Interconnectedness In All Things
By Green River Preserve
Here at GRP, we like to emphasize the interconnectedness in all things. Often, in day to day life, it is easy to separate oneself from those events that transpire around you. At Green River Preserve, we like to reintroduce campers to that concept, beginning on day one. One of things campers most want to do on Opening Day is to go down the Swinging Stairs, a semi-suspended stairway that swings in response being stepped on. Campers halfway down the stairs can feel the effect when someone else steps onto even the first step.
Many of our Evening Programs revolve around this idea of connection. A great example is Predator & Prey, which we played last night. In this game, each cabin is assigned a “tier” on the animal food chain: insect, frog, snake, or hawk. During the game, campers learn how difficult the game of survival is, and how often what others do is just as important as what they do themselves. Afterwards, we have a debrief where we talk about the different trials one might face in the natural world, as well as talking about some of the complexities we had to leave out of the game, such as bioaccumulation, the idea of food webs, and varying strategies that might help when playing the proverbial game of life.
Another Evening Program with a similar goal is the Upper Council Fire. During this EP, which is much more formal than any of the others, we first introduce that notion of being responsible stewards of the Earth. This is accompanied by a short reading from Chief Seattle’s letter, and is revisited at the end of camp, in a closing Upper Council Fire. In addition to building a connection between campers and nature, GRP is also a great place for life-long friendships to form. In fact, many of the first-time staff this year have been friends for many years, and they all met at GRP as campers. Many of my closest friends are people I met at GRP, and I have enjoyed their friendship for upwards of six or so years. Being an environmental summer camp, GRP attracts many people (and their children) who consider the outdoors and the environment to be an integral part of life. In other words, GRP brings people together. It’s an excellent catalyst in that sense.
While the idea of connections between all things is a motif we strive to keep overt and relevant in almost every activity we do here, it often winds up being more important and more crucial in more subtle, social interactions. The activities and such are great, but it’s these undertones of community and consideration that really make GRP great- or in other words, what really makes GRP magic.