As the first week of camp flew by, the pastime of climbing trees rose to great popularity among the campers. Some campers almost instantly found themselves 15 feet up in a tree feeling as safe and comfortable as they were with two feet on the ground. For some campers, climbing trees was a brand new experience, albeit a challenging, exciting, and somewhat risky one. These campers thought carefully about what tree to climb and where to put their hands and feet on the way up. The more experienced climbers offered guidance, support and encouragement to those new to tree climbing. The kids tied ropes around the waists of their friends and held securely on to the other end of the rope as their friend climbed up, demonstrating their support and concern for their safety. Sometimes it took a couple attempts to climb up. The kids never gave up – they rethought their strategy, problem-solved together, and eventually made it up.
Campers climbed to differing heights in the trees, but the height of their achievement never varied. Each kid climbed as high as they were comfortable doing, a height that differed among them. The campers who were initially hesitant, but decided to take a risk and climb to the first branch, showed the greatest sense of accomplishment. The point was that they took a risk, tried something new, helped their friends along the way, and had a blast doing so!
The thought that will stick with the kids for years to come is not how far off the ground they were, but the sense of achievement when they succeeded in their challenge. If the memory of climbing the tree doesn’t last, the skills they learned will.
#WILDchild #ForestPlay #RiskyPlay #Confidence #SkillDevelopment #LearnPlayGrow #LdnOnt