A beautiful October day welcomed a group of Brownies to Oxlip Wood. The agenda for the day being to learn about woodland environments, enjoy a cook-out and build a pixie village.
A gaggle of distracted youngsters, with parents and helpers in tow, soon turned into an engaged group of willing participants for the various forest tasks that leader Liz set for them.
First off, everyone was issued with a paper cup and some magic blue liquid which would help to make things smell. The children dabbed the bridge of their noses with the liquid and then smelt various things from the forest floor, tress and grasses. The magic potion certainly seemed to concentrate the minds of the children who were soon completely absorbed with the activity.
Being sent to find giant ladybirds in the undergrowth encouraged questions about beetles and spiders and tiny creatures that lived in the wood, which led to several youngsters actually contributing live specimens to the conversation (all creatures were no doubt surprised, but were released unharmed).
Getting everyone to be quiet for a minute was an objective I thought was sure to fail, but Liz had captured the imagination of the group so well that they all closed their eyes and just listened to the sounds around them, as instructed. Everyone then had to draw the sounds they heard – and they all did, with much concentrated effort.
Making fairy bracelets was great fun, involving sticking leaves, grasses and anything else that could be found in the wood. Everyone proudly held them aloft for a photograph.
After lunch we all went to a cleared area of wood for some basic instruction in the construction of pixie houses. Armed with sticks and blue wool the children set to the task with tremendous enthusiasm. In fact their imaginations were soon well beyond mere houses, extending to washing lines, play-parks and zip lines.
All in all a most wonderful experience for the children and a magical experience for us to see a group of youngsters so enthused and captivated by the woodland environment. I’m just wondering if the pixie houses we left behind have provided shelter for the tiny people that are said to frequent that part of the wood….I must creep back one night to see.