Winter Count with lots of Forest Kindergarten mamas and kidlets – NOT A SINGLE HUSBAND. Major girl camp = delicious food and juicy conversations. Minor amounts of weeping. Let’s just say – we all want to come back, but it warn’t always easy. I can’t even bring myself to count the number of children in this pic.
Food was good, especially for meat eaters. The meals were predominantly gluten-free and there was always plenty of hot tea. Hot sauce was served at every meal. I think a Korean woman ran the kitchen. No, really.
Dinner scene. In the background to the left you can see Alan’s “knife shop’: a tarp slung jauntily over two tepee poles. It’s next to Benjamin Pixie’s Meade, Honey, and Essential Oil stand. Alan’s tepee is behind.
C looking and listening attentively to Dick who is showing him how to make a rock knife “good enough to skin a fish.” Dick also taught us how to make sling darts on the first day.
The kids all loved playing in the open desert all week. It was the never-ending playground. I shook a whole lot of dirt out of C’s clothes when we got home.
Each of five moms took a day to make lunch. We worked up pretty good appetites out there. Not too hard to get the kids to eat. Looks like we were eating Guatemalan black beans and veggie wraps here.
We often just followed Kid’s Camp around, because they visited many of the instructors at Winter Count – here each child got a chance to make a spark and catch a piece of char cloth on fire.
Gennica got her honey a flint and steel kit for Valentine’s Day and that night she made her first fire from start to finish – no matches, just flint and steel! We were impressed and celebrated with s’mores. Yup, that’s Chocolatl chocolate we’re smearing on graham crackers with jet-puffed ‘mellows.
The next day “those mothers from orange county” made fire with bow drills.
EVERY ONE OF US MADE FIRE WITH BOW DRILLS. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
The three basic primitive skills: fire, flint-knapping, and cordage. This is the flint-knapping pit.
The plant dye class had vats of dyes over open fires in the arroyo: eucalyptus, purple corn, osage, black walnut and more.
Cole decided to have his own class; he taught kids to finger knit on 4 fingers. I love that they were imitating the true nature of winter count which is to SHARE KNOWLEDGE.
We watched a guy curing his roadkill bobcat hide.
Then the next day we went back to help soften the hides. It take s a lot of work to work a hide. In this picture we were trying to pull full-strength in all different directions.
The deer hide was strong enough to bounce kids.
Christian’s favorite activity was not any planned class or organized kid’s club event – it was simply practicing using his new bow and arrow set that had been given to him (free) on the first day of winter count.
The wooden spoon class was one of the most popular because it was free and was offered twice a day. I might have done this class if I hadn’t been gifted a lovely carved wooden spoon last Christmas.
Seemed like everybody caught the wooden spoon wave but me.
Oh yes, we’ll definitely be back.