At the end of each session of Bush Inventors’ Club, the facilitators meet to discuss and document the highlights and challenges and adjust preparations for the next session if required. At the end of the term I review this information in order to provide a summary to staff. As I went through the debrief documentation from this term, there was one word that popped up quite a few times. That word was Joy!

Joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

We had joy towards many different things from the magic of fire, the spontaneous games, jumping in puddles. It was evident through the stories shared there were many moments of joy this term, for facilitators and children alike.

Fire is such a joyous thing. The excitement about getting it lit, the anticipation and success of cooking on it, the way that it brings people together. The first few sessions of the term are about learning about fire and having time to practice. There is a joy that the whole group feels when someone succeeds at lighting the fire! As we move into cooking different things on the fire there is always a joy around when we get to eat the thing that we have worked hard on preparing and have waited patiently for it to cook. In our last session at Beehive Montessori there was joy around the fire as we sat together, talked about the term, and sung some songs.

Throughout many different sessions at almost all our locations there were spontaneous games! These brought joy as the children ran around playing tag, hiding from each other, or stealing each other’s hammocks. Some games were facilitator-led at the beginning of sessions, which then led to child led games and variations.

The joy of puddles and the weather! Okay yes, we had a few sessions in some quite heavy and cold rain. Now this could go one of two ways; it could be a challenge or we can make the best of it and have some fun creating waterproof shelters and jumping in puddles!

The joy of stories! There are a bunch of different types of stories that we tell, some to give instructions in an entertaining way others to share experiences. Sometimes facilitators tell stories and sometimes the children tell stories. Whenever someone begins to tell a story the mood shifts, people are ready to listen and hear the story. After many of the stories this term there was laughter and joy as we recalled various snippets over the remainder of the session.

We are looking forward to next term and to the adventures and joy we will discover together!