Happy Summer Solstice, Friends!

By Green River Preserve

The walk to the lodge this morning was punctuated by bets on what meal might be awaiting us at the tables inside. One camper insisted it had to be bacon or sausage with eggs while another girl assured her it would be waffles with non-dairy whipped cream. Turns out they were equally mistaken- the dish in question showed up to be deliciously sweet baked oatmeal (a personal favorite). Their guesses at the contents of breakfast demonstrated one of the commonly overlooked emotions campers come to associate with their time at camp- hope. Though hope concerning what may be served at breakfast may not have much of a lasting impact on a child, it reminds us of how financial, societal, and career-related hopes experienced in adulthood differ so greatly from what a child may be looking forward to.

One of my favorite aspects of camp life that keeps me coming back summer after summer is the community’s focus on the present moment. It is incredibly easy for child and adult alike to become fixated on the past and/or future. Expending energy worrying about events that are said and done or looming deadlines on the horizon leaves very little for the moment at hand. Camp is a gift for the worriers: it presents us with an environment conducive to practicing living in the moment. Be it the small reminders of a child’s wonder over an object you stepped past on the trail or the larger gratification of watching a nervous camper come out of his or her shell and feel truly comfortable being themselves; spending time at Green River provides the means needed to take a step back and admire the smaller details of life. Pausing the chaotic pace of school or work to focus on less material notions, such as those of hope, wonder, and presence, can be difficult to remember for all of us. I think camper and staff member alike are grateful for the safe space GRP gives us to reconnect with the beauty of the moment and explore our hopes and dreams.

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
- Emily Dickinson

Delaney Oursler