Wild Embercombe: learning in the woods

The Embercombe woods were home to 11 children from Alderbridge Steiner School at the beginning of June. The Go Wild programme was packed full of practical and hands on experiences. The group of eleven and twelve year olds built their own fires, learning how to leave no trace and witnessing fire  being made using the ancient technique of bow drill or fire by friction. As the week progressed the camp became a hive of industry with the students practicing their newly found whittling skills to make spoons and rings around the fire. Bread and pop corn were cooked outside and songs and stories were shared around the fire. The group were entertained one evening by the fabulous story teller Sue Charman who brought the initiatory story of Vasalissa the wise to their evening camp fire.

Many designs of shelter were experimented with and the woods cleared of invasive Bracken to provide insulation for their woodland homes. Almost the entire group chose to test their shelters overnight and on the final morning all of the students emerged from their debris shelters at 4am to listen to the delights of the dawn chorus. With stalking games,  foraging and finding water in the landscape to add to the fullness of the week, the students left looking like they’d had an amazing adventure if not a little mucky!
Lucia Baumann their class teacher emailed after the residential…

“We had our first day back at school today, so are only just starting with the work, but they are all still beaming from it all… and want to be wild children like they could be at Embercombe. I had some lovely feedback from parents too.
It really was very inspirational and you and your team have been great!”

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