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Jungle Explorers

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Heading into the jungle!
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Balancing on rain-wetted logs, stepping carefully over old pallets, navigating the muck and water to find the fern “islands” was new territory for this little guy.  He wanted to turn back a few times but we all encouraged him and he stuck it out bravely!  By the time we got halfway to the Fairy Tree, he voted to keep going!  It is fun to watch the evolution of kids’ self-confidence even in such a short time span!  I can’t wait to see how his balance, body awareness, and confidence build over the next 4 sessions! (and hopefully beyond!)
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The experienced explorers were as intrepid as always, despite some weirdly cutting grasses, mosquitoes, and limited distance visibility.
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“We have reached our destination!”
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Our goal was to make it to the Fairy Tree. We did it! The “path” was only a memory so we forged through, stopping to look up and visually locate the Fairy Tree periodically.
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Proud of their accomplishment! Even I was ready to turn back before reaching “our destination” but they voted to keep going!
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Greeting the Fairy Tree. D patted her and gave her a hug.
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After leaving the jungle swamp, we were ready for a snack. The Secret Fort Tree obliged by offering its wild apples.
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This tree and giant grapevine provide climbing practice for all skill levels. Those who are just beginning can safely challenge themselves to climb the vine just a couple of feet off the ground. As the kids grow more confident and increase in strength (and height!) there are higher reaches and balance challenges. Nature’s ninja warrior challenge, right here beneath the canopy of leaves and dappled sunlight.
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I love watching the kids try new self-challenges! They won’t push themselves beyond what feels safe unless someone else dares them. Daring others is not allowed during Woods and Wetlands. Self-challenges are safest.
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E. looks up and silently evaluates how far she can climb, how to go about it, and whether there are apples she can reach up there!

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Beginning climbing practice.
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H. was so proud to have made it up to the next branch level!
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After getting comfortable with his last level, H. decides to climb a little bit higher.
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How do sloths sleep like this?
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E. made it to the highest available point and tossed apples down to those who wanted more!

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