A Camp Mom's Perspective

By Sandy Schenck

This year we have Camp Moms on staff who help out around the office. Here is a note from Hayne Beattie-Gray, of Charleston, SC, our Camp Mom from Session 1:

I am currently in residence at The Green River Preserve in Cedar Mountain, NC, as the “camp mom” for their first session of the summer. Isabel is in a cabin with other 7 & 8 year old girls. My husband, Jonathan, is teaching music in the afternoons to campers and the mornings find him busy chasing our 4 year old twins around this beautiful property on the hunt for wildlife.

I feel like I must be dreaming as this has been so incredibly idyllic. This camp focuses so beautifully on the natural world and our interactions within it. I grew up going to summer camps and this one breaks the mold of traditional camps that run campers between activities at 60 minute intervals in a relatively structured environment.

Here, campers go on daily three hour morning hikes with naturalists on the vast and varied property here that borders the DuPont State Forest. Lunchtime reports tell of wildlife spotted (wild turkeys, salamanders, hawks, snakes, bears, butterflies, etc.), edible plants and wild fruits tasted, geocaches found, and artifacts from ancient peoples uncovered. The children are engaged with the outdoors fully and are so excited to report on their adventures. There is also an active camp farm utilizing sustainable techniques and providing the kitchen with produce for the entire camp community during the summer.

From composting to respect circles to non-competitive camp-wide evening games to gregarious sing-a-longs and birds of the day, this camp leaves nothing behind in its mission to challenge creative children to continue on their exploration of their surroundings and reflect on those explorations.

I am SO proud to be a part of all of this while we are here and would love to help spread the word about what a treasure this place is and how well taken care of your children would be whilst here. They still have openings for upcoming camp for different ages in July and early August or tuck it away for next summer’s possibilities. We will surely be back as we believe that we have started an annual Gray Family tradition.

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