Woods and Wetlands 2018

Island Hopping and Lessons Learned

Everyone got their own copy of the old map and we followed it just to the new forest. Buckets always come in handy when exploring in wetlands!
Good thing she wore her tall boots!
A perfect, early spring afternoon! Even for those who explored this forest last fall, everything is new again!
Unearthed tree roots from long-fallen trees have created amazing formations to climb on!
Balancing is great fun, but for those who wish to stay dry, a walking stick is a must!
The whole time we could hear the spring peepers calling all around us!
I love to climb up on things just as much as the kids do!
This girl is completely at home in the wild!
Cool woodpecker holes!
J hadn’t planned on attending today so he didn’t have boots but his mom made sure he knew it was just fine to get his shoes wet! Because, why not? It’s not like he needs pristine shoes! Kids grow out of shoes so quickly anyway. Why sacrifice a delightful chance to enjoy being a kid in a wetland? They have plenty of years of adulthood ahead of them, during which they will need to keep too many things clean. I say, a muddy kid is a happy kid!
I love seeing how happy she always is out there!


O. amused herself by offering all of us “tasty” swamp slime on the end of a stick. We all played and laughed along as she came up with a hilarious variety of descriptors for what she was “feeding” us.


Cool curl of bark!
This forest is the best for island-hopping!
There is so much to look at! We found some more fairy shrimp swimming in the water providing food for all kinds of critters who are waking up now!
Sometimes a shoe needs to be emptied out.

Lessons Learned?

We had a wonderful time until close to the end of Woods and Wetlands last week.  Sometimes it can be hard for kids to know when enough is enough and when the line between fun and poor choices has been crossed.  Childhood is the ideal time to be allowed learn these lessons.  One of our explorers had tripped and gotten pretty wet and decided that she might as well let others get her even wetter.  She gave the invitation to drop wet, swamp leaves and more water on her lap which quickly got out of control and she needed help knowing how to make it stop. Another explorer observed the attention from other kids that resulted from the crossing of that line and she asked others to dare her to go in the water well beyond her boot tops.  When I heard the chant, “Do it! Do it!” I immediately put a stop to that and tried to explain how we shouldn’t offer or accept dares to do something that we don’t really want to do ourselves.   I have never felt comfortable with chanting like that as it feels like a little mob-mentality.  I explained that it is one thing to get wet in exploration or by accident but to use it to get attention is likely to have a negative result. The air was still chilly enough that getting too wet would ruin the rest of the time out there.  Everyone involved in that situation shared responsibility for their choices and before we left I asked a few kids to explain something they learned that day.  It is possible that the lesson hasn’t been totally learned yet by every one of them, but it is a piece of learning that will hopefully come to mind the next time something similar happens.  My hope is that they will remember how it felt and make a different choice next time.


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