The North Carolina Unschoolers run a sub-group called FLT (Families Learning Together) which has a campout-type get together twice per year. We got in on their fall gathering and met up at a 4-H camp in the mountains of NC about one hour from here.
The weekend was such a great affirmation of our lifestyle, as these gatherings usually are. We had the privilege of hanging out with many unschooling families we knew from the conference and meeting some new folks that we really enjoyed. The kids were SO happy to be there, having missed the Live and Learn conference this year (all but Trevor of course).
Our cabin mates were the Woodwards, a most interesting and inspirational couple that have raised most of their homeschooled children. Doug Woodward
has a book out that I think many of you would enjoy, it's titled "Wherever Water Flows"
. It's full of the many kayaking and rafting adventures that Doug embraced throughout his life. I'm glad we got to share some time with them!
Jalen made a new friend too....a small man named Tavin that seemed to speak his language. His mother and I exchanged tales of challenging issues they seemed to have in common, which is always helpful when you're dealing with an "out-of-synch" child. Tavin's older sister was another Sierra...our Sierra thought that was pretty cool.:)
We made another small friend that is fascinated with vehicles and spent a lot of time in our van checking out all the features. He was so sweet. "When you say I can go in your van, that means 'yes' always?" he asked.
"Yes, you can go in my van anytime you want" I would reassure.
He looked so relieved, like he couldn't believe his good fortune in finding an open vehicle for his learning adventures!. His family's vehicle was old hat apparently, he needed some newness to make it more exciting.
Old friends from Pensacola came by (they moved away a few years ago) on Sunday. We haven't seen Alice and Pete for a loooong time and their kids had grown a bunch of course. They were the very first unschooling family we ever met in Pensacola! Now that they're considering a move to the mountains, we might be seeing more of them again.**
Felix (also known as Arielle) gave Sierra some green hair, it's still rather fluorescent looking. Very cool. My kids had a really hard time saying goodbye to the Kuipers, after all, they fulfill the sibling-type bonds that each of our families couldn't. Sierra has older "sisters" and the Triple A's (Amelia, Arielle and Autumn) finally have some "brothers". Oh, and I even got some Dominique tears on my shoulder, a required rite of parting at any unschooling gathering!
We're feeling rather refreshed after being with part of our "tribe" all weekend, but also missing them. The kids are scheming about how to get together again for Halloween. It will never be enough unless they all move to our street!
**that was a big 'ol hint for LeaAnn in particular (move, move!!) and anyone else that is thinking about moving to these beautiful mountains.