CBEEN Members attend Child & Nature Network International Conference
Three CBEEN members attended the Child and Nature Network International Conference held in Vancouver on April 18-21. Brittany Haugen, Courtney Haeusler and Glenda Newsted all enjoyed attending the premier international gathering of leaders, advocates and activists from the children and nature movement. CBEEN supported Courtney and Brittany in attending as part of CBEEN’s Professional Development Bursary Program.
Courtney attended 2 “walkshops” and gained valuable tricks and tips that she can use while in the field. These deepened her awareness to the importance of the changing seasons and what the birds, trees, wildlife are doing at each season. “We did a hand-on-activity where everyone had a bird call, and then our leader told a story at stated the time and we were to “sing” when our bird generally sings. It’s a neat activity to do with kids as they can be aware that birds chat and sing in the morning and at evenings the most. We learned about bee’s about played a game to help children understand what happens in a bee-hive. But making a “nature cocktail” was such a neat idea, as then we had a smell and feel of many of our natural surroundings. My other walkshop gave us art activities we could use with kids while out in nature. We made “short sketches” on our nature walk which heightens our appreciated and connections to the natural world. Aside from these “walkshops” I also feel I learned the most by connecting with other educators from around the globe, especially those that are doing a Forest School. I gained insight into how other non-profit operate, how they gain charity status, and become sustainable.”
Brittany shared that “This conference was more than just a learning opportunity, but it inspired me and gave me the motivation and encouragement I needed to continue doing the work that I do as an aboriginal educator. I learned that I am not in this alone that there are thousands of people around the world working towards the movement of connecting children to nature. I learned that the movie avatar has 6 distinct First Nations connections in the movie the tree of life being the cedar, traditional tea medicine, root medicine, weaving, smudging, connection to earth and protection of land. I was also inspired as a mentor to come to the table as an equal to the youth I work with and take the time to learn from then more than what Teachings I have to share with them. I was also inspired to create as many leadership opportunities for the young leaders to be a part of because they are the next generation of leaders and they will only save what they love so exposing them to as many opportunities to connect to nature is going to set them up for success in the future. I learned ways to provide a vision that can inspire and move people towards children and nature. Re-envision what education is by merging communities and classrooms by connecting to the local First Nations groups to learn about native plants, creating community/school gardens, supporting pollinators and by having the youth you work with lead these initiatives.There are so many resources out there to support your ideas and to not be afraid to try.”
Courtney added that “I just wanted to express my gratitude to CBEEN for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity to attend this international conference. I was thrilled when I heard it was coming to Canada and just had to find a way to go. The bursary allowed me to financial afford the conference and take off time from work to attend.”
They would recommend other CBEEN members to check out:
- The Dot by Peter Reynolds
- Ish by Peter Reynolds
- Vitamin N by Richard Louv
- Coyotes Guide to Connecting with Nature
- Canadian Wildlife Federation
A big thanks to Glenda Newsted for gathering up resources for CBEEN’s mobile resource table. We look forward to sharing these with you at an EE event near you!