What an amazing week last week, the girls and I camped at a friends nearby farm, we were joined by my best friend and her three children,other friends and family came and went as the week went by, some by chance some planned. On the edge of the field is a woods, the children were drawn to it like a magnet. It was so lovely to walk under the shade of the trees, the sun light pouring through in the mornings. At some point rope swings had been put up the kids spent literally hours swinging and climbing. We made a rule that no child was to leave the woods without a log for the fire and even other children camping would wander by and pop a log on our pile with a quick smile and hello, word had got out, we needed wood, lots of it! Every night we made a camp fire, some nights we sang, some we chatted, but every night marshmallows were toasted and memories were made.
The wood was full of secrets, we found a clearing that at some point had been used as a living area, a shelter, a log cabin and a caravan were found, the kids scared them selves silly with stories of who lived there and if they still did.
After dark we listened to the birds calling to each other in the woods and tried to guess what they were, there were some very odd sounds one night. The moon was at its fullest that week and the woods took on a shine that was eerie and yet beautiful.
It was simple rough camping, no frills at all, but it was so special, the children thrived on the freedom and the woods made it extra special, the older ones made dens and the little ones scrambled about, we spent a lot of time enjoying the trees and watching the large group of children play, the gang seemed to get bigger by the day. The woods seem to relax the hildren and brought out the best in them all, a real team spirit, sharing the rope swings and hunting for objects for the dens. Children of all ages playing together.
At the end of the week we went to see The Rouge Theatre ” The Woodland Summer Ball” it was held in Theidy woods and it was magical! The creativity was amazing and I felt totally inspired. The children all danced on stage at the end in their costumes and head pieces they had made and it was the perfect end to a week of the wild woods.
I don’t think my children will ever forget last week, they embraced the freedom and the being at one with nature. It was simple and it didn’t cost much, and we left our clothes smelling of camp fires and leaves stuck in the tangles of our hair, but we left happy and grounded.
Woods are such special places and children need the old fashioned freedom of den building and being left to run a bit wild, it does them the world of good I am sure.