Planting trees… and ideas

We went planting trees with some other homeschoolers and some students who were on a course learning how to be rangers. I called the students “teenagers” but I suspect they were older. Helena worked with a lovely young woman called Claire. I heard Helena talking, talking, talking. Helena said Claire thought she was a plant specialist due to her recounting everything she remembed from David Attenborough’s Kingdom of plants. Helena doesn’t think she is, maybe she’s more aware of what she doesn’t know. I heard Fergus, a bearded young man, talking and working with a 3 year old in such a respectful way. I wonder if the students are made aware of all the possible employment ideas such as Forest Schools. I was very impressed with the students, with their practical clothes, their healthy food, nice manners… I doubt Helena will remember these “teenagers” by the time she is their age but I hope the idea is sown that young adults do this kind of thing, they spend time outside, that young adults are approachable and kind. People rise to the occasion but so often we hear about the kids in the news who do unspeakable things or people just complaining about teenagers.

“It was Tuesday, the day when K comes so we had to take him with us to go tree planting. My friends were there and lots of teenagers. We went through the bush together. First of all two of my friends and their mum and most of the teenagers and then came me the rest of my friends and two more teenagers. We went along through the bush, me and my friends ran ahead and then after a long time we came to a bridge and then we walked a little more and found ourselves in the area we were planting. Then we had to buddy up with one of the teenagers. Me and K went with Claire but K and I argued too much so he went off with mum to plant. I kept  on planting with Claire. I really liked one of the types of plants. It came in a cool container and had little green leaves. It wasn’t prickly like K’s kahicatea. First of all you have to dig one side by jumping on the spade. I liked trying to cut through the roots. Then you have dig the other three sides and on the last side you dig up the piece of dirt making a hole. Then one of you has to hold the plant in the hole while the other fills the dirt around the plant. Then you have to tuck it on, which means stamping around the tree and moving your hands carefully to tuck it in. Then you have to find three sticks and a plastic sheild so that the tree doesn’t get caught by the wind. You stick the three sticks around the plant and slip the shield around the sticks to shelter it from the wind. I planted 13 trees. I had a good time talking to Claire. I want to visit the trees to see how big they’ve grown.”

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