I've just come back from six wonderful days in the bush. Sleeping in a tent, spending the whole day outside under the trees and gazing up at the magnificent stars at night. Sharing my adventure with a koala, wallaby, tree creeper, rufus wren and a mob of white wing chuffs were a wonderful village of 120 odd human souls.
This camp saw the village return to Riddells Creek and the site of the very first camp 18 months ago. It was wonderful to be back under the trees and see how the village has grown and evolved.
The last day of the camp sees the whole village gather together for an all-in adventure in the bush. The night before a story told around the camp fire sets the scene for the adventure, awakening our imaginations and curiosity. Each camp the story and adventure are different and I think this one was the best yet.
Drawing on the work of mentor, naturalist and tracker Jon Young, of the 8 Shields Institute, each clan fox-walked through the bush looking for people to help. The people were at a point of the compass and represented one of the eight attributes of connection as described by Jon Young. These practices are designed to restore individual lives through deep nature connection and in the process change lives, build connections and heal communities.
We expressed our awe and reverence with Noel and Jill, made fire and string with Claire, quietened our minds through a sit spot with Elizabeth, expressed our common sense with Rebecca, logged into nature and did yogert with 'Jeff', found our focus and an animal hiding in the bush with the Mose and lastly cared and tended for Rosie. Each clan had already done a service to the community during the week. As we adventured through the bush 'dingoes' tried to tempt us away from nature with offers of free marshmallows and iPhones and plans to chop down the trees for safety and build swimming pools. The kids had great fun telling the 'dingoes' to connect with nature and relax with a sit spot. It was wonderful to see how connected to nature and the land they were after a week out bush. It's in our souls one we scratch below the surface.
To dive deep into the work of Jon Young, check out his books - What The Robin Knows and Coyote's Guide to Connection With Nature. If you want to learn from Jon in person, you can! He's coming to Australia later this year to run two workshops - Holistic Tracking and Music, Nature and Storytelling.