Dens, knives and tree felling
Today, the group decided to set up camp somewhere different. They found a suitable set of trees and then ventured out to source the wood to create the structure. some of the spans were humongous and we had to link hands to create a way of measuring the distance so the right length branch could be found. After a lot of failed efforts, we discussed the felling of a tree. We chose a tree that was tall and straight but also one that was hampered in its growth due to the close proximity of other more established trees. We talked about woodland management and how it was OK to cut things down- if you are going to use them and the removal would benefit other things and not just humankind.
Once the trunk was in place, the branches were loped and the children took the straight ones home to support the tomatoes they were growing at home. The foliage was use as further camouflage and roof cover. The space left will enable the other trees to grow stronger and the coppiced stump left will sprout new growth next spring.
Whilst the den became established, a spot for the fire was decided and the fire wood collection commenced. A great fire was built, almonds and marshmallows were toasted as well as the sandwiches to see how they would taste. Doritos were discovered to be good fire lighters too! Once around the established fire, knives were unsheathed and a hive of whittling was undertaken. All sorts of sharp pointy sticks were whittled, some for marshmallows, others for burning and marking trees.
It was a wonderful time in the woods, hours passed by and the children were amazing