This summer, Third Haven Friends Meeting is hosting two sessions of a summer nature and mindfulness camp. The camp weeks are part of an effort both to support families in the meeting and reach out to families in the surrounding community.
During the first week of the camp in June, children ages 4-8 spent Monday to Thursday mornings guided through a set of thoughtful activities that helped them find connection and peace in the nature around them. If you look around the grounds of the meeting, you will see a couple of new additions: some logs decorated with mosaics of spirals and stones, a hand-built “peace” teepee of sticks, yarn and twine woven together by little hands; little bridges over areas of heavy vegetation growth between the “grove” and the “meadow;” and a set of painted, bamboo chimes hanging from a tree that a child-sized person can walk through to hear music.
Resting in the boughs of the large rhododendron bush near the meetinghouse, or sitting crosslegged around the brick spiral meditation circle, the children heard picture books centered on Quaker testimonies and discussed the meaning. Ukulele lessons inspired a whole morning of listening and music! And all the participants made beautiful art with bits of nature they found throughout the grounds.
The kids had such a great time that many signed up for the second session planned for late July. First Day School hopes to carry forward the interest in Third Haven Meeting sparked with these families into the Fall season, when we are looking forward to hosting more programming for Families, including a visit and program with the PYM Young Engagement Coordinator.