By Sandy Schenck

by Rich Preyer, GRP Mentor

Two days ago, all of the kids trekked back from their campout sites to return to refreshing showers, clean clothes, and a delicious cookout. Although campout is one of the most challenging activities that we do at camp for campers and staff alike, it is also one of the most fun and gratifying experiences at Green River Preserve.

Campers learned about the importance of low-impact camping, leaving no trace, and being good stewards of the land while developing new skills such as how to use a whisper-lite stove, pitch a tent, or yes, even how to “spanky” in the woods. After eating a final meal together, we had rest hour and embarked on our three day journey into the woods.

Campers were lucky to see beautiful sunsets at long rock, catch, clean, cook and eat trout at the Trout Pond, or play in the river at Hemlock Field and Prayer Rock. This session, I was lucky enough to travel with two different campout groups. I started off with Little Tree Two and All Tucked in Two as we headed to Joe’s Pool. The kids were truly phenomenal as a lot of them had never carried heavy backpacks before. We took plenty of breaks and still made it to our campout site in under two hours. Impressive!

As I said good bye to this group, I began making my way to Lower Bald to catch up with Big Laurel Two and Trailing Cedars Two and started the daunting climb up Lower Bald.  We climbed over 900 feet in elevation and made it to our campsite at 7:30pm, just in time to cook dinner and set up camp before dark.  The second day of campout brought thunder, lightning, and rain, but all of the campout groups stayed dry and happy!  Campers returned to camp full of smiles and stories to share with their friends from other cabins.  It was a great success!