Posted by: csdailyblog | October 26, 2010

Conserve School Students Visit Organic Farm and Drum Circle

Emma and Annelise

Field Instructors Bennett Rock and Rachel Maxwell took students Katie N., Kira, Erica, Annelise, Madeline, Emma and Kaydee on an off-the-beaten-track outing Sunday to a local organic farm and to non-profit peace organization Many Ways of Peace in Eagle River for a drum circle.

Rachel sent me an e-mail describing the trip:

We made a detour stop to Margie’s farm [Margie Rychlock is a former Conserve School Field Instructor] on the way there, to help her out in cleaning up her property by picking up aluminum cans that were all over the property from the previous owner and dropping them off at the Humane Shelter, since we had a big Sprinter.  Margie gave an impromptu tour and told the students all about her plans to build a “green” home, complete with composting toilet, wood stove and the works.  She showed us around her vegetable garden, and you’ll see in some of the pictures, she brought us to her chicken coop and the girls got to pick up chickens.  They really loved the side visit to Margie’s farm and were asking to come back there and do community service.  It was a fun way to sneak some education in unexpectedly.


We were invited to the Many Ways of Peace Center for a drum circle personally by the folks there after a large group of our students—about 15 of them—went there for the International Day of Peace Celebration last month, which I believe you wrote about in our blog.  We did a drum circle while we were at that first event, and the students really enjoyed it then, so we brought this group down for more.  We drummed for nearly two hours, with homemade drums, tambourines and other handheld instruments.  The drum circle experience is about finding a rhythm with those around you, without communicating or planning in advance, so that when one begins, all fall in behind and synchronize as they go along.  It’s an amazing way to have fun, relax and let loose while also connecting with those around you through finding that common beat and working together to create something beautiful.  Music isn’t often made together unless people are more practiced musicians, which is exactly what makes a drum circle a unique opportunity for anyone to be a part of the joy of creating music.  The students really enjoyed it and have been invited back to the next circle in November.  They also supported the Many Ways of Peace Center by buying small items like jewelry, posters, cards and other things the center sells to keep itself afloat.  There is also a small library there where the students rented out various books and DVDs.  It’s a really wonderful connection we’ve made with the community for a purpose I’m excited to see the students involved in. 

(The fluffballs that the students are holding in the photos are exotic bantam chickens.)

Thank you, Rachel, for passing on these details and the photos for the blog!

Mary Anna

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