GRP Makes You Better

By Green River Preserve

As the Media Coordinator at Green River Preserve, I see so much in a single day. In the morning, I wake up to gather necessary camera equipment for the Media Team, charge up my batteries and make sure all SD cards are formatted. After divvying out the gear for morning hikes, I generally pick a Mentor Hike at random or try to join a hiking group that hasn’t been shot. I’ve had the opportunity to go on every hike this summer and I’ve only missed about four to five, total. In adventuring with our campers, I’ve had firsthand experience of each of their own unique discoveries, whether it be finding a crayfish under a flat rock in the Green River or finding the courage to go mountain biking through extreme terrain. I’ve seen moments of understanding wherein our campers are seeing something for the very first time, acknowledging the wisdom of their decisions or speculating on the inner workings of flora and fauna. Times like these, I can see the extraordinary power of Green River Preserve and how very important this magical kingdom is to each camper and to the idea of creating a better world.

As each Mentor Hike comes to a close, we scurry into one of the busses for a short ride back to Base Camp. In this short amount of time I’ve learned of adventures had and many wonderful thoughts of adventures to come. Some of our campers have seen things that I hadn’t thought possible until just recently. They’ve discovered there is a great big world to explore and that each moment is a moment worth doing something. Whether it’s fly fishing, biking, working in environmental studies or purely wandering, our campers have the goals to achieve what most adults dreams are made of. If there’s something you love about nature, our campers are thinking of a way to make it better, fundamentally, not for people, but for the planet. Our campers strive to create a balance between the existence of humans and the harmony of nature. They know that it’s possible. We know that it’s possible. The fact is, this upcoming generation will be forced to deal with the problems of climate change and the ever-increasing human population that will unavoidably devour the planet without ingenuity and teamwork.

Today, while roaming around to photograph activities, my last stop was of the low ropes training course. In the last five minutes of the activity period, a group of around eight or nine campers were given a length of rope, tied off to make a loop of around 5 feet in diameter. They were told to close their eyes and begin to make shapes by pure verbal communication. The first was a triangle. In less than twenty seconds, they’d verbalized who’d be the corners and pulled the rope taught to make a perfect triangle. Next was a square—done in less than thirty seconds. In the last minute before the mid-activity bell, they were asked to make a figure 8, which they accomplished just before the clang of the bell. If a group of less than a ten campers can work together with their eyes closed, just imagine what they could do with their eyes open.

By the time dinner roles around, I’ve seen what it takes to make this world a better place. It takes courage. It takes enthusiasm and perseverance. It requires one to be humble, but with the confidence to do or be what one needs to be. It takes a mind that sees peril or adversity and reaches for the light, instead of becoming trapped in shadow. We all have our heroes and idols, those which we look to for guidance or hope. As our campers look up to Mentors, Counselors and staff at GRP, we look up to them as well, with hopeful souls and thankfulness for the privilege to be a part of their lives.

Story and Photos by Brandon S. Marshall