Several months ago Hannah said she wanted to run a Medieval Camp for some of her younger homeschooled friends. She was very excited and bursting with ideas.
I saw this as such a wonderful thing for Hannah to do. It was another passion of hers and I supported her to make it work.
It feels like unschooling keeps on working just on different levels as the children grow up.
One of the great things was seeing Hannah do what I usually do, thinking ahead as I do, planning all the food. She was so appreciative of me and what I do, which was a very positive spin off and really showed how the whole thing was a prime learning experience for her . (Just don’t tell her…)
So after gear lists, food planning, menus, shopping and packing we made our way up to a relatively local, free DOC camp by a river.
The main focus of the camp was NO ADULTS!
This was strictly enforced by Hannah, as she wanted to assume the roles normally taken by an adult. I was invited as responsible-adult-to-supervise -river-swimming (of which there was a lot!). I had to camp outside of the main camp area, plan/organise my own food, not talk to anyone, or interfere with any mother type comments – eg “Why don’t you….” or “It would be easier if you just ….”
I thought I did very well. I managed to read three books.
The medieval theme was about dressing up, but also cooking on the fire.
They did some cool things….
Doing chores (collecting water and doing the dishes in the river) was a popular activity!
They all made gifts from natural materials,
then played the “stealing game” with them.
The girls found great hot rocks to warm up on after a prolonged session in the river . .
It was so lovely seeing Hannah enjoying playing with her younger charges. The 7 girls were mostly 10 years old, with one 8yr old and one 9. Then Ollie and Tillie (both 12 yrs) were there as helpers.
Hannah was often in the role as camp mother – doing the things she has seen me do for years I guess – thinking about and preparing food, making sure they were all OK.
Hannah did a great job with the food, cooking over the fire.
The girls all peeling corn for the fire.
The damper was a big hit, there was so much of it they started to experiment with it and made banana wrapped in damper and chocolate and raisin damper….
Chocolate damper dough hands!
Ollie was there in his capacity as “fire” man – and was also a great source of teasing to the group of girls, which he mostly took in his stride…
Playing “truth and dare” was always accompanied by much giggling!
The girls are all really good friends, a tight support group for each other as they grow up. It was such a privilege to be trusted with other people’s children, for Hannah and for me. No one expressed concerns of any sort beforehand and the parents gave Hannah a bunch of flowers, a card and gift at the end as an appreciation of what she had organised. I was so proud of her.
I loved hanging out with the girls, usually just when swimming. I felt like one of their friends. I love being with children who think of you as a person, not always an adult. When they consider you as good a play mate as one of their peers, I know I will enjoy their company.
I also love being around people of any age who derive so much pleausre from life and who laugh so much. I felt honoured to be there in such delightful company!
Even packing up is fun – they made giant legs out of bedrolls, then supported each other to have a turn with them!
Which then progressed into other crazy spinning games, so much fun with a roll of foam….
On the way home Hannah started to plan next years camp.
I can’t complain at all as sometimes it is like looking in a mirror….