A living laboratory for a sustainable human future.

What The Children Did During the Summer

by Arjuna da Silva

During the school year, kids who attend the Forest Children’s Program can be seen scampering across the Village Green at least three days a week, while several, mostly older kids commute to schools in Black Mountain or to their other parent’s locale in Asheville.

Back in June, I became curious about whether these lucky younguns were going to stay around all Summer, or go off to other adventures, and here’s what I was told. In “the Brandon and Tanya family,” Brandon wrote: “Aleah [Tanya’s 11-year-old] has been visiting Kentucky and Missouri with her Dad, and will be going on a trip to Indiana and Massachusetts with us in July. Here one week and with Dad one week after that. Aurora [Brandon’s ex-partner Brandi’s 9-year-old] will also come on the trip to IN and MA; and while at home she is doing an outdoor leadership program called Task. (Willow, the baby, will, of course, accompany the family, as she approaches her first birthday in September.)

Mihaly offered this list on behalf of 7-year-old Tessa, who lives during the school year with her Mom in Nashville: playing troll under the new bridge, eating homemade raw ice cream, jumping on the trampoline, watching movies, building a fort, swimmin’ in the hole, riding bikes, sleeping late, picking blueberries, helping with chores and construction, massage nights, contra dancing, reading at bedtime, dressing up, playing cards, listening to her CDs, eating candy at the Trading Post, walking Bridgit (the Cow), collecting eggs, playing in the woods, double-slumber parties, writing in her diary, putting on skits.

Holly wrote from Main Street: “Rose is working one day a week at the Inn on Mill Creek, a B & B near Ridgecrest. She is also apprenticing with [our neighbor] Rainbow in order to learn how to paint murals, and going to the Thursday contra dances as much as she can. She practices her guitar every day. She was accepted into, and leaves tomorrow, for a program called CLIMBE (Center for Learning and Investigation in Mountain Backcountry Ecosystems), which is done through Montreat College. It’s a 6-day scientific backpacking expedition for rising 8th through 12th graders, in which they’ll hike from Mount Mitchell down to Montreat and test water quality as they come down. There will be 10 kids at a time and the program runs for 6 weeks total, so 60 kids were accepted from over 100 applicants from around the country. She is also helping around the house, working in the garden, and hanging out with friends at Earthaven. ” Holly continued: [Rose’s brother] “Eli is not doing much this summer! Aside from some EH and town playdates, he goes to work with me two days a week. It’s a little boring there, but he reads a lot. He has also done a math camp with the TLC director and math teacher. Both kids will likely spend some time in Indiana and Ohio with extended family this summer.”

We also got an update from Jill on daughter Mira’s behalf (although I’m surprised that articulate 8-year-old didn’t write her own!): “Mira’s first 2 wks at EH were great! She joined the Sister Stitch group, which inspired her to sew a purse for Fran, which was well received at Fran’s b’day party. Mira also enjoyed a great b’day celebration with Cory getting into the mud/clay pit!! Mira has been enjoying spending time with the other kids, bike riding, berry picking, going to the swimming hole, planting seeds, harvesting, picking up our harvest at the CSA, chasing the salamanders. She put together a 500-piece puzzle the A&A folks loaned her. She is a bookworm, and while Jill is at Qigong class, Mira is somewhere in the magic treehouse book collection off on adventures with the characters. Greg took her out on a library trip, and got her the new Peter Pan DVD. She has a charmed summer life, and we’ve only just begun. We make our rounds with dinner dates. Life is good!”

Seems like we got the goods on most of the girls, and on Eli, but we know our other fellas Gailen, Nick and Joshua, Cory, and Yeshua and Otus were out there swimming, picking berries, going to town with their folks, checking out the woods’ creatures, and playing lots of games, too.

CSA, forest children, Rainbow, summer, trading post, village green

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