Learning Story – Starting Fires

Learning Story – Starting Fires

The Week of October 20, 2023

What Happened?

Here are some quotes that we heard today from the Bushkids: 

  • While filleting 20 whitefish: “What does it mean when the fish have eggs?” Wanting to share their delicious snack: “Have some, isn’t it so good?” 
  • While hiking down the hill to the lake with a college student “It’s safer to go this way.” 
  • While working in their mud kitchen ‘restaurant’: “The first 5 eat free because they are so helpful!” 
  • To their brother while playing handgames: “Come sing for us.” 
  • While sewing in the walltent: “I want to sew a tight pillow.” 
  • While chopping wood safely and other Bushkids get too close – they stopped and were just patient and silent until the other Busghkids move on. 
  • When asked what they’d like to do next week: “All day mud kitchen!” 
  • An Aurora College student said after being taught how to make the fire by a youth volunteer: “She is a real fire-keeper.” 
  • After a puppy (log dog) got sick: “We are the security guards and will make sure our puppies don’t get sick from the virus.” 

Why is it Important?

The learning skill we saw come out today was “connection”. Connections are being made with each other by sharing food, learning from each other’s bush skills, teaching each other the safest trail, learning each other’s backgrounds and how we identify. Connections are being made with ourselves – having time and space to be grounded and mindful with what we are doing. We saw this so much when the Bushkids were chopping wood all morning! Some Bushkids surprised themselves by how well they filleted a fish. Connections with the biodiversity of where we live were made – from the whitefish to the small aquatic insects we were exploring in the lake. We made connections with the Wıı̀lııd̀ eh language as we practice using terms and commands that come up often at the Bushkids site.

What Does This Mean For Next Time?

The Bushkids are really interested in starting their own fires in small fire pans using different fire starters. We are starting to see each other’s strengths so we will build on them next week – wood chopping, sewing, cooking, photography and using tools. Tools were incorporated into so much of the play – the restaurant, the forts, the log dog puppies. We will dig into self-care a bit more next session – eating, drinking, using the washroom. We heard some of the Bushkids talking about their families and their identities as Indigenous peoples so we will share a discussion about how Bushkids uses ethical space to honour everyone’s identity here.