You dreamed, Dawn Oak did. A camp like no other, on an organic farm in the heart of the Southwest, where children are respected: small numbers, facilitators trained in non-violent communication, creative projects inspired by nature ... Some questions founder Anne Gouyon, ecology specialist and co-founder of Viatao.
How do your camps are different?
Our camps, it's a little anti-colo! I prefer to speak of stays for children, or camps Nature ... The idea is to make children live in a family atmosphere, in small groups, where everyone feels accepted and respected. We welcome 12 children on average, with 3-4 facilitators specialists environmental education, graduates and experienced participating in our project throughout the year.
We can talk about alternative education?
Yes, of course. The challenge today is to allow the child to fit into a group without losing its individuality. In response to education "old", was sometimes so insisted on respect for the child that they do not have enough limits. We went to the bullied child bully boy! Today, there is a need for a fine education, which allows the child to become a citizen, confident in himself and respectful of others.
Specifically, how does it work, this alternative pedagogy?
In our holidays, the children participate in defining the rules of living together, including the definition of sanctions. Then it's easier for them to comply. They should especially learn not to disturb the group. When they are overwhelmed by their emotions, we show them how to cool down the gentle martial arts, relaxation ... Then we teach them to sit together, express their disagreements without violence, listen, and look for solutions that allow everyone to feel "repaired" after a conflict.
And ecology in all this?
Train citizens in democracy is the basis of an ecological society! Then in our colonies, children live in nature housed in tented camp with a dry shelter nearby. Our organic farm covers 25 hectares, mainly grasslands, with 6 hectares of managed forest and a beautiful organic garden in which the children will reap the vegetables before cooking for dinner with us. They can also discover the techniques of green building in our buildings: insulation wood, lime and organic hemp, solar energy, water management, vermicomposting ...
What looks like their typical day?
Sunrise smoothly breakfast outdoors, and then we alternate creative activities with games and "physical" outputs more. The goal is to enable children to define and implement, in a small group, a creative project inspired by nature: land'art, green music, building a solar oven or a wind turbine, write and perform a story in the forest ... And between creativity sessions, allow them to romp through cooperative games, outings or pony swim, treasure hunts, mini-hikes, picnics ...