Wilderness Tracking: Primary School at the Bäke
Since October 2022, three complete 2nd grade classes from the Primary School at the Bäke have been participating in the Wilderness Tracking. They are supervised by our wilderness mentors and the three class leaders. Initially, the groups went to the nearby Bäkepark. After the children gradually got accustomed to Rüdiger and his team, excursions to the Grunewald could be undertaken.
Positive developments and insights
⭐ Children like to play the many different games
⭐ Good mood among the majority of the children, although there was a lot of rain on the appointments
⭐Children are very annoyed by people who throw their trash in the park (Bear Park).
⭐ Possible to relocate the group from Bäkepark to the forest after 4-6 appointments
➡️ Learn how to behave in the forest, e.g. don’t break anything off (humans are guests there)
⭐ Great joy and gratitude among children about their first visits to the forest (e.g. Grunewald)
✅ Hut/Tipi built (great joy for the children)
✅ Campfire made
✅ Pictures made from natural materials
✅ Hike to Teufelsberg
✅ Slow worm seen
✅ Picnic with a great view
✅ Predatory bird (hawk) landed above the group in the tree when the small group behaved very calmly
✅ Forest visits provided a completely new experience for several children
❌ Children annoyed by all the rain on most appointments
❌ Partly cold days (this is when a lot of movement games are played)
❌ Children were sometimes very lively and restless
➡️ Many games and movement necessary, informative phases had to be kept short at the beginning
❌ Some of the children found it very difficult to sit in a circle and listen to each other at the beginning.
❌ Strong fear of spiders and ants in several children (did not want to come into contact with soil)
Quotes from the social workers
🗨️ “Happy children, despite the rain.”
🗨️ “The children were eager to participate.”
🗨️ “Rüdiger and his team take over completely, I could observe. Great, you can perceive the children in a completely different way.”
🗨️ “The children are having so much fun!”
🗨️ “Rüdiger has a really good intuition.”
🗨️ “Many found the hike exhausting, but an absolute highlight!”
It took a few dates until the children really got into the programme and were able to engage in new experiences. Since then, they have enjoyed it even more! An exciting observation was the children’s fear of the dirty ground as well as spiders and ants and the fact that some children had actually never been in the forest before. This clearly shows that many urban children are losing their connection to nature and that the project is providing important impulses.
➔ Three 2nd classes (since autumn 2022)