Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Welcome to the august Arboretum! ‘Museum of trees’
This is Chilton Magic Garden in the Awesome Alkham Valley, Kent. It was planted many years ago adjoining the Kearsney Parks and is now part of Chilton Farm.
Chil-ton dates back to Anlgo-saxon times and some say it means Child-town, whilst others say it’s meaning is ‘place by the spring’. Well, today it represents both, as Chilton is a beautiful place by the springs of the River Dour and it is also home to the childrens’ ‘Chilton Magic Garden’.
We are the children of Chilton Magic Garden and this is our blog.
Sunday 11 July 21
We met and went to the campfire in the majestic arboretum.
We welcomed each other and all said our names and shared memories of the happiest feelings in your lives. These are a few of them,
‘I felt joy and exhilaration when I was being pulled on the water sofa in Turkey, with my sister and 2 other children’
‘At Christmas when I was given a toy remote-controlled car from my family. I felt so happy!’
‘I was given a teddy pig from grandma and I still love it’
We were round the fire and we talked about GRATITUDE, ATTITUDE and PURPOSE. Some of the comments were,
‘I am thankful for my family that we have, because our family helps us when we need it and loves us’
‘I am thankful for food and lunch’
‘I am thankful for England that they managed to get into the final of EURO 2020 football’.
We talked more about GRATITUDE, that we can share this outdoors together, appreciate nature and how nature shares its resources and it’s beauty all the time.
We talked about ATTITUDE:
‘Be positive, be inquisitive, want to know more, show greater appreciation of nature around you, consideration for the trees, plants and wildlife.
We spoke about PURPOSE. Some said,
‘We are here to learn about nature’
‘Save the planet!’
We talked more and said that we are here to have fun, enjoy ourselves, to notice more, appreciate more, see more detail and beauty of nature.
We played the ‘awaken the senses’ game, which included the camera game and the listening game.
With these things in mind we then decided as a group the agenda of the day.
Everyone was keen to light as campfire. We built a pyramid fire using dry sticks and tried to light it using flint and steel. It took a long time, but eventually we had the fire going. It was amazing how many sticks it ate but it was worth it and we heated marshmallows on some very long sticks we had found. The Marshmallows were buffed hot and very sticky. The best part was when I put them on my toasted waffle. Yum Yum!
Then followed some heart racing games of hide and seek amongst the trees. It was exhilarating!
We could hear them counting up to 20, as we sprinted as fast as we could to hide
We won’t tell you where we hid just in case we use it next time!
Everybody was looking forward to the Archery. Correct stance and body positioning was checked and rechecked. I found it very exciting, feet turned sideways, chest open. Ready, aim, fire!
We tried to shoot the targets several times but missed.
It was a challenge. After persevering, we sometimes hit the target.
We realised that archery is a skill that will develop with time.
During an exciting game of archery tag, the large silage bales on the pitch proved useful shields from the opponent’s safety arrows.
The bales were great fun after archery, as we practiced parkour on them!
Someone asked what was silage?
Silage or haylage is animal food made from fermented crops. The silage at Chilton is horse haylage made from high sugar grasses like ryegrasses. The grass is cut, partly dried in the field, then wrapped in plastic by a special machine (see Chilton Magic Garden YouTube video on harvesting), where it ferments and is preserved for feeding horses and cattle.
A helping hand over the bales
We returned to the arboretum and reflected on the day:
GRATITUDE – We managed to light the fire, eat delicious roasted marshmallows, played archery tag and parkour on the bales. We enjoyed the ‘flying basket’
ATTITUDE – We tried to be polite to each other, and thought of positive things to say, we persevered with archery and we questioned, is there an easier way?
It’s ok not to take part, we can make it into a positive experience of observing or resting peacefully.
PURPOSE – We had a good time. We were happy. We managed to light the fire without matches
3 steps to starting your day!
Gratitude, Attitude and Purpose
We filled the GAP by the end of the day