How Leaders and Innovators are Formed

By Sara Huffman

 Green River preserve has a tendency to attract the best and the brightest from all over the United States. The children who choose to attend this camp always seem to surprise the staff with their appreciation, understanding of nature, and overall intelligence regarding wildlife and vegetation. It makes you wonder if that has anything to do with the environment that Green River Preserve promotes; I’d like to think it does.

Young minds are willing, receptive, unpredictable, creative and highly imaginative. Although all of the qualities mentioned are commonly known, what makes the children of Green River Preserve different is that upon arrival, all of these children agree to respect themselves, their peers and nature for the entire duration that they attend camp. This ceremony is called the Respect Circle. In my opinion the Respect Circle ceremony that we do impacts the children in such a way that it changes their very being while they are here at Green River. These children ascend to a level of deep understanding and emotional maturity in regards to microscopic life living on the bottom of a log, a nest of spiderlings inconveniently placed in a bathroom and even taking a drink of water when their counselor asks them to even though they might not fully believe they need to.


I believe this to be true simply because they are held at a high standard and are immersed in an environment where they are treated as if they are completely capable of doing so. I personally am astonished by these children when I see them in groups, either playing a game, doing an activity, processing and understanding the needs of their peers or thinking over the positives and negatives of their actions and how they affect others. I’ve come to the conclusion that the environment that nurtures these campers can’t help but put them on the path to becoming young leaders and innovators for the future.

— Zechariah C. E.


_MG_5382 copy 

Tonights closing ceremony touched my heart in more ways than I can explain.  In just one short week, I’ve watched these young minds become friends, leaders, teammates, listeners and most importantly; family.  They have grown so much and it has been such a privilege to have gotten a chance to watch the magic that Green River Preserve really has on these children.  

The Upper Council ceremony tonight was truly a beautiful thing to witness.  I listened ever so closely as a few children read poems they had written in Creative Writing class today, and found myself fighting back tears because of how in ‘awe’ I was at their words of impeccable wisdom and understanding that I truly never understood until hearing them being spoken by the children themselves.  

I believe Green River has taught the kids this week so much about life, nature and themselves, but what I think most people fail to understand is how much the kids of Green River teach us adults about life, nature and ourselves;  and for that, I want to thank the kids from the bottom of my heart, because they have instilled a hope in me that I never knew was there.  May their light always shine and their hearts remain open.

Your GRP photographer,

-Samantha K