Give me the wild children… aching to run through a field of stars…

At this time of year, we often have many discussions about the challenges that children encounter throughout a day at Venture. However, our discussions more recently are more focused on how we are totally astonished by the tenacity of our children and how much they have all overcome in just a few weeks.

We are very mindful that as parents you may question your decision to send your child into the woods knowing the challenges they will likely come across. How will they manage a whole day outside? Will they be able to find another jumper if they are cold? Will they be able to climb as high as the older children? We thought that by sharing this email from one of our current parents will hopefully give you reassurance that you have made the best decision for your child.

‘When I dropped Maggie off this morning at the woodland gate and watched her try repeatedly to climb up the muddy steep bank I was reminded of a few lessons we so easily forget. I was humbled by my 3 year old. As I watched her try and repeatedly slide down the muddy bank I am ashamed to say I thought she wouldn't make it up there. Even suggesting she go round the easy way.  The whole way home I felt ashamed of that. She kept going and she kept sliding and she still kept going and eventually she made it.  Yet there I was, the adult, telling her to take the easy way round. She wasn't going to let that bank defeat her. My determined little toddler showed me that just because it’s tough doesn't mean she can't achieve it. I was reminded that although our children are little they are more capable than perhaps we sometimes give them credit for. Given enough time and space I know they have the determination to achieve so much. So that’s also why I felt happy. Happy that she is spending her days with people like you. You let our children discover the world for themselves and overcome problems with sheer determination. I love that they're encouraged to tackle the day in their own way at their own pace. You stood back and watched her attempt the bank knowing she would do it in the end.  Thank you for letting our children blossom and for nurturing their spirits. Maggie adores Venture, she loves her days there and the people she spends them with. I can see why. When I pick her up, muddy faced and boots full of sand I’m happy in the knowledge my strong willed little girl is getting to blossom and grow in such a wonderful environment with such amazing role models.’

During our parent meetings it has been really heart-warming for us to hear that the parents of children who have been with us for a while share the same view as us. That facing challenges and overcoming barriers instils determination and confidence and the time they have spent at Venture so far has given them the belief that they can achieve anything they wish.

‘Give me the wild children with their bare feet and sparkling eyes. The restless, churning climbers. The wild ones using their outside voices, singing all the way home. Give me the wonder-filled, glorious mess makers dreaming of mountains and mud, aching to run through a field of stars.' Nicolette Sowder

Read the rest of the Venture Hope Cove newsletter here.