My summer camp memories came flooding back recently in sub-zero temperatures. In an effort to help sixth graders stay warm at the Wolf Ridge ropes course, I taught them a song I remembered from my Girl Scout camp days that involved lots of jumping and dancing.
Heel, toe, and over we go,
And over we go,
And over we go.
And this is how he did it…
Granted, running around and standing in the sun helped us all warm up more than my song did. Either way, this story gives one example of how the wisdom I learned at camp continues to positively influence my life many years later and in all seasons.
Charlie Chaplin went to France
to teach the children how to dance,
and this is how he did it…
That chilly ropes course class was the second I taught since starting as the Youth and Family Programs Director this winter. I most recently came to Wolf Ridge from Teton Science Schools out in Wyoming where I directed their summer day camp. I’m not totally new here, though. I was a Wolf Ridge Naturalist for three years, starting in 2014 with the Graduate Naturalist Training Program. In my first year here I learned the expansiveness of environmental education. I came in thinking it would consist of science experiences outdoors, and quickly found that environmental education also includes art, storytelling, and how we relate to the humans around us.
Environmental education and “how people learn” became the focus of my third year at Wolf Ridge when I took on the role of Curriculum Specialist. I led our staff in updating the collection of lesson plans we use to guide teaching and learning.
One big change was adding a layer of activities to help learners be aware of their own growth and change, and to help educators assess and adapt their teaching. While the word “assess” might seem the opposite of “summer camp,” I see connections. We’re all about learning on both the individual and group scale–whether about trees, a new craft, or how to interact with a peer. I’m excited that youth and family programming here at Wolf Ridge incorporates science learning, personal and social learning and development, and extra whimsy.
Heel, toe, and up we go, And up we go, And up we go. And this is how he did it.
I hope to meet you this summer, and look forward to swapping camp stories– and songs!
Youth and Family Programs Director