Saturday, June 2, 2012

Yosemite! Day 1 Tuolumne Meadows

Firestarters! Photos of the girls starting our campfire - without matches. They did a good job getting serious sparks with flint!


Children who catch lizards*

Spying on a marmot after (successfully!) identifying scat in a game of "marmot detectives"

Half Dome in background

Photo by K!
 * My newest response to the grumpies out there who like nature but are wary of children who act naturally in the wild: children who catch lizards are more likely to grow up to love and protect nature.  Finding this conflict was a surprise; we began our nature education program with the assumption that anyone who loved nature would also want to alleviate "Nature Deficit Disorder" in kids.  But instead, we've come across a surprising number of docent, naturalists, and rangers who define respect for nature in ways that we would have shaved for museums - i.e. "hands off!"  With all due respect, I'm afraid this just won't work, that in order to nurture a generation of kids who feel instinctively at home in the natural world, loving it and respecting it, requires that kids have space and time to be themselves, touching, smelling, tasting, exploring, learning, - yes! and yelling! in and about nature, making it authentically their own rather than viewing it through a distant lens. 

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