Chapter 1: Law of Attraction
10 AM. Silas has abandoned his down jacket and balances precariously as he makes his way across a fallen tree. Nearby children observe his wide smiles and hear his shrieks of glee when he navigates gravity with each step. Several children make their way to balance along the sprawling series of fallen trees, forming a chain of youngsters and marching like a scene out of a dreamy fairy picture book. The sun beams down on them and draws their attention to the flock of geese that pod by giant ghost-like Russian olive trees. The children themselves move like a pack, leaping off the log and then stringing between ponds gurgling with frogs and trees peppered with birds. We are just minutes away from our city, but the children have discovered a perfect piece of nature.
Soon the heat awakens anthills that bloom with flurries of activity. Ants scurry out from and across their hills and nearby ground, mesmerizing the pack of children. A smaller group of children drop down and sit there, next to the miniature workers, and dig into their snacks. Other children notice the food and water being consumed, and they too come to sit and begin to eat and drink. The sun radiates, as do the children’s smiles. They are together, they are happy, and their joy is contagious to the parents who watch from nearby.
The Law of Attraction—“like attracts like”—is a powerful mechanism. It’s easy to see it in action with children’s play. It’s also a useful concept when thinking about starting your own family nature club. With just a few steps, you can use the Law of Attraction to help you unplug by attracting other people to what you are doing. It all starts by defining your idea!
Crafting a Purpose, Plan, and Name for Your Family Nature Club
I didn’t fancy myself an organizer, and when I got up the courage to try it, I encountered self-doubt and resistance. Having seen the powerful Law of Attraction in effect throughout my life, the first step I decided to take was to put my idea out into the universe. My hope was that it would draw others who wanted something similar in their lives. And it did! To harness the Law of Attraction for your family nature club, there are two steps you must take: come up with a purpose and plan, and then come up with a name for your club.
Family Nature Club Purpose and Plan
Family nature clubs come in many different shapes and colors. By clearly articulating the five Ws of information gathering, you can quickly come up with the purpose and plan for your club. Once you’ve answered the five Ws, you’ll have made a lot of the big decisions that will guide your scheduling, marketing, what types of activities your club will do, and more.
The five Ws are who, what, where, when, and why.
Who will be the members of your club? Will it be open to the general public, or a group for your church, school, nonprofit, or other organization?
What will you do? Will you focus on unstructured nature play, adult-led activities like skill building and naturalist education, or outdoor activities like hiking, boating, camping, etc.? Or will it be some combination?
Where will your events take place? Will you be at different locations close to where you live, go on long trips, or always go to the same location? Will it vary? You can plan to start one way and be open to evolving things as you go!
When will your events take place? Will events be organized once a month, once a week, or several times a week? Will they be during the week, weekends, day, or nighttime? How long will they be? A couple of hours, a half day, overnight events, etc. Scheduling events at a consistent time and in advance will help families get them on their calendar.
Why are you excited about the family nature club? Is it because of a personal reason, because of the research backing the value of nature-based experiences, or because you want to build a community? It may be all of these. There are resources you can use to bolster your knowledge to help you communicate to your families why this is important.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all of the answers here. Through this book, you’ll learn a lot that may shape your thinking. Once you have thought this through a bit, it’s a good idea to write it down. Initially, you can write your purpose and plan quickly, and come back to it later if you want to write it more eloquently. For now, just get it down in a rough format so you know the reasoning behind what you are doing. Having a clearly articulated purpose and plan that you share with others will draw interested families when you put it out there. It will feel a bit like magic. It’s the Law of Attraction at work!
Family Nature Club Name
Once you’ve solidified your purpose—and remember, this can always evolve—it’s time to come up with your name. This is my favorite part! Having a name is necessary to help you with your future communications. You’ll use your name when you communicate with your club, for example in your marketing materials such as a website, email, or flyers.
You are a big part of what drives the name of your club, as well as what the club’s purpose is. If you’re creating a club for a nonprofit or other existing group, you may want to include that name in your club name. If you’re creating a public group for a specific location, such as a city, you may want to include that in the name of your club. If the club is for you and some friends, you may not need any existing name, and you can be creative and come up with something that is more personal to you. In any case, the name should be something you LOVE, and something that fits your personality and the personality and values you wish to manifest for your club.
Here is my initial purpose, written out:
A small private club for families at the school my children attend (the who) interested in connecting children with nature for unstructured nature play and adult-guided activities (the what). The events will take place close to Boulder (where I live) and sometimes venture into the mountains (the where). The events will be organized regularly weekly or twice monthly (the when). The goals of the group are to increase the opportunity children have in nature, to have fun, to provide active screen-free experiences, to forge a deep lifelong relationship and skills in nature, and to build a community that can grow with our children (the why).
Notice that it answers the five Ws and, while not as specific as it could be, makes up the plan for my club (at least when I first started it).
The name I chose for my club is Running Wild. Running Wild was an idea my wife had that came up in our informal brainstorming session at the breakfast table one day. We talked about several different ideas, but this is the one that resonated the most. I wanted something short that wasn’t tied to a specific organization or location, but rather emphasized my desire for an active adventurous childhood for my kids.
With a purpose, plan, and name, I started telling people about what I was doing, and others grew excited! This is the Law of Attraction in full effect!
What You’ve Learned
In this chapter, you’ve learned how the Law of Attraction can help you start your family nature club. You’ve learned how to come up with a purpose, plan, and name for your club.