A Day in the Life

By Green River Preserve

This morning we were awakened by the bright chimes coming from the Lodge bell, signaling to everyone that it is time to start our wonderful first FULL day here at GRP for Session 2. (WOW, what an exciting wake up call!) As tired but excited campers roll out of bed, thoughts of “what’s for breakfast” enter their heads. I start to see each cabin appear in lines on the sun deck to ready the day with the morning blessing. The dining hall is quickly filled with laughter, chatter, and forks banging empty plates as each camper anxiously awaits to see what Mentor group they are in and what Mentor hike they will go on this fine day. The kids’ names get called into their designated groups and one by one, they make their way to meet with their Mentors who will prepare them for what is needed for that morning hike.

It was a busy morning with groups heading in all different locations on the preserve. Some went to the cave and Long Rock, while others went to Upper Bald, the river, the Farm, Uncles, or mountain biking. Hikes at GRP take the whole morning and last until lunch, so these young, curious minds do an unbelievable amount of exploring. When everyone returned for lunch, stories were shared about; the exploration of an old native cave and how cave crickets weren’t really creepy after all but rather chill and relaxed creatures. And how some campers who hiked the Upper Balds learned how to silently stalk in the woods to have a better chance at catching a glimpse of the elusive black bear, turkey or deer; three of the four Grand Slamminals, while others peaked under ledges of rocks hoping to spy a copperhead or rattlesnake (the fourth Slamminal). Some kids became Polar Bears as they braved the cold cascading chills of the Uncles waterfall, while others explored the Salamander Cave and hung out with some pretty cool salamanders. Can you believe this all happened before lunch? Neither can I, but it does; every day, and that is what makes Green River Preserve such an amazing place.

Now let me tell you what comes after lunch; Rest Hour. Which is simply the best hour (at least the staff think so). We enjoyed quite a little rainstorm that delayed our first activities for a few minutes but after everyone sending up those good vibes, the clouds cleared up and we had a successful first day of activities!

Not long after dinner and table banging that could be heard from the paved road—at least a quarter-mile from the lodge—the event of the evening took place. Predator vs. Prey is one of those games where each and every camper goes absolutely all-out in preparation. With faces painted with mixtures of leaves, glitter and dirt, campers grouped into various forms of wildlife and set off into the wilderness around base camp. As the game began to intensify, we were blessed with a rainbow that stretched over the preserve and our night ended on a note of natural beauty.

Samantha Keebler