Secret tips for parents, grandparents, scout leaders, schoolteachers, and other educators!
Mark Warren has been using storytelling and ceremony as a component of his nature teaching for more than 50 years. At Medicine Bow – his wilderness school in the mountains of Georgia – he preserves some traditional legends and rites, but perhaps more importantly he has introduced original tales and rituals that serve his nature lessons and the self-esteem of the students.
The right story is like a seed planted in a fertile mind, providing a perfect stepping-off place for any adventure. Whether seated around a campfire at night or gathered in the shade of a hemlock tree at noon, students of all ages can be treated to an entertaining tale designed to kick-start the mastering of a physical skill coming up on their agenda: fire making, plant study, archery, animal study, conservation, orienteering, camp crafts, etc. Such a self-visualized “preview” can be shaped in perfect accordance with the teacher’s goals.
Ceremony – largely lost in the current American culture – brings to life an invisible abstraction, like bravery, determination, generosity, or empathy. It places the student on a personal and private path of self-improvement “to be the best of who he/she can be” . . . by choice! Ceremony can open the door to an intimate relationship with nature. It in no way trespasses upon religious beliefs, but concentrates on bettering oneself, no matter what his/her spiritual leanings.
Warren has recorded his teaching experiences in a 4-volume series, Secrets of the Forest. Half of volume 2 is dedicated to these two educational tools. In his presentation at Eagle Eye Bookstore on February 13, 7 P.M., he will share some of these techniques and talk about their roles in drawing humans closer to nature and in building self-confidence and self-awareness within the students.
Eagle Eye Bookshop