In the month of August, 2020, we are still reeling and dealing with continued health care issues and safety protocols for our families and neighborhoods as the COVID virus continues to creep through our communities. Asking and searching for solutions to how our children and youth will return to school—or not—at the end of this month is a reality.
As we continue to navigate the new paths you may be choosing to take, and in tandem with the facilitator/mentor training we are currently offering, I (penny) will share some suggestions for offering permaculture designed educational options with children and youth, and families.
INTRODUCTION: What is a Permablitz? Permablitz is an informal gathering involving a day on which a group of at least two people, or a whole neighborhood block of families come together to achieve the following:
~Create or add to edible gardens based on principles and ethics of permaculture
~Share skills related to permaculture and sustainable living
~Build community of like-minded people
The term permablitz is a contraction of permaculture + blitz, where a blitz simply means a focused effort to get something done.
Permablitzes are always free, public events, with free workshops and shared food, where you get some exercise and have a good time. Permablitzes run on reciprocity, which means you build a network with others “blitzing” on each other’s property/home-spaces.
“Officially” speaking, to be defined as a permablitz each event must be underpinned by a permaculture design by someone with a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) – the most basic permaculture qualification.
Here’s an easy to follow structure and guide for a one-day perma-blitz or day-camp. This outline is focused on involving children and youth, with a facilitator/mentor team as well, and with consideration of the developmental phases and learning styles:
1. Opening/Morning. If this is a more than one day blitz or camp, recap any previous days content or work you’ve accomplished.ts well as, tools and resources available and organized. Be prepared to demonstrate and give safety protocols for tool usage. Designate older youth to partner with young ones and act as guides.
2. Introduce any new steps to your new day’s project or lessons. Remember to make the content user friendly for at least three learning styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic. If I don’t have everything pre-made in the form of a simple, readable and illustrated chart, I like to use live graphic facilitation whenever possible. Drawing, storytelling or guiding along as you go, demonstrates all three learning styles listed above. Always have drawing materials available for children! Graphic or visual recording is great if you are outdoors with no electricity in sight. Having a small-scale white board with non-toxic dry erase markers works well. I take rolls of butcher paper and unfurl it in a line so that kids can draw in mural style. The used butcher paper can be put on display later for the gallery walk and it can be composted in the garden as mulch, or in your worm bin.
3. After Lunch. Recall morning lesson and focus on action! Keep it physical/hands-on. You can wander in the woods and use games that link up and crossover the theme you were sharing in the morning
4. Closing. A gallery walk. A show/talk/share discussing questions such as:Where were we?What did we do?What will we take with us into our time away from each other?
5. Goodbye until we meet again! Have a closing circle and remember to get everyone’s contact information, for next time!
Let us know if you plan and host a permablitz and how it went!
~article by `Penny Krebiehl for Little Artshram friends and family