what parents report about what the kids report
In 2017, we asked parents to report on what they valued, and also what their kids reported.
Fresh air. Adult mentorship. Strong support for wild interactions. Learning about plants. Getting feet wet in the river. Playing games outdoors. Yelling. Climbing. Peeing in the woods. Making tea. Lighting fires. Carving. Reverence for the ideas of others in a sharing circle.
He likes the measure of autonomy he gets, to choose what he wants to participate in and how. He likes being allowed to explore nature, climb trees, swim in the river, being trusted with knives and fire. He especially likes learning about and collecting edible plants. I think he also likes having adults who really listen to him and his ideas. He has always looked forward to going to GOS, which is such welcome difference from the anxiety and dread that he used to feel about most other things.
She loves being outside in nature. She says that's where she is happiest. That's what I see. It is her favourite activity of the week. When I bring her there, she is keen and excited to go, when I pick her up, she is happy, energized, balanced. She loves being outside, being connected to the earth and learning about nature, she loves the kind, caring, thoughtful teachers, she loves being part of something that has been with her since Kindergarten. It's like an essential piece of her life now. She's in Grade 1. ;)
Our family's connection with nature was deepened because of Kaleb's time at G.O.S., and we continue to enjoy and grow together during our own time in nature. Kaleb is proud to share his knowledge and skills, tracking, animals, survival skills (building a fire), etc... and he is able to articulate his own perspective that reflects his relationship with nature that continues to grow and broaden with his continued experiences with G.O.S. Kaleb enjoys all of the mentors and peers at G.O.S. and he feel a deep connection and sense of well being because of the special relationships that are nurtured by the mentors. I firmly believe that Kaleb's ability to manage in many areas of his life, for example, his academic school week, are directly linked to his time at GOS - it feeds the whole child, and the child's whole family. G.O.S. is community.