“I want to be part of the hiking club to change myself because nature calms me and allows me to be me, and I want to change my community but I don’t know how.”
“I want to be a leader but I don’t know how, the hiking club can help me be a leader and help me teach people about the beauty of nature.”
Thirty eight hiking club applications were received from Grade 7 learners from Levana and Prince George Primary this year, yet there was only space for 20 kids. The above quotes are from two of the applications that I received. The applications were well written and the responses to the questions in the application form were honest, open and engaging. I knew that these 2 candidates would be part of the hiking club. However, after a check in and chat with some of the teachers, I found out that my top two candidates were also two of the Grade 7 learners with various behavioural issues and whom had experienced confrontations with teachers. I was somewhat taken aback, but I remembered the lines that stood out in their application letters. I made the choice to include them in the hiking club. After all, they deserve to be there. The hiking club is not just about taking the “good” kids hiking and teaching them about nature, but it is about helping all of them find their true nature and, like Earthchild Project slogan says, “Connect,Cultivate and Inspire”.
The Lavender Hill hiking club now consists of 20 amazing young people who sometimes talk when they are not supposed to, who laugh at things that they are not supposed to laugh at, who makes jokes and make fun of each other when they are not supposed to, who run when they need to walk, who climb trees when they should not, who poke each other during quiet time and who complain as soon as they start walking…but in the end, the hiking club is full of caring, supportive, enthusiastic and talented kids who want to learn, explore and, mostly, have fun.
We invite you along on our journey this year as we all “Connect,Cultivate and Inspire” one another.