Gather your Tools for Adventure
Welcome to Part 3 about what to expect at Trackers. This update introduces more pieces to the Game of Tracking. Remember, if you’re registered for a Trackers program, you will also get a reminder letter specific to your program just before program start.
For this update, we want to introduce the Trackers Relics…
Tracking is a pursuit that inspires adventure and connection to nature. It can benefit the entire family. Relics are what we call the “game pieces” kids use to engage in the Game of Tracking. They are symbols of the Trackers Code, along with a reminder to practice certain skills that help kids grow.
To understand the Game of Tracking and its Relics (game pieces), we must understand where we play that game. A Trackers Camp is a place every Tracker finds for themselves where they observe and connect with nature. Visiting the same place in nature every day has a profound impact on a young Tracker’s relationship to it. While grand vistas of wilderness are awesome, a Tracker also forges a deep connection to nature by spending time in our backyards and parks. There are several kinds of Trackers Camps, all outside:
- Village Camp: Where community and many generations gather.
- Family Camp: A special place where your family can gather.
- Team Camp: Where kids in a Trackers Team visit to play and train skills together.
- Secret Camp: Where an individual Tracker goes to connect to nature.
A Hearthstone, the first Trackers Relic, reminds us to return to our Camps over and over again until they feel like family.
Every Trackers Camp has a Hearthstone. Village Camp might have a grand hearthstone. While a Secret Camp has one that can fit your pocket. The Hearthstone helps a Tracker remember their connection to family, nature, and many generations (youngers and elders). It is often the keystone of a fire Hearth.
A Secret Stone should be small enough to hide in your hand and fit in your pocket (other Hearthstones can be bigger). This Hearthstone reminds a Tracker to return to that same place every day near sunrise and sunset. Here’s how we use this game piece:
- Every morning, the Tracker visits their Secret Camp every morning to retrieve their Secret Stone. They start off carrying it in their right pocket.
- When they do One Good Turn (good deed) for family, nature, and other generations, they can move their Secret Stone to their left pocket.
- In the evening, they return their Secret Stone to their Secret Camp.
Remember to Bring your Trackers Stick to Camp on Day 1!
Before camp, your child should find a Stick to bring with them. We ask this to keep a sustainable relationship with the forest. Every camper should have their own Stick with them on Day 1 of camp. Below are guidelines for how to find the perfect Stick.
Sustainably harvest at home – Never cut without permission. Standing, your stick is two hands higher than your elbow. Find wood that is straight, so it rolls on the floor with few bumps. Light enough for walking with, but sturdy enough to lean your knee into it without breaking.
Every Tracker carries a Stick for traversing, tracking, survival, navigating and more. They also first learn to use a woodcarving knife by whittling on their Trackers Stick. They even learn epic stick fighting skills, safely of course, with their Stick always becoming a constant companion in every wild adventure.
Follow the Compass
For the Game of Tracking, your child will lay their stick down by their bedside every evening if they followed the Trackers Compass that day (see below). If they missed a Compass point, they can stand their stick up to remind them to try again the next day.
The final element a Tracker needs to play the Game of Tracking is their Kit. A Trackers Kit identifies kids as Trackers and prepares them for survival. A Trackers Kit is organized and encompasses the clothing and gear they need to adventure in the wilds. A Kit also includes their Trackers Band.
Every camper is given a Trackers Band on their first Trackers Adventure lasting longer than 3 days. Think of it like a martial arts belt. It is a Tracker’s responsibility to care for their Kit, keeping it neat and all their gear in working order. The last update covered what to pack in your Trackers Kit
More to Come!
We hope this helps you and your child prepare for the Game of Tracking—to find the best Trackers Stick to bring to the first day of camp and to assemble an awesome Trackers Kit. Collecting these Relics helps a young Tracker play the Game of Tracking, seeking adventure every day! As always, message us back with questions and ideas and…
Our next update about Trackers Teams and playing the Game of Tracking will be…
Part IV: The Trackers Journal
The Journal is the board on which you play the Game of Tracking. Each camper will get a Trackers Journal, chock full of tracking missions, nature secrets, treasure hunts, and more!