Epic Campout made Possible by Epic Campers

By Sara Huffman

We’re back from Campout!  The adage goes “it always rains on Campout,” and rain it sure did.  As we were waiting to head in to lunch this afternoon, Sandy compared the rains this weekend to those which accompany hurricanes.  10 inches of rain were measured while we were out, and Sandy commended us by saying, “if you can camp in that, you can camp in anything.”  These great words of praise were greeted by loud cheers.
You may be under the impression that with 10 inches of rain, we were miserable.  At GRP, however, we are a creative bunch, and we revel in the land.  Campers came back with great stories and a deep pride for having conquered this Campout, and for having loved doing it. Highlights include: seeing a copperhead for the Grand Slam (now all that’s left is the bear), building a natural fort, creating a laser course (the fastest time through was 9 seconds), catching and eating a trout, swimming in Trout Pond, spending the night at our newest and farthest out shelter, and finally making a fire after an hour and a half, through efforts spearheaded by a very persistent camper. 
If people ever wonder why we go on Campout, the answer is simple: for all the stories and reasons listed above. Campout allows the campers to get creative with their time and resources, and helps deepen their connection to the land and to each other. Campers use the land, the rivers, the wildlife to entertain themselves, and this creates an appreciation and a bond to cherish for years to come.
—-A note from the photographer:
I was very thrilled to get to experience campout with my Cabin and our brother cabin.  I met up with them on the second day, anticipating to hear stories of being brought down by the rain and how they were ready to come home.  Instead, I was greeted with 9 smiling faces, ready to tell me all about their amazing night facing the rain, followed by their awesome hike to our new location.  
I was very proud of my group and as we set up in our shelter, preparing for the possibilities of another storm, we shared stories of life, music, and card games.  I saw such great fortitude and bonding between this group of kids.  Not a single drop of rain hit us all day and as night rolled around, the group took the
challenge of working together to make the nights fire, and sure enough they succeeded.  Instead of being ready for campout to end, my kids were begging to stay out a couple more nights.  "Who cares is we hadn’t showered in a couple days, and who cares if it continues to rain because this is just too much fun and I love getting to experience this with all of you." was what one camper said.  Talk about having to hide the tears of joy, I must admit I almost had to use the old, “I have something in my eye” line. :)    
This campout was truly one of the best experiences of my life and it was because of my group of kids as to why.  Their love of nature and their craving to learn and listen to myself and the councilors was such a humbling experience.  But what I found most amazing was how much I found myself loving to learn from them, and listen to what they had to teach myself.  Every day these kids blow my mind, and seeing them grow into themselves is truly a sight to see.  I just can’t express how grateful I am.  
Your GRP Photographer,