I remember when an eight-year-old boy spontaneously created a drawing about trust. He drew very big eyes, and on it he wrote, “Let my eyes be your eyes.” He captured the essence of the community.
I remember at Farm Camp when one of the Roots Groups during mid-morning snack time got so engrossed in talking about the importance of Black Lives Matter that they decided not to go to the village in the woods at all but spent the whole morning staying with the discussion until lunch, making realizations, giving chance for all ages to talk.
I remember the Three-headed Dutchess created by Ali Post, Sarah Brown Anson, and who was the third person? They took a big dress-up from the dress-up basket and cut three holes at the top so they all fit inside. Then they walked around camp all together, linked and shuffling around as three, each with a head poking up.
One year during the woods time Charlie Barto, Josh Wolfsun and Sarah were playing a game of memory sitting in Charlie and Josh’s stick house. “It involved going around a circle with each person having an equal chance to contribute. All of a sudden we felt we had come upon the meaning of life. We were sure we had. After we went back down to lunch, unfortunately we didn’t write it down. We were convinced we’d always remember. Only we didn’t so we have to keep rediscovering it.”
What do you remember about the pageants in the woods? Inspired by the Bread and Puppet theater in the 1980’s, these productions traveled scene to scene up the hill starting the summer of 1994. We’d create a dramatic first scene where urgently the parents have to follow us up to the ridge with us. Along the way there were scenes at the yurt (called the Cupcake House) and pop-outs of surprising characters or flute music. The elaborate pageants happened back when a camp session was three weeks long. It was a time when Woolman Hill had consecutive weeks available to rent. Campers themselves developed a story that moved scene to scene and we presented it to the parents the last Friday. We still do pageants for each other at the one week sessions.
One year the pageant was about an enormous topic -- the creation of the Universe. It began with two girls portraying the very start of time.
“Hi, nothing,” one said to the other as they stood in front of the parents on the lawn outside the conference house.
“Hi, nothing,” the other answered. “Do you want to create something?”
“I don’t know. It could be very risky. Let’s ask them.” So they turn to the parents and ask if we should all take the risk together to create matter and flare forth in the first fire ball. Luckily the parents answered -- yes.
The pageant proceeded to show a dance of the first quarks creating an atom.
The quarks, the quarks, the quarks.
Can you believe how we work?
(see all of The Quarks song lyrics on The Heart of the World CD)
Then there was a waltz for the spinning of the Milky Way using Julian Post’s enormously long finger-weaving. After this, to the tune of “Do, a deer” from “Sound of Music” we explored the differences between the planets revolving around the sun and how the earth was just right for life. We also had a complicated dance of the first oceans and bacterial life being created on earth. It was a complete science lesson combined with musical comedy. Lots of comedy.