The Mucky Boots team always look forward to Summer Camp season, as it offers us a chance to spend a a whole week playing within the infinite and magnificent imagination of children and a chance to tap into this pool of creativity for ourselves. My love of story has continued to inform my work for many years now. I have explored story through puppetry, photography, music, circus and theatre and it has taken me on a very colourful career path to date. Both myself and Arran have been taking the opportunity to stand into the role of storyteller, recognising what rewards this old art forms offers both to the listener and the teller. Storytelling and listening, activates the same part of the brain that holds empathy, it connects generations, people from all walks and place of life and connects people to place. This year we decided to merge our love of story with nature connection and offer this to the group to see where they might take it. The whole week completely surpassed our expectations and brought home to us once again the power of story which we will continue to offer to people in this way.
When meeting any group it is important to give them time to have a chance to land. We played some nature themed games and then as an ice breaker got the kids to tell each other a little about their favourite book/film/story. From that point they transported themselves into their imaginary world of Demi gods and magicians and even when we were on break they continued to be inside their own created story. Before making some nature amulets we beckoned the arrival of the “Rainbow King” who needed a band of warriors to help him figure out the trouble that was afoot in his kingdom.
We began the next day by painting colours and images of the Rainbow kingdom. We learned a song to call the king who informed us that the Fairy Prince had been kidnapped and needed to be returned to his kingdom before he could help us figure out where all the rainbows had gone !
We headed to the beach for the day. In between the fun to be had with rocks and sand and sea there was time to search out the fairy prince and collect some story stones to help us with our quest.
The third day was spend in the neighbouring woods playing eagles eye and returning the Fairy Prince to his fairy village. Many hours were spent building up the fairy houses and bus services to the village before it was time to leave.
The fourth day saw the whole story played out. Through games, whittling, painting, costume making and the final journey of the Rainbow King to visit the Sun Go the kids played out their story. It turned out that the Sun God was keeping all the rain clouds for himself and each of the brave warriors had peace offerings to try and win the Sun God over. It transpired that both the kings hugged a cloud and squeezed out some rain, making it rain on the Rainbow Kingdom one again. All magic had been restored to this world and beyond !
Review from a Mum and her 7 year who attended Mucky Boots camp at Inch Hideaway, ‘The best camp in the galaxy, and every other galaxy’. This camp is about nature and fun but really about letting children enjoy childhood; climbing, adventures, imagination, dirt, leaves, treasures, bugs. Thank you Mucky Boots for your hard work, you make it look easy!!
Written by Niamh Geoghegan Co-ordinator and co-founder at Mucky Boots Forest School