stephen at plainscraft.com
Thu Jun 14 09:58:32 EDT 2007
Sounds great, Jenny!
I have some experience with a school that teaches something similar
to what I think you have in mind, the Wilderness Awareness School in
Duvall, Washington. To get a better understanding of that school I
spent a couple of years up near Duvall. I participated in local
events they held and volunteered to help at they summer day camps
working with kids the same age as yours. I was very impressed.
They have developed something like greenschooling techniques already,
based on the techniques used by tribal people around the world to
develop awareness in their children and to pattern their minds on the
natural world. They teach these techniques in their Art of Mentoring
program and they employ them in a community school that primarily
serves homeschooling families in the Seattle area. They have also
been working on adapting their techniques for use by school
teachers. They teach some special mentoring courses aimed at
educators and are developing a book aimed at more traditional teachers.
They have a correspondence course that you can take to develop
wilderness awareness skills. It incorporates as many of these
techniques as they can without a direct mentoring relationship. This
is called the Kamana program. That program is more appropriate for
older kids and adults. It requires a good deal of self discipline
too. A couple of people at the school have been adapting the Kamana
program for a younger crowd and have some simple books that work
great to introduce the concept to children as young as yours. My
kids (8 and 11) really like them. Since they are self published
with lots of color illustrations they are a bit on the expensive side
but I do recommend them.
There is some wilderness awareness school/permaculture crossover on
the west coast where some instructors work with both. I believe this
is a wonderful way to work with the outer zones and to bring that
awareness and understanding back into the inner zones.
If you have more questions about the school I would be happy to
answer them though I'm mostly just a student and a fan of the
school. The school started in New Jersey and they still have a lot
of students and former instructors on the east coast so you should be
able to get a quick leg up in establishing a greenschool there.
Here are some online resources to help you begin your exploration:
The Wilderness Awareness School:
A sister school in southern Maine:
An online forum for students of WAS:
If you have an interest in herbalism and wildcrafting you might also
check out the resources one of their former instructors has put
together - a simple kit for getting started making salves and
tinctures and a chutes and ladders type game that builds an
understanding of native plants with medicinal uses.
Best of luck in your endeavors. I hope to hear more about your
development of greenschooling!
from the Kansas Area Watershed
More information about the permaculture