Working bees are hard work for parents but often needed and appreciated for those they service.  In this case Murray Upper parents rose early to give the school garden, which has run amuck in the tropics and turned into the secret garden gone troppo, a good trim and tidy.  What a sacrificial way to spend a day of the holidays.

Today was a hot one, and those who arrived the earliest will definitely sleep well tonight, but in the afternoon a few cooling breezes and thankfully more shade arrived.

For country kids working bees are something to enjoy, yes there’s tonnes of garden debris to pick up and move but there’ s also a chance to catch up with school mates and neigbours and enjoy a ride on the back of a buggy loaded up with that garden junk with all your mates.  Any time parents gather, so do their children and the potential for community bonding is there.

It’s like being at a show or fete for the kids and it always amazes me how  kids in company of each other can make anything entertaining.  All it takes is enthusiasm and zest for their environment and buddies.

Today there were plenty of laughs and bright cheery kids.   Their energy did not wane until late in the afternoon, when all needed to go home for a good rest.  They helped so much picking up garden refuse and entertaining each other.  They enjoyed cleaning up the school’s garden and creating a surprise for when everyone returns next term.

Ten tennis balls, a footy and a basketball later an element of treasure hunting was added to the school garden clean up, not to mention the subtraction of fewer places for snakes to hide.  Now you will know from my earlier blogs we had a few snakes out here.  Just a couple of days ago hubby nearly mowed a small one out in the garden. But no sign of them today. Phew.

I read a post by Suzi Taylor about Chiltern kids growing up in the Country on ABC Open – they made a film about it.  Good on them!  I love the tenacity and creativity of kids in the country.

I imagine the kids today would have enjoyed making a video of their garden cleaning adventure.  They know I like to make movies, and one little tyke said please video me working!  I sense some budding film makers there.

I think my kids have been delighted to grow up country, even though there can sometimes be challenges like snakes and cyclones.  It is playing an important part in defining who they are.  When they go to the city now they see it differently.  They appreciate the city and all it has to offer, like cinemas, but they look forward to coming home to the cane, the guinea pigs and their country adventures.

(c) June Perkins

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Treasure hunts, buggies, and community – a school working bee

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