Hannah and I are now back from Family Summits, her in Ohio and me in Asheville, North Carolina. We had a chance to process the trip, though I don’t know if “process” is the right word with a seven-year old.
She had lots of fun and made friends. I asked her what she thinks she learned this week. She comes from a family that is very aware of ecology and the
environment so I wouldn’t expect her to say that “she shouldn’t throw
trash on the ground.” She summed it up as “we should leave nature alone”. I didn’t want to push it by having her reconcile that with making a mouse house. Shouldn’t mice be able to make their own house?
For me, the purpose of the trip was fulfilled. Hannah had a good outdoor experience – hikes, swimming, friends, seeing the workings of a bear trap and the magic of the baby stellar jay close up. She also met a real live park ranger in uniform and for me, that might have been the most important. It might just expand her experience as to what adults do beyond teachers, librarians, doctors and shop keepers.
But just attending Family Summits one week a year is not going to keep the love of the outdoors going. Of course, she goes out on short hikes with her family and grows plants in a window box in school. Maybe she should join the Girl Scouts but will they actually get outdoors and camping? And she has so much else to do after school, like soccer, swimming, music …
Oh well, looking forward to Family Summits 2011 in the Ozarks.