We began this journey last fall, but it seems I blinked and time moved forward again six months. Does this happen to you as well? Oh to have the timeless mind of a child again... You could see the excitement and sense of pride as she put together her Wild Explorers pack. I asked her what gear she thought we would need for a hike in the woods and listened to her thoughts, doing my best to not interrupt or correct as she explained how we would need to bring saw's, hammer, drill, and all the other tools needed to make a shelter that we could live in forever... ... we're going to need a bigger pack. We brought the conversation back to what we could fit lightly into her green pack and discussed the importance of each item and it's uses. She was given her first pocket knife and lighter with words of caution, consequences and ideas. After trying out the two and realizing they were more difficult and a bit scarier to use than she expected (even giving herself a tiny cut with the pocket knife), I felt comfortable knowing she understood the possible consequences and I wouldn't need to worry about her sneaking to use them without supervision. When she is given more trust and responsibility, she exudes those qualities in return. We put together a list of what we were missing for her pack; bug spray, snacks, water bottle, and small first aid kit, then embarked to the store.
Not yet in the woods and already feeling an exhilaration.
Through supervised trial and error, we both found our comfort levels for her with the tools