A ton of fun

We had the Enviroschools ‘Ecohut Challenge’ hui yesterday. Finishing chapter on what has been an absolute hoot.

Jen came home and mentioned the Challenge, sometime (October?) last year. Would I facilitate? Of course…….

It’s been a ton of fun. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world, and it’s been a privilege to get to know such a motivated bunch of kids. Of course, everyone wanted to be part of the Envirohut group – the whole school, or near to it!  So there were a couple of meetings in personal time (lunchtimes etc) and those who had whatever it takes to get themselves there, became ‘it’.

Seldom have I encountered a group of that age, who showed so much grunt. Their first plastering (essentially clay) got vandalised, and they had to set-to, on a cold southerly day, and re-do something they’d already done. Nobody faltered, nobody complained, and nobody appeared eager to go down the ‘blame’ track either. They just got stuck into the plastering. Awesome.

On the basis that a picture tells a thousand words….. (and a thousand pix tell?)  try this:

http://www.portchalmers.school.nz/eco_hut_challenge_2009.html

and click through the pages.

The trick when you’re doing environmental stuff with youngsters, is to be very careful you are not laying-off the guilt of your own generation on another. You can teach them about reducing, reusing and recycling, but it’s only because our generation failed to pay its debt, that we have to raise the issue at all. This isn’t their fault, let’s be very clear. So you have to ensure that when you give them the skills to address the issue(s), that it is a positive experience.

This process fitted that prerequisite perfectly, and I’m an old hand at just nudging things just enough to not go off the rails(or get dangerous) while leaving ‘ownership’ firmly in their hands.

That wasn’t hard with this bunch. One of those photos shows them sitting in a circle, deciding where to go to next. One is in the ‘chair’, and they’re voting. Apart from snapping the pic, I was a mile away, washing down the concrete-mixer……

The real buzz from this, was getting to know them as people – as individuals.  There’s the maths whizz, there’s the trojan(s), there’s the one who thinks not just out of the square, but off the planet, and the one who surprised the teachers, indeed, surprised the heck out of the teachers – first by showing up at the meetings, then by the stickability demonstrated.

I’ll miss them. Life will have more free time, but may not be quite so full. Thanks team.

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