Living Simply

By Green River Preserve

At last night’s evening program, the Lower Council Fire, campers got to experience one of GRP’s simpler evening programs: a night full of music, storytelling and, during this particular session, dance. The council fire started with GRP’s theater coordinator, Dillon, demonstrating one of the myriad ways to start a fire, before campers got the chance to dance in the back field to the beat of drums. Afterward, we listened to a rendition of “Rocky Raccoon,” a story from Dillon (with a saxophone accompaniment, floating mysteriously from the woods behind the Lower Council Fire benches), and a handful of songs from the
Green River Ramblers—GRP’s very own band, comprised of staff and,
each session, any campers with a desire to join.

Unlike some of GRP’s more extravagant evening programs, like Predator vs. Prey or Capture the Flag, the Lower Council Fire provides a night of fun, creativity, and joy rooted in some of life’s simpler pleasures. It is loosely structured and relaxed, devoid of the intensity of Predator vs. Prey or the sprinting and chanting that so often takes place during Capture the Flag. Instead, Lower Council Fire relies on forms of fun that are unplugged, imperfect, and yet entirely fulfilling.

Although it does not involve games, the night is one that is still full of joy. There were moments of magic during Dillon’s story, when the saxophone drifted down from the woods and campers craned their necks, searching for the source of the mysterious music, and laughter as campers danced at the beginning of the program.

This ability to provide joy and magic to campers, using only the simplest of activities, is a testament to the simplicity of living that takes place at GRP. This simplicity is an essential part of the GRP culture, whether it manifests itself through the basic design of the cabins or the eschewal of technology in favor of real and authentic connection. Instead of seeking entertainment from extravagantly planned events, GRP often opts the return to the more unembellished forms of fun, whether it be a walk in the woods, an hour spent writing poetry during creative writing, or a night, like this one, of enjoying our community, listening to stories, and soaking in the music.

Story by Katherine Poore
Photos by Samantha J. Keebler