The 2nd NZ Unschooling Retreat is over!
We have had a fabulous five days of retreating.
Although from these photos it may look as though we were non-stop, it was incredibly relaxing too. There was plenty of time to hang out and chat, go to the beach, read a book...
Here is a taster of what we did...
Hannah brought tableclothes and picked flowers to adorn the tables in the main hall.
Heave away! Being first there is a real treat as you get to see a village grow from an empty space into a thriving community.
Flag painting - a great way to start as people paint a flag to decorate their campsite, the entrance or any part of the camp....
Juggling balls, made from rice and balloons were a popular activity - although many still had not mastered the art of juggling by the end of the retreat, I am sure it will be a work in progress.(Except Danielle who persevered and worked it out!)
Meals were communal, large and delicious. There was a long queue for dinner each night.
We worked evening meals on a roster system, which was easy for all.
The large tables meant there was plenty of room to sit and eat with different people throughout the retreat
An impromptu band was formed by some of the children and they sang and sang while some of us mums danced and danced.(It was all the ABBA...)
The concert is always a popular night! Here is the rapt crowd who got treated to a real variety show.
Everything from Trombone....
...to a sword fighting role play....
to a violin duet!
Kids then crowded onto the stage for a photo.
Mornings were a lovely Yoga workout kindly taken by Danielle - a wonderful start to the day!
During the Woman's circle we had booked a mobile paintball target shooting gallery.
The men had a really great time - Thoms eyes had an unusual glow to them when he recounted his experience...
They even let some of the children have a go too which was generous of them...
Some bead making.
Dan bought his prtable workbench to saw bamboo to make cups.
Once cut the kids then sanded them smooth all ready to drink out of.
A group had a Wind Warriors session where they practised flying the kites needed for kite surfers.
After a lesson on the paddle boards they went off on the estuary...
Medieval dress up night!
There were some fantastic dress ups and quite a collecion of weaponry...
Even a Jedi....
Some medieval maidens.
The children paraded around and around the field,
Led by some Troubadours who sang and drummed the crowd along in their wake.
Then there was the time honoured medieval game of apple bobbing,
The preferred technique being the"full head dunk" which ensured an apple.
The tug of war produced some interesting teams including kiwis vs ex-pats!
(We let them win.....)
The beach was a 5 min walk away and many a gorgeous swim was had. In between beach trips the water slide provided relief from the heat.
There were so many clever,thoughtful and delicious things to sample at the market...
The kids had excelled in providing such imaginative stalls.
This is such a great activity.
I was busy helping people make juggling balls so hardly had time to shop except for buying chocolate brownies off one neighbour and homemade ginger beer off the other!
Thank you so much to everyone who came and made it such a special time.
Being on the fringe of the fringe can sometimes be isolating so having a sense of community was so valuable for everyone there I think.
I loved meeting new unschoolers from all around the country.
Thanks so much for travelling so far!
I loved seeing all the children play, join in with each other, and I loved getting to know them.
Thanks for all the great conversations.
What a "tank filler" being around such wonderful people....
On the last night the older children all slept in the marquee - a giant slumber party!
One big thanks to those who helped out to make it possible - Hannah, Alice and Duncan and Karen especially.
Also to those who helped to set up, who cooked, cleaned, washed dishes.....
But wait there is more....
There has been much talk about next year.
Please keep an eye on this blog as the plan is to have a web site instead and a possible change of name, as we talked about at the final circle....
There is a plan afoot to be in Foxton again next year and a plan for an online registration system.