Camp Badger: Day 3
We started our day today doing yoga and meditation in the forest ( they called it a yoga party because they thought the leaves falling around us looked like confetti!).
We wanted the campers to learn how to tune into their bodies (just like the animals do!) so that they can begin to foster a healthy relationship with movement. It is so important for kids to have a strong connection with their bodies so that they can regulate, appreciate, and acknowledge their emotions in the moment, and not risk an explosion or fall into the habit of suppression. Animals are amazing at teaching us how to both notice what’s going on in our bodies and interpret their needs without putting judgement on it. Animals don’t live in their heads, they live in their bodies, and they use their awareness skills to survive!
At lunch, Chef Shirley taught the campers knife safety skills. They employed these skills in cutting all their own veggies into little matchsticks, and even enjoyed a small mindfulness activity as they made their very own rice wraps. The kids were so excited to show their parents this healthy spin on a wrap!
The campers mindfulness skills were critical during the afternoon, when we worked with the horses – mindfulness is very important for the campers’ safety around big animals. The more present and in the moment you are, the safer the animals feel. The goal of meditation is to bring many thoughts into one. We taught the kids a mediation to practice within their sit spot, and it was so great to see the campers continue to go back to their “peace begins with me” mediation mantra throughout the day! The kids reflected on how yoga isn’t just the postures, but working to treat both yourself and those around you with kindness.
The campers were delighted to not only watch the horses receive a pedicure from our wonderful farrier, but also at their ability to convince Matthew, one of our volunteers, to fit into the dog house (they said they told him there was a cookie inside). After they locked the door behind him, they were thoroughly surprised to see him burst through the dog house’s roof! They all ran away screaming and laughing, and this playful spirit continued through the end of the afternoon, when we romped in the sprinkler before (by popular request) retreating to our sit spots for the SECOND time in a day!