photo of the day (wilderness skills class graduation ceremony)

Today was the last day of Nick’s Wilderness class for the Spring season. Some of the parents met in the parking lot and together we hiked up to meet our kids at the campsite that serves as their Great Hollow home away from home.

As they had at the end of the fall session, the kids were well camouflaged and hiding in various parts of the campsite. They were delighted at their ability to keep out of sight and go unnoticed as we walked past them. In the fall, I wasn’t even looking for them. But this time we all kept an eye out for hidden bodies. I spotted this one buried by the side of their shelter. Can you spot him?

Surprise! It’s Sage!

I was so busy looking down into the leaf litter that I never noticed Nick hiding on the roof of one of the shelters. One after another, the boys emerged from their hiding places all around us.

The campsite is slowly taking on the look of a small village. The class proudly showed off 3 new structures; a log cabin, a debris hut and a shelter that Nick and Zephyr built for last’s week’s overnight adventure.

I had the feeling that I was much farther away from Fairfield County than a short hike from the parking lot could ever take me. For a brief period of time, I relaxed in the magic of the Great Hollow woods and breathed in the cool forest air.

I watched Greg and Dina’s little girl, Maple, looking so much like a sprite and so very at home. How lucky she is to grow up with Great Hollow as her backyard.

The kids were invited to share their favorite parts of this year’s skills class. As one parent said, even if they weren’t able to express it in words right now, the experiences of Great Hollow will be there for them always and one day the words will come. I imagined what Nick’s life will be like and how he will be able to tell his children about his time spent in the woods.

Then they each received a certificate, a packet of wildflower seeds to make a wish on and a handmade arrow made by Greg, their lead instructor.

Greg had kind things to say about each of the young adults in his class. I am grateful for his insight and I know that my son has grown immensely under his tutelage.

I’m sorry that I don’t have a picture of each member of the class. Can you see the pride of accomplishment on their faces?

Thoreau said, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Great Hollow has allowed us a glimmer of that and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

We are looking forward to more fun and adventures in the fall.

And hoping against hope that this is not the end.

~ by photobella on 15 June, 2010.

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