Another Magical Day at GRP

By Green River Preserve

Green River Preserve offers so many wonderful opportunities for children to thrive in an outdoor environment; ranging from Mentor Hikes and Evening Programs to afternoon activities and Group Learning Projects. It is hard to pick a favorite when there are so many wonderful adventures to be had here on the Preserve. That being said, I’d like to take a moment to talk about a crowd favorite; Group Learning Projects.

During our two and three week sessions, campers get to experience anywhere from two to four Group Learning Projects, which means they get to spend a whole day devoted to one of their top rated picks from a wide variety of wonderful GLP’s put on by mentors and support staff. Today marks the first of two GLP days for this session and it has been a wildly busy and successful first day! I had the opportunity to run around base camp capturing a good portion of GLP’s today and let me tell you, I noticed that I had to tear myself away from each activity because it was so much fun witnessing each kids reaction to new discoveries and team building skills.

I ventured into the woods where I came across my first GLP, “Painting with Annie”. The kids were picking out their impeccable painting location to get lost in their artwork, and I quickly found myself doing the same. Next I was lucky enough to stumble across a splendid display of tie-dyeing skills, which built up an urge to undergo my own tie-dyeing adventure in the future. The anticipation is building for I cannot wait to see how their shirts turn out when they have had the required 24hour soak time to be complete. I was pulled away by the sound of a production brewing in the background. Coming around the corner of a tree I caught a glimpse of the Advanced Theatre kids rehearsing for the grand premier of their original masterpiece, which will be debuted tonight. As I walked away with pure satisfaction and happiness in my heart from all the wonders I had just discovered, I entered the Arts and Crafts lodge where I was blown away by the creativity happening. A group of kids were undertaking the courageous task of making their own stained glass masterpiece. Breaking glass, cutting glass, and piecing together each meticulous piece into its rightful place was an art in itself.

I was able to somehow pull myself out the door and onto the next GLP, which happened to be “Little Pioneer Cabin on the Preserve”. There were kids building fires, reading books, cutting and peeling apples and enjoying a relaxing day learning multiple skills about cooking the pioneer way and it smelled amazing by the way. Ignoring the urge to stay and enjoy their masterful skill in the “kitchen” I headed to the Climbing Tour where I witnessed the most amazing acts of teamwork I had seen in days; I say days because at GRP teamwork comes effortlessly for these wonderful souls. The kids at the tower paired up and not only learned how to tie knots for themselves, they also learned how to belay one another. The trust and bravery each kid bore was outstanding and never the less breathtaking to capture. The last GLP I was lucky enough to capture was the end of a running GLP as the kids were finishing up a nine-mile haul through Dupont. Every single kid ran passed my with a huge smile on their face and literally no sweat beading off their forehead; this was obviously a walk in the park for them.

A handful of GLP’s took place off base camp that included hunting for the lost chimney, visiting Carl Sandburg’s house, climbing to the tallest point on the Preserve, and learning all about archery and camouflage. I am looking forward to hearing all about the adventures that were had while at dinner tonight. Needless to say it was another magical day here at Green River Preserve.

Samantha Keebler