme that it has been infectious for all of us working in the office! Senior camp explored the great and very wild outdoors that does indeed exist right here in the ravine! Here is an overview of the events that have happened over the week under the enthusiastic leadership of Ms. Amyann Faul and Mr. Connor Gordon-Martin. This week at camp has been full indeed!
March 27th, 2015
March Break Camp- Sumac Tea and ‘baguette s’il vous plait’
On Monday, the first day of camp, we met Cailleach, the mythological Hag of Winter who with her magical staff spreads sleet, frost, ice, and snow. She told us that the sun is getting so high in the sky and she is ready to sleep for the spring, but Brigid, the Queen of Summer just won’t wake up and bring the warmer weather! It seems that Brigid’s heart is sad and she has lost faith in humanity’s relationship with the earth. So this week we’ve needed to complete challenges to show Brigid that we want to respect the earth and build healthy relationships with the non-human life in the ravine!
Our first challenge was to learn to reawaken our animal senses and develop our awareness. We practiced walking lightly through the forest like foxes, listened with extended ears like deer, and opened our wide-angle vision like owls.
On Tuesday we went on a scavenger hunt to find early signs of spring in the Animal World, the Tree World, The Plant World, and the Human World alike. We found sprouts poking up from the ground, and saw buds beginning to open in the trees. We’ve also been seeing robins return to the ravine, Northern Cardinals demarcating their territory, Black-Capped Chickadees sounding predator alarms, and Red-tailed Hawks actively seeking a mate. We also found tufts of soft grey, white, and brown fur and a trail of blood on the icey pathway. We followed the clues to discover the remains of a freshly killed Eastern Cottontail Rabbit. We decided we should bury the body, but some girls wanted to preserve the bones of the skull and feet. So we learned how to do this safely and hygienically!
On Wednesday, Alexander walked so stealthily he got within five metres of a Red-tailed Hawk on the hunt for prey. We fed birdseed to Black-Capped Chickadees and Red-Winged Blackbirds, and learned about the five different vocalizations of birds.
Today we stood in awe as a sharp-shinned hawk flew over our heads with some twigs in her mouth and landed high in a tree. There we saw her add the twigs to a new nest while her mate stood guard from a nearby branch. After carefully placing the twigs, she dove, looking for more materials for her project; her mate followed close behind. After watching the drama unfold for some time, we turned our attention to wild plants for food and medicine. We learned how the First Nation’s people of this land respectfully harvest cedar leaves and pine needles for tea (and how important they are as sources of vitamin C!). We also collected sumac berry heads to make sumac-lemonade. We will be making the tea and the lemonade tomorrow for our celebratory feast when hopefully Brigid awakes and finally brings Spring to Toronto!