I deeply enjoy volunteering. But of all my volunteer work, leading young people through the forest was one of the most fulfilling experiences.
I don’t often have opportunities to interact with young people, but when I do, I revel in their geniusness, lack of societal programming, and how open their minds are. I showed them edible/medicinal plants, various animals, the importance of tree snags and nurse logs, talked about mycelium being the brain of the forest, did an observation/awareness exercise silently using their eyes and ears, talked about earthing, guided them on visualizing the perspective of a tree, a bird, a cloud, a mountain, talked about nature stewardship, forest succession, the dangers of smart phones etc etc etc. We went for a several mile hike in the Columbia Gorge. I learned just as much as they did.