Keep Calm and Camp On

By Anne Mead

One of the coolest GRP moments I’ve experienced was walking down from Upper Council Fire on the first night of the session to discover a giant black bear tromping through the apple orchard just a few feet away. In clear view and glorious! As we stood, awe-struck and silent, I marveled that only in this place would 120 children be within 100 feet of a huge black bear and remain calm and quiet, all beaming with exhilaration and joy, not an ounce of fear or anxiety. The kids’ collective response was tremendous; all were thrilled to be within the presence of such a powerful and majestic creature in the wild.
This is the magic of GRP. Here, a highly inquisitive, naturally curious group of children learn to respect nature, not to fear it. Mentors teach kids how to appropriately identify and respond to wildlife, whether it be a bear, a venomous snake or a nest of bees or hornets. These skills give kids the confidence to marvel at the beauty of the natural world rather than respond with alarm or panic. Skills honed by education, exposure, understanding and compassion. This is the gift that GRP has given my children, one they will carry with them the rest of their lives.

Written by Camp Mom, Leigh Moscowitz