Getting children outdoors and closer to nature is a primary focus in Waldorf education. Nature walks are part of the daily schedule. Last week, Seacoast Waldorf School’s grades classes hiked Mt. Major under ideal weather conditions.
After pairing up with a buddy, the children, teachers and parents lucky enough to join them embarked on a 1.7 mile journey to the summit via the Mt. Major trail. Water and snack breaks allowed time for some forest investigations along the way. The steep ledges challenged many a child and grown-ups alike as we approached the bald, rocky summit. With warm layers shed and wrapped around waists, faces appeared wearing expressions of pride.
The bright sun appeared in time to warm us as we nourished our bodies with healthy lunches while taking in the breathtaking views of Lake Winnipesaukee. There was ample time for exploration, hide and seek, and other spontaneous games created by the children before starting our decent. And of course, a photo opportunity was not to be missed!
After about an hour of relaxing on the summit, we started down the Brook Trail (which coincides with Mount Major trail for the last 0.7 mile). True to its namesake, a brook followed several sections of the trail and provided more opportunity for fun and exploration. Frogs and salamanders, birch and moosewood trees, and dogs and friendly hikers made this final stretch memorable in the minds of the children.
Today, the third grade class left for it’s annual 3-day, 2 night farming study and camping trip at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, Maine. For Waldorf students, nature and the outdoors are simply extensions of the classroom.