Fire with Flint and Steel.
Camas volunteers are here!
The sun warmed the six of us as we met to set the plan for the day. Excitement energized us as we cleaned and prepared Camas for two weeks of training with our soon to be Camas family. As 6 pm neared Laura, Hannah, Abbi, Rhyddian and Irena went up the track while Joshua stayed in the kitchen to get dinner ready.
Then, in the span of a track run, we suddenly found ourselves almost doubled in size as the Camas population went from five to eleven! With smiles and hugs, we started the week excited to get to know Az, Janet, Rachel, Mairead, and Jon and welcome them to this special place 10 meters from the sea and 1.5 miles from the nearest road!
Since then, week one of volunteer training has finished.
The week was a flash flood of new bright memories, sharing and exploring Camas’ spaciousness gave us all opportunities to begin forming our community and explore our values together using the framework of deep nature connection Rhyddian shared from Jon Young’s work. (If you’re interested check out Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature).
With wonderful friends of Camas who volunteered to cook delicious meals the resident and volunteer teams were able to immerse themselves in the training sessions each day and be blessed with delicious food each night! On top of learning or revisiting kayaking, abseiling, climbing, hill walking and costeering we used our time this week with reflecting on reflection and asked ourselves, ‘why bother? Why involve youth from the city in these activities? Why should we seek nature connection? What is Camas all about and how does the framework we use inform our actions and shape the experience of people and animals that visit our growing community here?
With a quest to find the four parts of Camas and revive it from its winter slumber, we explored Camas’ mission statement: “Together we seek to enable growth in love, respect and awareness of ourselves, each other, god and the environment” and then throughout the week we dove deeper. We gathered around conversation on The Pushback – using creative force to fuel the fire for curiosity and dismantle social systems of ‘dumming down’. We participated in ceremony and created a sand fire pit Mandela in the garden woodlands. We lit its inner circle with one friction spark while lighting and naming the eight attributes of deep nature connection in our minds and around the central flame.
Throughout the week, around learning about safe food handling, the garden, chickens, worms, the windmill and other camas essentials, we continued diving into Pushback qualities. We explored the use of a sit spot, child passions, curiosity, adrenaline, discomfort, challenge through choice, and orienting and processing each day with a reflection framework as avenues of learning and ways to dive past simple awareness towards sharing a deep authentic and wholesome nature connected pushback.
From gatherings around fire to shared food and music (Jon and Mairead are amazing on the guitar!) we kicked off the season with many laughs and just the right amount of sillyness to keep us warm in the sunny and cold north wind! Like fire with flint and steel, the sparks of spring training have caught the kindling and our energy is starting to glow of the red granite! As our excitement grows and the flames of adventurous curiosities call us, Camas reverberates with us ready to share with us and so many others this season! This week we begin part two of our training entitled – “I’m feeling it!”
p.s. Pictures of the entire training are forthcoming...stay tuned J