A Bitter Sweet

By Sara Huffman


It was a bittersweet morning here at Green River Preserve.  Campers were reunited with loved ones but had to say goodbye to their newfound loved ones.  We hiked, biked, swam, sang, danced, laughed, slept, learned, and cried together these past three weeks.  I witnessed growth in every camper in that short time.  In their time here at GRP, we tried to teach our campers more about the natural world around them but more importantly about life.  They were challenged here, all in different ways.  Some showed perseverance and overcame homesickness.  Others experienced communal living for the first time and, despite its frustrations, enjoyed its positive qualities.






The bond created between all the campers here within the last three weeks is remarkable.  I remember returning staff members go on and on about how great the three-weekers are and, lo and behold, their words rang true.  All the campers were enthusiastic, funny, kind, and, most importantly to me, accepting . I saw only “put-ups” as we call them here at GRP.  Every camper I encountered was eagerly accepting of those different from him or her.  These campers have golden hearts and I was blessed beyond measure to be able to spend three weeks with them.  I delighted in seeing campers break from their shells and reveal their crazy, spunky selves fueled by the knowledge that not a single soul within the Preserve would judge them.

The earth, the air, the fire, the water has all returned.  The river flowed and grew.  The joy was sought.

I miss you already, three-weekers. You may be changed by Green River but we are all changed by you.  Thank you and we hope to see you next summer!