14 Mar Stories from the Fire
“I prefer being in the forest than in school and I believe the more important lessons can be found there”.
(Teenage Fire Quest Participant 2016)
It is dawn. Raven calls ring out through the wood, stark over the distant sound of traffic. The calls are not being made by birds but rather by a small group of people who, having tended a community fire throughout the night, are now making the agreed signal of return for those out beyond the encampment. Before long men, women and children emerge from the trees and gather together in a large circle. Some take seats, whilst others move closer to the fire. The man who has held vigil at the fire throughout the night, the acknowledged teacher and leader, sits on the far side of the circle silently welcoming those who are returning. When quiet descends on the gathering he asks for those present to sing the song or tell the story that has made it itself known throughout the night. Individuals are called upon to tell their stories, to share their visions and sing their songs from the solitary quests that began at dusk and that have now ended with first light. Those that have worked with these Fire Quest participants as guides gently encourage the members of their groups to share their experiences of being out in the wood, alone with their own fire.
For the full story, check out Daniel’s blog at Circle of Life
Daniel Ford is a doctoral research student and the recipient of a Freedom to Learn scholarship from the University of Hull. He is currently working on an inquiry into what happens when young people have wild experiences within and alongside their formal education.