Since there isn’t a lot of time for crafting at home, but I’m still full of stories from our summer in New Hampshire, it seems appropriate to share some of those tales.
One cool morning, when we had no visits planned, and the kids seemed like they would benefit from a little one-on-one attention, Sophie and I kayaked across Thorndike Pond to visit our friend Emily, a retired kindergarten teacher from Rhode Island. Several years ago, she built a nature path through the woods next to her cabin, stocked with tchotchke you wouldn’t expect to see in a woodland setting. Sophie and I thought it would be fun to create our own letterboxing trail on Emily’s path for other children to visit.
If you’ve never heard of letterboxing, it is a scavenger hunt that leads to a buried box where adventurers collect a stamp on their notepad and leave a stamp, signature or note in the trail box. The creators of the trail return periodically to see who has left their mark in the book and to check on the supplies. There are letterboxing trails all over the world; you can look up a list of trails for your next hike or walk, and if there are none registered you can create your own.
We found a plastic deli container in the kitchen, filled it with a stamp, a small inkpad and a notepad. Starting at the end of our trail, we buried the container in some loose dirt under a tree. Then we went back to the beginning to create the clues that would ultimately lead to the letterbox.
The first clue was left with Emily. It directed adventurers to the birdhouse where the second clue was tucked in the fin of the wicker flying fish. And so on and so on.
Thank you Emily and Rosie for sharing our enthusiasm, and to Kristin for introducing the idea to our preschool class.