In early winter, I had a meeting with an group of educators I meet with on a monthly basis to talk about large muscle play in the classroom. As we were leaving the meeting, one of the members off-evenhandedly asked another member about their adventure play event at his school. That question was all that was needed for the light to go on. I had read blogs over the past couple of years that talked about adventure play events. The one I have seen the most is Pop-up Adventure Play. It just so happens that the member asking the question is involved in Twin City Adventure Play. In January, I asked to meet with the group to talk about the possibility of doing our retirement party. I liked what I heard and asked them to give me a proposal I could send along to our advisory council. When the advisory council saw the proposal, they were on board immediately.
Fast forward to last Saturday. Parents had been gathering cardboard boxes of all sizes, cardboard tubes, fabric, sticks, rods, tape and you-name-it for two weeks. It was time to party. All the materials were laid out on the lawn.
The coordinator gathered the volunteers for a brief training, a training that encompassed their role in the event.
As the afternoon progressed, more and more people came and everyone kept busy. The adults got to visit and the children played. Old acquaintances were renewed and new friends were made.
At the end, there was a little talking to the group about us and we got to thank the families for all they had given us over the years.
As I drove home from the event, I could not stop smiling. I was ecstatic; I was floating on air. Ostensibly the families had come to celebrate our retirement. In actuality they came to celebrate a community; a community of families they had helped build over the years that respects children and their rights, that respects others and are not so quick to judge; a community that knows how to build community and will carry on.
We had well over 400 people who came and went throughout the afternoon. Sadly, I did not even get to talk to everyone who came. So let me now say to all of you: thank you for a splendid party. It was a superb sendoff.
P. S. I need to send a special thank you to Seniz and Damian from Twin City Adventure Play
for creating the framework for our community to pull off this event. I hope others come to see the value in your work and guidance.
I also need to give a special thank you to the planning committee who spent many hours planning the event not really knowing what would happen but having the faith and conviction to make it happen. Thank you Nora, Vanessa, Anne, Brianna, Becca, Ella, and Dawn. You throw a great party!