Greetings from the 4-H Acres Forest!

Thursday 12/3 with the Crows!

This week the Crow flock played a game called “Werewolf” where the villagers were focused on gathering leaves awaiting the Full Moon transition of one villager into a werewolf.  Once turned the werewolf would go around and tag villagers with bandana balls.  With all the leaves mixed with some snow, the Crows were able to focus on adding debris to one wall of their shelter and fix up some pre-existing holes.  The group then played an awesome game of Capture the Flag – snowball addition – before settling in for lunch.  The warmth of the day helped make the best packing snow to enjoy our game!

Thursday 12/3 with the Grackles!

This week the Thursday Grackles started the day with a wild firewood gathering game and then worked as a team to achieve a major fire challenge- making a fire big enough to burn a string and release a prize that was dangling from the other end which was looped over a high branch.  The prize was materials to make quickie bows, including green honeysuckle and privet branches that instructors had harvested ahead of time.   A quickie bow is a small functioning bow that can be made quickly out of a branch. We carved off the bark and reverse-wrapped some jute for a bowstring.  Some of us made arrows as well.  We also had tons of fun playing a game called “compass tag” and having an epic snowball fight to shed off some energy.  And as usual we had a sit spot after lunch and ended the day with a song and sharing gratitudes.

Friday 12/4 with the Grackles!

The Friday Grackles started off their day this week with a game of werewolf where everyone starts out as villagers collecting firewood to reach the height of a stick which is stuck in the ground, but when an instructor calls out “FullMoon” one of the villagers (who was secretly chosen at the beginning of the game) starts tagging the other villagers with bandana balls. After they played this, they had a challenge to build a fire to reach the height of a string tied between two trees, the fire had to burn the string so it would break, and a basket which was tied to the string would fall and they would get to use whatever was inside. After this, they began to make quickie bows and arrows to go with them. Once they were done, they played a game of compass tag. Then finished they day with white pine tea and a sit spot.

Catbird News!

This week the Thursday Catbirds were caught up in the delight of the new-fallen snow! The major MAJOR interest was in rolling giant snowballs. We abandoned our plans to work on our big shelter and instead the kids rolled their snowballs from in the woods back to Red Oak camp, from Red Oak camp to the top of the hill by Hearth Camp, in the big playing field, and from down by the creek UP the steep hill to Red Oak camp! Snowballs were definitely a top priority! We also tried to interest them in tracking, when we could pull them away from their snowballs. We found lots of white-tail deer tracks and also the tracks of a fox which had crossed on top of a log and left a scent mark! We then played a game where one mentor took off and laid a windy trail for them to follow, even leaving false trails. They found her!
This week the Friday Catbirds started off by playing a game of foxtail and stashing our firewood under our new, though still incomplete, shelter. Then they finally got to use the survival sticks they’ve been working on this fall as projectiles to knock down targets. We set up several tripods of sticks of different sizes, some close, some farther off and went over safety. Then they all got to try their hands at aiming for a moving target – with lots of success! We also did some carving, and made a few quickie bows – we’ll do more of that next week!