Explorers is an action-packed week of exploration and discovery in the wilds of Nova Scotia for young people ages eleven through thirteen. It draws its inspiration and foundation from the lessons taught to us by the wild creatures of our forests and waterways. They have learned to live in harmony with their wild habitats over millions of years. Their wisdom and survival strategies guide the wilderness explorations as the Explorers canoe, backpack, and enjoy the company of new friends.
This is the ideal adventure for young people interested in better understanding the natural world and developing outdoor skills. It is the next earth education program step for those who have participated in Sunship Earth and would like the challenge of moving from a residential camp program to more of a wilderness experience.
The Explorers spend the first half of the week at Camp Mockingee, a beautiful residential camp, which is also the site for Sunship Earth. Three days are spent exploring the wild area nearby and learning the outdoor skills required for their wilderness trip during the latter half of the week – canoeing, outdoor cooking, sharing, and wilderness living. They learn through doing in fun and refreshing ways – discovering in the forest using all of the senses and paddling the lake in a series of challenges. The second half of the week is spent on two overnight camp outs in the wild area more distant from the camp. It includes sleeping in tents, canoeing, and a short backpacking trip. The journey provides for lots of stops to explore, swim, play games, and enjoy songs and stories around the fire.
The program is unique in that all of the activities are structured around a The Lessons of Terrapin, a beautiful story written especially for this program, and soon to be published in book form. Each night the Explorers gather around candle lanterns in a magical spot in the forest and listen to a storyteller share one installment of the story. She weaves a beautiful tale of a time when the creatures could speak, blending adventure, humour, and mystery into the legend. The earth and its natural communities are in trouble due to the greed of the creatures and their inability to work together and respect the earth. The creatures learn a series of lessons through their experiences in the story across the week. In turn, each chapter becomes a theme and inspiration for the following day’s activities as the Explorers learn to live in harmony with their wilderness setting.
The program culminates on the final evening with the Council Of All Beings. Each young person chooses a creature whom he or she represents and speaks for at the Council, now that the creatures can no longer speak for themselves. The Explorers create beautiful masks that help them to actually take on the creature role. The Council becomes a special gathering in the forest in which each young person shares the lessons and requests his or her creature would like to communicate to humanity.
The final day is spent sharing the learning and fun of the week back in camp, culminating with a special closing celebration with family and friends. It highlights the lessons of the journey and challenges the young people to take steps to strengthen their relationship with the earth through their daily activities back at home.
- Session 1: July 16-21, 2016
Session 2: July 24-29, 2016
- Camp Mockingee,
160 Smeltzer Road,
- Ages 11 - 13
- For further information and to register, please call 902 490-4539