By Green River Preserve

What does friendship mean to you? I hit the streets (gravel pathways) of GRP to find out what campers thought. “Being a friend is letting your friend eat the last piece of bacon when you wanted it,” said Julia from All Tucked Inn. Another camper described friendship as “being loving, respectful and kind to each other,” and we believe that really encapsulates everything about the mission of GRP.

Whatever your definition is, friendship is always around every corner at GRP. We don’t just foster friendships with our cabin mates, counselors or mentors, we become friends with the earth by cultivating a deep appreciation and respect for the land, rivers, animals, trees and even bugs, around us. At camp we learn to treat the earth like our human friends.

At the beginning of Session 1, many campers may not have known why we don’t hit trees with sticks, or they may have thought bugs were gross or scary, but by the last mentor hikes we witnessed campers picking up bugs, butterflies, worms, and even a few bees to share with their friends, and then lovingly and carefully placed them back in their habitats. We saw campers picking up trash when no one was around to notice or thank them, just because they considered this land a friend and they wanted to show their respect for it. We have seen so much growth in these campers in just one short week and we hope they take home the love and respect of the land that they learned at camp!

Laine Elliott