Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Club Day. The Birds of Prey version. Volume 1, Issue 2

A message from the newest member, Jaelyn

Today there was much drama at Birds of Prey Club.  The good kind of drama.  The kind you want to keep your eyes glued to and your ears open for.   I did not have a front row seat for the action, but the bits I caught from a distance were thrilling.

As the boys started to arrive, they drifted into our wet backyard.  To the playhouse.  And in their minds eye, it became a fortress.  A mighty fortress that needed protection, even when the brave knights were out to rid the world of witches and willowisps.  The fight scenes where fascinating, as they happened in slow motion.  The axe and swords gently fell on one another as the knights performed intricate spins.  Their actions were anchored in the storyline they wove, and it was complex and full of twists and turns, evil and magic potions to undo the harms inflicted on them.  The minds of a group of 8 and 9 year olds is truly fascinating stuff.

And no, not one bit of it had to do with raptors.  Which was okay.  I truly didn't want to tear them out of the fantasy world they had effortlessly created.  A voice in the back of my mind, though, did wonder if their parents would disappointed if they didn't come home with the craft I'd told them we would be working on.  They likely wouldn't care.  But what if they did?

So, after more than an hour of fantasy play, I asked them if they wanted a snack.  To which they did admit would be nice.  After that we moved on to the craft - a mobile I found in Raptor! A kid's guide to birds of prey

And I think I discovered today that the crafts I've planned the last two weeks are right up my children's alley, but not really up the others'.  I don't blame myself for miscalculating this.  I've only seen their group dynamics for two hours at our first meeting, and it was hard to tell if what I was seeing was due to the excitement of "the first meeting".  I didn't know enough about each child's inherent nature and what they are like in a small group of peers.  While this is only our second meeting, I think I've now observed enough to know what is "fun" and what is not for most of them.

After the meeting, I started to ponder to myself.  What to do?  Do we change the name of the club to the Knights of Cathedral?  Would that be too specific?  How about the Cathedral Players?  Do we still try to get birds in here in there?  Do we make shields and plaster eagles and owls all over them?  Make masks?  Try Birds of Prey Pictionary (which I started to create as the drama was unfolding)?

And then came the release out of the panic...what should be my daily mantra.  Keep it simple.  We'll have a project up our sleeve if they want to do it.  I can still share with parents what the project is, but also note that we'll only do it if there's time after playing and snack.  I can let them know that we may not learn a thing about birds of prey or anything else for that matter.  But they can join me on the porch to enjoy free theatre.  And who knows...we may just find ourselves watching the next rising star.

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