It's Like we Never Left

By Sara Huffman

The three-weekers are here and boy are we excited!!  Three week session is such an amazing experience because the campers get to experience so much of GRP.  In addition to the Mentor Hikes and Campout, there are four Group Learning Project days, a day spent in DuPont State Forest, and a sunrise hike to Pretty Place.  All this with campers who love GRP, love the outdoors, and love being here.  It truly is wonderful.
 As this is the three-week session, we have a lot of return campers.  It was heart warming to watch the reunions yesterday, and to hear snippets of stories from the school year.  As the traditions and practices of GRP were being gone over these campers gave nods of familiarity, knowing smiles, and telling looks to their friends.  It is great to see these campers so at home in the routine of GRP.
The return campers clearly have a deep-seeded love for GRP, and it has been beautiful to watch them share that love with the new campers.  Friendships are quickly being formed between new and return campers as everyone’s excitement for the next three weeks is grown and shared. 
Campers and staff alike came to breakfast eager for Mentor Hikes (or bikes) and the first full day of camp.  The stories told at lunch made it clear that the eagerness and excitement was well-founded.  Groups came back with multiple reports of wildlife (deer, turkey, and cannibalistic salamanders), stories of fortitude, and a general hum of anticipation about continuing to explore the Preserve. To me, that feeling is what GRP is all about.
Much to our surprise, rest hour was announced and a roar of cheering overtook the lodge.  Whats this we hear? kids excited about rest hour?!  We have never heard of such a thing, but all joined in with the cheers and tackled rest hour like the champions we are!  The campers were ready to go to their activities this afternoon, which included; fencing, rock climbing, Pioneer Cabin, painting, dance and so much more!  
Table Banging was introduced tonight after dinner and I know it’s not just me when I say, it’s one of my favorite traditions at GRP.  The evening activity tonight is the crowd favorite “Predator Prey” which has the campers as well as the staff on high levels of energy and excitement.  And as I’m typing away, the kids to the forest to either hide or stalk.  Talk about an awesome game that will have everyone ready for bed when its over.