Remembering the Power of Wonder
“At every age we relate to the Natural world through our Imagination. Imagination is the gateway to Love & Wonder. Through this gate we arrive to our place in the dynamic vitality that is the living World. A closed heart may walk the mossy path, but will not arrive in the everyday magic of Fairy Tale Forest.
From their first breath, every child deserves to inherit a beloved landscape, beheld with loving Wonder. And what is more — our genetics require it; The child’s brain integrates its centers of symbolic and literal cognition in the ages between 4 and 9 through dynamic modes of imaginative thought. Fairy tales are an expression of a wise, ancient impulse to guide children’s (and adult’s) development through our natural creativity.
Fairy Tale Forest is a modern experiment in educating the old way, through the gateway opened by Myth into our vital oneness with Life. In this new-old way, leadership is based on the capacity to creatively name the Wonder of every day, and is a potential shared equally by teacher and student. Education of this sort can take place anywhere open hearts move, as we each guide one another toward the urgent remembering of our place in the Whole.” — Laura Melling
FAIRY TALE FOREST & GUARDIAN MOUNTAIN
Fairy Tale Forest (for age 4 to 8) is a laboratory for the generation and display of innovative models of education. Each summer and throughout the year we mentor teachers in our methods. The program is also the subject of third-party academic research as an exemplary model of sustainability education.
Children regularly travel from remote corners of the U.S. to experience a week of Fairy Tale Forest magic. They are immersed in a joyful sense of the mysteries of nature. They spend the day in a small group in a serene forest environment hearing stories and music, dancing, daydreaming, singing, acting out plays, exploring, naming places, making up riddles, crafting, and whatever else fun they may creatively elect to do. The day unfolds at a unhurried pace and funny things happen. As parents have said many times —‘‘There is no program like this anywhere.’’
Guardian Mountain (age 7 to 10) is for graduates of Fairy Tale Forest and others who have extensive nature experience. It focuses on the bonds of friendships forged through nature connection and imagination. Every day is an adventure in games, dance, acting, singing, daydreaming, exploring and crafting. But it is more than that… at this age the children begin shaping an individual relationship to the forest. The forest moves through us and becomes part of our circle. Guardian Mountain has been described as 'the only place I have ever seen my daughter encouraged to find her artistry and her wildness in the same moment. I was in tears.'
In 2018, Myth & Movement Art's summer camps are celebrating our ninth year. Our programs are directed and implemented by Laura Melling with the help of other experienced teachers.
Location: Fairy Tale Forest programs are held in the rolling hills outside Boulder, at the spectacular 100 acre StarHouse property, in Sunshine Canyon, a ten minute drive from downtown. http://thestarhouse.net/faqs/.
For more background, you can read about last year's camps here.
Daily rhythm of Fairy Tale Forest & Guardian Mountain...
We begin with a singing walk through the forest. Then, we go inside for a dance journey with live harp accompaniment, after which we act out plays, then ramble through the woods relishing our favorite places. We then recall our morning through watercolor painting, games and drawing. Next, a hearty snack of healthy treats readies the children for outdoor crafting, using found and natural materials. Lunch and rest on soft blankets allows time for hearing folk stories from around the world and relaxing. The remainder of the afternoon is devoted to forest adventures and games.
Reflections from parents & students...
"Your program is like no other. It is absolutely my favorite place to take my girls. The locations, the storytelling, movement, crafts, and magic you create is sacred."
"Laura is a magician. The children were captivated by her from the first second.”
"Any child who gets to spend time with Laura is very lucky. She is a real fairy and one of Boulder’s true treasures."
"THANK YOU for creating such beauty! Your camp is our favorite. Being in nature in this form has a soothing impact on my children and their play for weeks following...."
"Thank you for creating WONDER. My son works with what you teach in camp all year long."
"Laura's poetic presence of spirit, mind, heart, and body is a highly developed and skilled instrument which I trust will see and connect with what is truest in my children."
2017 Summer Camp Schedule
June 26-30 Fairy Tale Forest: 'Where Foxes Trot'. Ages 5 -8. (FULL)
July 10-14 Guardian Mountain 'Flight of the Silver Arrow' Ages 7 -10. (FULL)
July 17-21 Fairy Tale Forest: 'Land of Plenty.' Age 3.5 to 7. (1 space open)
June 26-30. Where Foxes Trot: For age 5 to 8. Foxes are playful and clever animals. They are often seen frolicking with deer and birds. Light on their feet and quick, foxes are excellent dancers. This week of camp we’ll be inspired by these magic-makers to celebrate the joys of companionship, riddles and games, and exploring the hidden places of the forest. 8:30 am-3 pm.
July 10-14: Flight of the Silver Arrow: Age 7 -10. This week we will learn and explore stories of heroines and heroes who will act as guardians of the imagination ever-after. We will dance, craft, explore the forest, learn songs and play many different types of games, all inspired through reference to these mythic stories. 8:30 am-3 pm.
July 17-21. Land of Plenty. For age 3.5 to 7. This week will be a classic Fairy Tale Forest adventure into the realm of gentleness, abundance and wonder. We focus on good cheer, caring for the woods, working together, and giving space for everyone to contribute their gifts. We will craft and play, paint, dance, daydream and explore in the magical Land of Plenty. 8:15 am- 2:45 pm.
Age groups: Our programs are designed for a wide age range. In this model, we see that older members of the group have gifts to share with younger ones and vice versa. Also, these age ranges are approximate. Please inquire if have concerns about whether a program is appropriate for your child.
Each program is totally unique and unfolds through our encounter with the land: You can read about last year's camps here.
REGISTRATION & COST:
Fee: $365. A limited number of partial, need-based scholarships available through a grant from Boulder County Arts Alliance and generous private donors. Please request an application.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for registration information.
"Let us first teach little children to breathe, to vibrate, to feel and to become one with the general harmony and movement of nature. Let us first produce a beautiful human being, a dancing child." --Isadora Duncan
The lead teachers at camp are professional artists in visual, musical, performance, wilderness tracking, and literary domains who care deeply about the soulful life. They approach teaching as an aspect of their work as artists. The children witness and participate in poetry, instrumental music, storytelling, puppetry, dance, crafting, painting, theater, and singing, sculpture, etc. Children and parents alike are often inspired throughout the year by memories of this week of creative abundance.