These are the principles that inform and guide our Summer Programs here at Land’s Sake. Whether packing meals at Community Servings for chronically-ill recipients or seeding radishes for the weekly Community Lunch on the farm, the teens of Green Power and the children of Farm & Forest Explorers are not only guided by these aforementioned principles, they are the inspiration for the principles.
I was struck with this thought when viewing a recent video of New Zealand teen, Brittany Trilford, addressing the delegates attending the Rio+20 Summit, an international conference held this June charged with resolving the severe issues of environmental and social degradation worldwide. Brittany Trilford proclaims:
I stand here with fire in my heart. I’m confused and angry at the state of the world. We are here to solve the problems that we have caused as a collective, to ensure that we have a future…When all around us is the knowledge that offers us solutions [,] Nature as a design tool offers insight into systems that are whole, complete, that give life, create value, allow progress, transformation, change.
These remarkable words remind me of our own Green Power principles; furthermore, Brittany’s words highlight the youthful origin of these foundations. I was similarly awestruck once again after stumbling upon a photograph of two young boys working together to save the life of a stranded dog. The boys’ actions are an inspiration, reminding us that one moment can turn into an opportunity the give the best of ourselves, to become showcase the compassion and ingenuity that lies within all of us.
As an Educator, I prepare for any given program by researching topics, establishing essential questions, and developing activities that will stimulate the mind and senses. I bring a well-thought-out plan in my head, and am ready to jump into action. The first child or teen arrives and I’m immediately reminded, as I was when watching the video and viewing the photo, just who has the most to learn this day.
This Spring, during an Afterschool Program at the Farm, I experienced such a lesson when an 11 year old girl, took a 3 year old boy under her wing to teach him how to identify and harvest mint in the Education Garden. I gave no direction to do this. This moment of mentorship and patience was initiated solely by the 11 year old herself.
Youth that spend the Summer here at Land’s Sake bring this inherent knowledge and power with them. Children bring curiosity and wonder, respect for living things and thoughtfulness toward their surroundings.
I for one am eager to follow their lead and begin a Summer of learning more about Working Hard, Working Together, Giving Back, Showing Leadership and Living Locally.