You know that saying “Have faith like a child”? I wish we could coin something along the lines of “Experience nature like a child”. I don’t have kids, but my experience as a camp director and as an aunt leads me to this conclusion: Kids know how to enjoy the outdoors. They don’t need any instruction about how to hunt for bugs or collect acorns or dig a hole. These simple (and often boring, to adults) activities can entertain them for hours.
As a camp director, if I walked up to a group of kindergartens hunched over in a circle, I would immediately know that there was some sort of slimy, dirty thing they were investigating. My response was usually to bring them back into whatever activity they were supposed to be participating in– tag, soccer, or the like. But I think I am repenting now. I have lost my child-like eyes when it comes to nature. I want to be utterly fascinated by a fuzzy caterpillar and filled with questions about why ants seem to like this particular tree. It’s a whole form of experiential learning that I’ve long forgotten.
So I think I will sit and collect acorns a little longer, and see if I can get it back.