Maybe it was the vivid memory of being 7 years old and being in a car that my father drove through the middle of a huge tree. Everytime I hear the word "redwood" this memory comes immediately to mind. That's exactly what happened in the bookstore as I saw "Operation Redwood"by S Terrell French,a new release, on the counter.
I immediately purchased it, took it home, and started turning pages. This is a story that doesn't disappoint. 12 year old Julian Carter-Li accidentally reads an email he shouldn't be reading only to find himself in a fight to save an old growth stand of the oldest trees in the world, the Redwoods. The story unfolds with a great sense of discovery. The children discover themselves, their values, and their shared love of an old grove of trees which has become a part of their lives.
There are many twists and turns but ultimately it was the vision and spirit of team work that lead this group of young people to a brilliant success. The message is loud and clear, anyone can make a difference.
One of the reasons the children felt so connected to this grove of trees was discovery and the sharing of their discoveries. Julian didn't know that the redwoods were in trouble. He didn't even know it was an issue. Robin, her sister,best friend had all shared countless memories in the old grove, as well as , two big brothers who had shared a secret treehouse. Only when their sisters reached a certain age would they be told the secret of how to get up the very tall tree and into the treehouse. Julian, together with his best friend Danny, discover how to stand up for what is truly important.
With that said, it is time for us to take a journey into the woods or forest and see what we can share.
Let's play 'Into the Forest". Here's how we play:
- Go as a family, or a group of friends.
- Bring along any or all of these items;a camera,journal,sketchbook,pencils, and crayons
- Once in the forest, set boundaries so that no one gets lost. Use the buddy system. No one is left alone.
Now we are ready for our Scavenger Hunt. Have a look at the lists below. See how many things you can find. Be sure to look, touch, smell,listen, and watch as much as you can. Please feel free to write down your discoveries,photograph them, or just sit in wonder of sharing such a grand experience.
Dead tree Wild flowers pine cone Berries Vine Poison Ivy
Stream Creek grass clover leaf Moss Pine tree
Seeds pods soil eroding soil rock mud
sand fern y shaped twig Trash acorn nuts
pine needles tree blossoms hole in a tree tree stump pond dark leaves
light leaves small pebbles unusual leaves colored rocks different shades of color
dew tree fungus season changes catepillars squirrels bird
ants butterfly snails beetles feather salamander
lizard ladybug spider spider web birds nest insects
deer tracks raccoon tracks frog leaf eat by insect proof of animals
proof of people
Leaves under your feet wind in the trees sound of a bee
birds singing crickets Water running
Noises in the forests Wet mud rotten wood
Wind blowing rocks hitting water rocks tumbling in water
Pine tree flowers Mud grass water fresh air cedar tree
Watch and share:
Animals eating leaves falling to the ground spider web being built
insect in a spider web An ant moving something Wind blowing in the leaves
fish jumping moving clouds sunlight coming through the trees
sunrise sunset stars in the night sky
Lightning bugs reflections in water trail markers
animal homes shelters
After all of your discoveries today sit with your family or group and share all of the wonderful moments you felt, heard, touched and smelled. If you have some photos of your walk into the forest that you would like to share please do so here.
For more information about the Redwood Forest and where you can see these trees of size of yourself have a look here:
- Big Basin Redwood State Park
- Muir Woods National Monument
- Humboldt Redwoods State Park
- Redwood National and State Parks