No two days are alike at Running Deer. Even if you are working with the same student from week to week it pays to be on your toes and expect the unexpected.
Every day is a new challenge / opportunity
Some mornings the students arrive and crack on with their timetable, on others they come with a firm idea of their own on what they would like to achieve that day and that’s the plan. So as a caseworker, adapting and thinking on the go is the best way to work. Go with the flow, just see where the day will take you and more often than not both you and your student will learn along the way.
Recently, there was a day just like this; I was working with ES. Full of energy and ideas as always, ES decided he would make Dave a tincture to ease his back ache, so that was the plan. I had a general idea of what they were but after a quick, Google, I found out a little more about tinctures, which are plant-based medicines dissolved in water. So we set off on a ramble, ES using his knowledge of hedgerow plants to find and trim some inner willow bark, planning to use it for its medicinal properties. Next, he collected some snow leftover from our recent snow day, being pure water he said this would “work best”. We tended the fire, then boiled and filtered the snow, using a cloth filter to remove any sticks and dirt.
The willow was added to the boiled water, along with a squeeze of orange peel for taste and left to soak.
Then hay presto a tincture to help relieve Dave’s bad back!
- Did it help? Only Dave can tell us.
- Was it part of the plan when I arrived at school? Nope.
- Did we learn as we did our apothecary? Yep.
- Did ES enjoy himself, build on his outdoor knowledge and benefit from our support to achieve his own personal goals for the day? Yes.
- Is it what Running Deer is all about? Most definitely.