By Green River Preserve

Green River Preserve’s mission works to encourage an “appreciation of interconnectedness,” which extends to the ever-forming bonds of friendship for all that attend camp. Every day, campers have seemingly endless opportunities to interact and grow together, whether that be at meal times, mentor hikes, daily activities, or nighttime routines. During these times of community engagement, the campers connect their new knowledge of the natural world to the experiences of those around them.

Today began with campers not only sharing their baked oatmeal and blueberry muffins, but tales of adventure from the previous night’s game of Predator/Prey. Campers were required to work as a team to use a map to scavenge camp for food sources and shelter while simultaneously escaping attacks by other creatures in the food chain. Each group acknowledged defeats together as well as celebrated their collective victories, as expressed by the jubilant gestures and eruptions of laughter throughout breakfast.

In addition to playing, campers learn and educate together. Several campers returned from Mentor hikes, faces covered in paint and smiles to show one group’s achievement of hiking the Upper Bald. Little pockets of children were found showing each other how to make cordage at the Pioneer Cabin during free time and exchanging strategies in a music circle in the front field. Friendship among campers is continually reinforced through shared learning and personal growth, both on an individual and communal level.

As the week comes to a close this first summer session, campers express in their nightly Rose, Bud, Thorn, where campers have the opportunity to reflect on the highs and lows of the day, their incredible experiences together and the hopes to remain in contact with new friends and return together to GRP. Here, it seems that education is not the only core tenet of our philosophy, but the relationships we cultivate in the process.

- Dani, Whippoorwill 1 Counselor