Secret names that link you to a creature, an ancient relative or a mythical character, Viking, Celt, Greek.
A special badge that can be earned at the end of the week.
When children arrive in the wild woods of the New Forest they receive a wooden badge sliced from a single branch with a name written upon it.
Magical secret names to be translated, discovered and revealed.
Apodemus the mouse like a little legged kangaroo, Talpa the mole the worm munching 'Dark One', Betula the silver Birch with her Silvery Skin. Copris the dung beetle who pushes the sun through the sky and Apus the Swift who flies over rainforest and desert, wars and watery hippos to be here with us. These are Latin names. They are rich with riddles and origins and time and place, if you care to look.
A child who receives such a name becomes uniquely connected to a living community of creatures. A whole class becomes a crucially connected web of creatures whose lives intertwine as they discover who eats who, who needs who, who lives on who. This, of course, ultimately and intimately reflects upon their interdependence on each other as a community of humans during their residential stay and their links to other humans and wild places both near and far throughout the rest of the planet.
The name the children receive may relate not only to creatures but depending on the theme of the week it might occasionally be characters from Viking , Australian, Greek, Hindu or Celtic Myths and Legends. Even colours, celebrations, stars within constellations, natural events have all been used with success. But it is the Latin names of global creatures of land air and water that are often the most powerful.
The badges are said to be on loan to the children, the wearing of the badge is a sign of their full participation and commitment to the week both in the work they do and also in the way they relate to each other at all other times.