The Gray Fox program was our first year long offering at Wild Intelligence and it continues to be our most in-depth nature connection program for youth. Like all of our programs the Gray Fox Year is built entirely around the youth registered for it and their passions while they are in the woods as well as where they are developmentally.
At Gray Fox we play games and share stories. We explore the forest and discover the life it is filled with from insects, spider, and reptiles to tracking deer, learning about plants, trees, mushrooms and whatever else we find along the way in our wanderings. We tromp through the creek catching minnows and we hide in the ferns. We carve with knives, make fires, and build forts. We draw, we paint, we even sometimes write poetry and songs. Sometimes we all sit by a tree to simply take in the beauty of the seasons and watch the birds. We share and we grow together.
Our mentors work from the very first day to develop a personal relationship with each child. We watch the kids we work with grow and discover. We get to know them well – what their fears are – as well as their passions and who they are. We invite them into a year long journey of connection to the natural world, themselves, and the community they build with us during the year. We encourage the youth in our programs to be confident; to believe in themselves the way we believe in them; and we ask them to see their uniqueness as a gift that gives this world that special touch only they offer it.
In order to keep our programs fresh and engaging we bring a variety of opportunities to our programs. Some weeks we will be in clans – which are aged and experience based groups, some weeks we have guilds which are choice based arts, crafts, or skill based groups. We also incorporate community days with an ancestors feast, parades through the woods, seasonal celebrations, talent and untalent shows, trade blankets, and games.