Youth and Elders Programs

Free Attendance and Cooperative Childcare for Little Kids

In the early years children need love, respect and opportunities for exploration. The childcare cooperative will provide your child with just that. We will take walks through the Gathering area to support our connection to the deeper community. Nature-based sensory experience will be the basis of our program. We are an inclusive program and welcome all children. If your child has special needs, please contact info@fireflygathering.org, so we can work with you to insure that appropriate support is available. The cooperative is managed by staff who are experienced with young children, with additional support from worktraders and family members. As it is a cooperative, families who utilize the service are expected to contribute at least one shift during the Gathering.

Kids

Ages 8-12

We are evoking kids' sense of wonder and indulging their curiosities with our kids' program this year at Firefly. We have re-vamped the kids program this year to make it more engaging, cohesive, and awesome! Kids' Program tickets are offered on a sliding scale for full event, weekend, and day passes, and can be found on the registration page. The kids will have two consistent instructors every morning who are inspiring a connection with & love of the natural world through games, classes, and activities. In the afternoons, kids will be offered choices of awesome classes taught by a variety of instructors.

Teens

Ages 13-18

This year at the Firefly Gathering we are offering activities specifically for teens to celebrate the transition into adulthood. During this time of coming of age, we will be supporting growth, transformation and self-confidence. We will track our best selves and discover our growth edges through connecting with the natural world. We are creating a healthy teen hangout space staffed by mentors as a touchstone for teens as they learn how to transform into healthy adulthood. We have an experienced teen program staff who will work in subtle and fun ways to help the teens through this important passage.

Teens, come out and join us in telling stories, playing games, learning traditional skills, sneaking and stalking, and adventures of your own creation. Teen camp will be staffed by , Hannah Stampe, Joe Dofflemyer, Michael Ismerio and Meredith Parsons. We will meet every morning for games and adventures, then separate in the afternoons for classes, then reconvene each evening around the teen fire, share stories from our days and spin our web of mischief and mystery.

Elders

We are planning on our Elders Program being a unique mix of formal classes and informal discussions that range from ancestral healing and connectivity, to archetypical stories and the passages a mature human being experiences. The nest in which these community-building experiences take place in will be a welcoming intergenerational space of open minds and open hearts, facilitated by many of the elders in our earth-skills community.

You are cordially invited to come for Tea at the Elder's Hedge and Ancestral Fire this year at the Firefly gathering in Bell's Cove. Sangoma, an African traditional ancestral priest, along with Daniel Foor of AncestralMedicine.org, are excited to welcome you in for stories, songs and prayers that strengthen the bonds between the living, dead and those waiting to be born. This year...the Elders Hedge will provide not only a workshop space but Sacred space in which some powerful subject matter may be considered and discussed.

An ancestor shrine will be co created by Firefly participants, tended by those who are "called" to reconnect to personal family history or honoring the spirits of a place. In order to see more clearly the roads ahead of us, we must reflect on ALL roads that led to the present moment. Bring your curiosity, pictures/possessions of loved ones that departed the earth's marketplace...this year or hundred years ago.

Learn more about the "realms" of the spirit world, summerlands...other side! What are the tools, rituals and ceremonies that help to repair losses from curses, addictions and dysfunctions in our family lineages...? How do we recreate a clean slate for the children of tomorrow? Every open heart is welcome!

Ancestor Reverence and Ritual

Everyone has loving and wise ancestors, and by reaching out for their support we access tremendous vitality for personal and family healing. Our ancestors help us to clarify our destiny, important relationships, and work in the world. Attendees will learn ways to safely and directly engage family and older lineage ancestors for guidance, healing, and inspiration. Inclusive, heart-centered ritual will include offerings and praise for our diverse ancestors and practices to establish boundaries with the dead who are not yet at peace. All experience levels welcome, including those with a troubled family or no knowledge of their ancestors.

Earth Ritual and Honoring Spirits of Place

Those not raised in indigenous, animist cultures can (re)claim innate human capacities to relate well with the larger web of life and reality. This teaching and group ritual will focus on spirits of place: nearby animals, plants, fungi, and other biological kin; the human ancestors who lived and died in a place; elemental powers of water, wind, fire, and earth; and other deities and nature spirits who speak through and as the land. Participants will learn a framework and skills for honoring other-than-human kin, and well offer inclusive ritual to honor and feast the local spirits who hold the container for the Firefly Gathering.

More to Come...

The Elder Tent and Ancestral Fire Sacred Space are designed to be open to meeting the needs of our community, which means anyone is welcome to bring questions, discussion topics, healing intention, stories and meaningful connections of all sorts.