As preparations for the Pup Run continued the children diligently work on the race course and there mushing skills.
Over the past week the children made a trail map of the route in which the children would use to navigate their race. They used shapes and colors to help them identify common places on the map (the outdoor classroom, the Pine Tree Forest, the bridge and the campsite). Then they helped decide where we should have "checkpoints". The checkpoints were papers that were numbered and decorated and would be the designated spot to stop and change the teams responsibilities on the day of the run.
During the week along with making a map and the 7 checkpoint signs, the children practiced their mushing roles when out on hikes. Walking through the woods in a line (which is very uncommon for them) they would pick whose turn it was to be the lead dog (first in line), the swing dog (second in line), the wheel dog (the last in line) and their favorite... the musher! Whoever was the musher would call out the commands "HIKE" for the line to move forward and "WOAH" for the team. Along with the commands there was never a shortage of noise because there were "barking dogs".
On the day of the Pup Run the kids were happy to enjoy the hard work that they had put forth. They took to the trail and worked so nicely together as they patiently waited for their turn to mush, ride and pull the kick-sled. At the finish line they celebrated with hot coco and marshmallows around the fire.
Throughout this experience I couldn't tell you how many times I heard someone say to a friend "you can do it!" "keep trying" "we are almost there". This is what teamwork is all about... not only getting to the start together... but getting to the end together.
Congratulations mini mushers you make a great team :)
(A special thanks to Kraig Decker for the start and finish line banners)
I am Meghan Morrow, the founder and lead teacher at Secret Forest Playschool in Duluth, MN. This blog is a way for me to share some of the amazing moments that I witness and the lessons that I learn from some of the wisest people I know... children.