This Moment is Full of Wonders Our program at Orca Camp is based on principles of joy and mindfulness, as well as the tenets of Waldorf Education, finding the genius in each child. This page is to share a little more about our inspirations at camp.
The following is from “Planting Seeds, Practicing Mindfulness with Children” by Thich Nhat Hanh.
… let the child reveal to us who she or he is: her voice, how he talks, how she moves about, what he wants to play, her smile, his eyes and face with all its expressions, what she dreams, his total being. It is being open to what is in this moment, and improvising with it, so as to be playful, yet caring.
Joseph Cornell is another primary influence. Here’s a summary of his Flow Learning practice.
Awaken enthusiasm Focus attention Direct experience Share inspiration
Five guidelines for the “instructors”
Teach less, and share more.
Be receptive, welcome everything.
Focus the group's attention without delay on something the children discover.
Look, listen, immerse first, talk later
Let a sense of joy and wonder permeate the experience
My wife and I are fortunate to work with young children throughout the school year. They love to construct small shelters with twigs and moss, pebbles and pine needles.
All summer the older children that attend Orca Camp are drawn to build similar structures but often on a much larger scale. There are old trees that fall partially over a cliff and our campers transform them into magical, meaningful beach houses. They get into imaginative play, with pirates, astronauts, kings, queens, dogs, cats and so forth. Without interruption these scenarios become timeless.
Why the impulse to build and create? Simple. We build and create our own selves in the process. We connect with our capacities of architect, engineer, artist, collaborating with a team or solo. We connect with the creative gifts of friends and the healing elements of nature.
The cathedral of earth, sea and sky is our home, our classroom and inspiration. Each day is a new and exciting challenge for campers and counselors as we learn to connect ever more deeply with each other and the great blue sea. Our rhythms of gathering together, then activating in small groups, back and forth throughout the day, builds confidence and community.