Our outing started as all outings do; with an opening circle, however this was an especially fun opening circle. With such a warm and sunny summer there were plenty of stories and memories to share with one another. Trips abroad, time with the family, or just a silly story, everyone had something to bring our circle. After sharing summer highlights, we discussed our plan for the day, what hazards we would encounter along the way, and passed out jobs to help us as we explored Clayton Beach. Enough chatting, time to hit the trail!
Crossing the ever perilous Chuckanut Drive, we dropped down to the main trail and headed for the beach. It felt good to be back out with the Gray Wolf Pups back together hiking down the trail with a full day of exploration ahead of us. The first thing we did when we got to the beach was establish a base camp on a rocky bluff and settle in. Before we got too excited about scurrying on the sandstone or perusing the tide pools, we needed to revisit our Art of Carving skills focus. Gathering as a group we reviewed the safety parameters required for using a knife. Carving technique, awareness of others, and strong focus were some of the main topics we focused on. With our minds refreshed it was time to carve.
Spreading out along the sandstone bluff, each Explorer received two lengths of wood to be carved down into a pair of chopsticks. If some remember this was our initial task last season as well, but for round two of carving the standards have been raised. The Gray Wolf Pups needed to not only make a reasonable attempt at carving chopsticks, but show their ability to create a straight, cylindrical chop stick that tapered and didn’t have any obvious edges. This requires patience, skill, and focus. Many of the boys were grateful for tips from the mentors on how to adjust the angle of their blade: steep angles result in more wood carved, shallower angles less, much like using a planer. Although the mentors were pickier this time around, many of the boys were able to produce quality chopsticks and continued to hone their carving skills and ability to focus. Alas, carving can only compete with Clayton Beach for so long, and now it was time to explore.
After a quick lunch, we reconvened for a group circle to plan out how to spend the second half of the outing. The Gray Wolf Pups needed a little bit of a refresher in our group decision making process, but with a little help from the mentors we Collaborated, Compromised, and came to a Consensus. Each Explorer voiced their opinions, the Tribal Elder offered a few options and we all voted, checked in with the minority, compromised, and developed a plan that everyone agreed with. With a solid game plan we took off to the south to find good climbing rocks. Explorers scurried and scampered up and down the sandstone getting lost in free play and allowing their imaginations to take hold. Some became merchants trading trinkets they found on the beach, others formed small clans and claimed territories along the rocks and back into the forest. Before we knew it, the time to head north to explore a new part of the beach was upon us. With a quick check in the boys decided to stick to their plan and head out.
Just a few hundred yards away, traversing along the rocks due to the rising tide, the Gray Wolf Pups found a whole new beach to get to know. With great climbing, and an incoming tide, everyone was quickly back into free play mode. Whether that meant discovering what lay at the top of the rocks and beyond, or building a wall of sand in a futile attempt to withstand the incoming waters, everyone was having fun. But like they say; time flies when you’re having fun. Time for closing circle.
Circling up for one last time, we shared our gratitude and munched on apple slices. Many were thankful for the pleasant weather and cooling breeze, others appreciated the rocks and all the entertainment they provided. No matter what we were grateful for, across the board we were all happy to have had such a fun day and to be back with our fellow Explorers learning skills, building friendships, and discovering the wonders of the natural world. What a wonderful way to kick off the Fall 2015 Season!