Head Start and ThorpeWood: Graduating to the world outside

EDITOR’S NOTE: Originally posted on ThorpeWood’s website in June. But with summer ending and school starting again, it seemed like a good time to share. Also, please note the information below the blog entry about ThorpeWood’s 10th Annual 10K Trail Run/5K Trail Walk this Sunday.


Graduation in the homestead barn (our rainy day location)

For our final Head Start visit of the school year, we begin at Sam’s house, our trailhead.

From here, we venture down the narrow and rocky trail which meanders back to a one-room log cabin. Along the way we gasp at the turbulent stream below and collect acorn hats.

When the cabin comes into view, we imagine who might live there. A horse? Mr. Sam? Spiders?

Now on the cabin porch, Sam explains the concept of graduation, thus preparing our ‘friends’ to find their graduation certificates. When we open the door, our crowd flows in, searching for their names and pictures.

The better readers helpfully shout out names as they scan the array of certificates propped against the wall, windows, and wood stove. Although the taped-on lollipops tempt them to do otherwise, our ‘friends’ then relinquish their certificates to the teacher, thus freeing up their hands for the coming fun.

Directly below the cabin, the stream flows and ripples over rocks and under fallen branches. Enticed by this sight, we zig zag down the steep hill to the shore.

As if by instinct, everyone gathers rocks and launches them into the rapids. Other than the basic direction of “don’t hit anyone,” we allow them to do whatever they please. Inevitably someone dips a toe in, looks back to shore, waits to be scolded. But we don’t say a word.

So he (most often she) goes in deeper, past his ankles, with his friends following suit. Shoes and socks are deserted. I ferry ‘friends’ through the rapids as Sam encourages rock climbers on the far bank’s biggest boulder. Everyone is in the water, screeching, splashing, and free. The loud, the restless, and the disobedient now can do no wrong, for we are already doing the most fun, wild thing imaginable. For a change, they are praised, not scolded, for getting wet and dirty, for being children.

This is the world we grew up in. This is the world we want to share.


EDITORS NOTE: While we are sharing the blog entry above about ThorpeWood, we thought we would also include this information about their outstanding Annual 10K Trail Run/5K Trail Walk. Online registration is now closed, but participants can register before the run/wall before the race, on the day of the event.

SEPTEMBER 3, 2017 • 9:00AM
(REGISTRATION AT 8:00AM)
10th Annual 10K Trail Run/5K Trail Walk

Fall is just around the corner and so is our Annual 10K Trail Run/5K Trail Walk. On September 3rd at 9am (registration is at 8am) we will kick off our 10th Annual Trail Event. Come and experience the beauty on Catoctin Mountain as you run or walk the beautiful trails on our property.

You can register here. You may also register the day of the event. Registration fees on Race day increase by $5. ONLY PRE-REGISTRANTS WILL RECEIVE A T-SHIRT.

Bring a team of folks and run together as many of the employees of our sponsors do …they have a ball on the course because they do it as a group. Also, remember the 5K Trail fun run/walk can be such fun for the whole family, including FIDO on a leash!

There will be Door Prizes, as before, awards for the top 3 male and female, beer from Flying Dog Brewery and more!! A newly designed t-shirt will be given to pre-registrants as well!

Fandi decided to greet our Head Start Friends when they arrived one morning.

If you are interested in volunteering for this event please contact Julie Castleman, jcastleman@thorpewood.org or call 301-271-2823.

Fandi decided to greet our Head Start Friends when they arrived one morning.

As in previous years, proceeds from this event benefit Head Start and the YMCA of Frederick County to participate in ThorpeWood’s Equine Assisted Learning program.


The blog entry about the Headstart graduation was originally published here.

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