Know this: We are a place of RESPECT

By Anne Mead

Like many of you, I have been struggling with everything that has been going on in our world today. There’s a lot of negativity and opposing views to say the least. As I continue to read headlines and listen to NPR, my mind is swimming. It’s overwhelming. Can you relate?

Kindness. Respect. Compassion. Empathy. Mindfulness. Friends. Love.

These are basic human characteristics. Or so it seems. Some might argue that in our larger, worldwide community it seems to be lacking. It brings me to ask a few questions:

1. Who raised people to act this way?
2. How can I make sure my children know certain behaviors and actions are not okay?
3. And…the question of all questions…What is your parenting goal?

Is it to raise competent, capable, good decision-making adults? Perhaps maybe even good community members of society?

If so, I believe camp is the antidote to the negativity now poisoning our society. Why, you might ask?

It’s simple. Green River Preserve is founded on the basis of respect. We teach our campers and staff RESPECT for each other, RESPECT for all living things, RESPECT for the property and facilities, and RESPECT for oneself. We begin each program with a respect circle, where we ask each community member to agree and abide by this covenant by individually saying, “I will.”

As part of the respect circle we also state there will be no “put-downs” only “put-ups” here at camp. We challenge campers to be their best selves and to support one another. We emphasize that we are all part of this community and we all depend on one another to make our system function well. It is a holistic community, one that mirrors the life cycle of nature. It is a kind and accepting place. As a parent, I am so grateful and proud my children are a part of it.

Know this: GRP is a place of kindness. We are a place of community. We are a place of compassion. We are a place of empathy. We are a place of mindfulness. We are a place of respect. We are a place of love.