televisions, computers, cell phones, wii’s and I-Pods– and a life where friends are communicated with more by electronics than in person. Imagine a life consisting of schedules and structure. Imagine the future that this life will bring.
Then imagine you walk into Coyote Tracks.
You’re surrounded by nature; wildlife is hidden around every corner and under every rock. You’re sent out to be alone in nature. You’re invited on an adventure to stalk through the woods. You take knife in hand and shape a piece of wood into a tool, recognizing for the first time that wood is a gift from a living thing. You see the life and death struggle of plants and animals and realize you too ask sacrifices of the plants and animals you consume to survive. You touch water, realizing what a precious and endangered gift it is. You don a blindfold and take on challenges you never could have imagined. You laugh raucously. You help a friend. You do your share of chores because you know that everyone in the community needs to contribute. You create a basket with your own hands and marvel at what you and the plants have created. You work persistently, intent on getting a fire with a bow drill and shriek with delight as your first flame bursts from the tinder bundle. You may even cry at the sheer beauty and wonder of a sunset.
Once you have touched this, has the future changed? Can you go back to the land of electronics and not remember the inspiration you received in the woods? If you think this is beyond the experience of a child and you think Coyote Tracks is just a fun week at camp, you did not hear one boy this summer as he said to his mother, almost in a plea, “How can we go home?” He touched on what life can be. He’s experienced an alternative, he’s been inspired. Although he will have to learn to reconcile the two lifestyles, he walks differently on the Earth. Has his future changed? We change the future one child at a time.