Shakina Drew, Ashland Oregon

Dear Coyote Trails,

My 3-year-old son Tucker and I attended the Little Foxes Coyote Trails class last summer (2010). It was a wonderful week that I will never forget. I had been waiting for this opportunity since my son was born 3 years previous and was not disappointed. At first Tucker was shy and held back but was quickly transformed with a game of “Scout Ahead”. This was excellent and he and the other children began to connect to each other and the adults through this game. Throughout that day and over the next week Tucker played with his new friends and participated in various activities. He and the other little foxes built a “debris hut” and Tucker and I compound on this knowledge when we are playing in the forest on our own now. He loved story telling and climbing the big tree. He learned about tracking and about the earth. The young adults working with the little foxes were gentle yet very energetic – truly awesome folks - the kids all seemed to have a particular favorite. Their energy was never ending. At home Tucker sings the water song and we each tell a part of a story like we did at camp. I loved the library and wrote down many books to get for Tucker for home and also many games.

The main facilitator was very understanding of children’s developmental abilities and the staff that were helping were kind and actively involved. There were plenty of helpers and constantly more offering to help. I was taken aback by the lunchtime gathering when the Little Foxes joined the larger Coyote Trails group at main camp. The attitudes were so positive, upbeat, open, and willing. The youth and adults who shared in the circle seemed very genuine, present, and connected to the earth. The whole energy of the camp was so amazing I was moved to tears. I was so glad I had brought my son to such a beautiful space and knew this was the type of community I wanted him to grow up with. As I looked around I saw so many young people so willing to help out and be kind to each other just because that was simply the way to be.

Throughout the day the Little Fox class was brought snacks no matter where the kids were and always there were various folks delivering. The food was nutritious and healthful. As we moved about the area people from other classes always said “hi little foxes” and were encouraging and kind and always smiling and happy to see the little guys. If I wanted to know something or show Tucker something another class was doing someone stopped to show me what they were doing and explain mistakes and triumphs. It was a truly a beautiful experience all around.

I intend to bring Tucker every year and hope in the years to come he comes to appreciate this space as much as I have for him. It was like coming home to a place that already exists in my soul.

Thank you, Coyote Trails.

Sincerely,

Shakina Drew