Well it happens every year. The sun sets early and our hiking time is cut short…. wait! No it’s not…. the woods are still out there it’s just ….. well…. DARK!!
There is something that gets me so excited about walking in the woods as the sun sets and the dusk envelopes us. My Natural Patterns class grade 1-3 set got to go on our first dark hike.
Of course there were some that didn’t realize that by the time we got back it would be dark… but I had some trusty flashlights to guide us! (Thanks Mae for bringing yours) With the help of Ryan, the best ever 9th grade helper, we set out.
The colors of the fall leaves seem to vibrate as the sun is setting and while it was still a little light Owen decided that he was going to run ahead. Well that stopped once darkness set in.
It was so fun and a great way to bond with the kids. I reassured them that I would always be with them and that if they felt scared they could come walk right next to me. I loved our conversations as we stroll along.
When we got back to the barn in the dark we talked about the leaves we collected but more about how it felt to be in the woods.
The kids told me that at times they were scared. Some were afraid they were going to be taken or that something would “eat ” us. We talked about darkness, fear of it, bad dreams and how our imagination can do a lot of things to us.
My hope is that they will feel a little less scared the next time we go out!
The next night I took my Inspirations class of 4th to 6th graders into the darkness. I put two of my most trusted students in the back with two flashlights. It was their job to make sure that no one got behind them. They were awesome. Thanks Aidan and Vincent! It is an opportunity for all of the kids to be responsible and know that they had to listen for safety’s sake!
They did and thank goodness we didn’t loose anyone… ha ha 🙂 BUT we did get to hear a great horned owl calling out. At first I don’t think they believed it was really an owl but after standing there we heard it again…. whoo who whoooo Awesome!!!!!!
Love my night hikers!!