By Green River Preserve

It’s a sunny day here at Green River Preserve, and campers are occupied making “face-mugs” in Pottery, capsizing in Canoeing, making wood cookies in Woodburning, and doing a variety of other activities that connect us with the culture and nature of this stunning Appalachian paradise.

Among the various ways we connect with this land, one of my personal favorites is growing our food at the GRP Farm. This morning, I – along with a group of enthusiastic campers – dug in the dirt for potatoes (and grub), toured the farm with some frolicking puppies, and played with a few of the fluffiest bunnies in the universe. Phil, one of the GRP farmers, taught us about sustainable farm practices, and exemplified this by taking us to the Three Sisters Garden. As many Native Americans knew, the interplanting of corn, squash and beans (the “Three Sisters”) creates soil fertility and is of mutual benefit to each crop. Permaculture techniques like this are exemplary of how sustainable farm practices can actually improve the planet while providing our bellies with the nutrition we need; fancy that!

The night ahead is sure to foster more connections as well. This evening is “Twinner”, a themed dinner during which campers and staffers choose “twins” (or triplets, quadruplets and so on) and dress alike. This is a great chance for campers to get creative with new friends in attempts to appear alike, despite the fact that – for the most part – we all packed before even meeting each other.

After Twinner is the renowned game of Predator vs. Prey (essentially GRP’s equivalent to the World Cup). This game is basically a simulation of how the food web works, as each cabin takes on the role of insects, frogs, snakes or hawks. Each cabin will work together to seek out water, food, and shelter without getting eaten by a cabin that’s higher up on the food chain. Aside from insects, each group will have a number of “attacks”, during which that group of animals will chase those who are lower on the food chain in order to sustain themselves. It will be messy, it will be wild, and it will be loads of fun. Stay tuned for some pictures of folks decked out in mud and camo as we prepare for tonight’s epic game!