A group of families here in Estes Park has come together with the intention of exploring the Waldkindergarten idea and, perhaps, to extend the experience beyond the very young. We are blessed to live in a community that is surrounded by wilderness and is rich with people that value wilderness as integral to their lives. It is lovely to come together with other families around the theme of connecting with nature and to think about how this experience will shape our future.
We ventured out this week to establish our “magical place”. The big’ns lead us all in a very focused and enthusiastic gathering of timber for our future building projects. It was remarkable to see how easily even the tiniest people in our group, only 2 years old, eagerly and purposefully joined in. It is clear that this collective forest schooling experience will not only nurture each child’s individual relationship with nature, but will also provide a meaningful context for our children to explore how each individual’s contributions, the group’s cooperative efforts and an ethic of thinking for the whole group will shape an authentic community experience.