Overcoming Challenges

By Green River Preserve

At the Preserve this afternoon the backfield is bustling, well, at least it was before our daily afternoon thunderstorm. The aroma of freshly burned and cut wood from woodworking in the bomb shelter wafts over to the climbing wall. At the climbing wall, words of encouragement and the deep gongs of the bell at the top of the monstrous structure are ringing loudly. In front of the Lower Council Fire, campers can be found lunging with determination towards their opponents in fencing.

Senior Mentor Snowbear shared on a hike, “A challenge is not a test.” During this hike, we moved only 50ft in two hours. We chose to challenge ourselves mentally rather than physically and because of this, campers could tell you about the symbiotic relations of grandfather bearded lichen or the medicinal value of yellow root shrub. It is unique that the Green River Preserve qualifies challenging yourself in any capacity as a success. We encourage campers to challenge themselves in everything they do here. On mentor hikes, campers have the opportunity to stand under a frigid waterfall while screaming, “Polar Bear! Polar Bear! Polar Bear!”. We often see a reluctance to participate turn into a conquered challenge. In afternoon activities, campers work to reach the top of the climbing wall. But for many, the success is achieved much earlier in just attempting to scale the wall.

Campers know that any level of participation is an accomplishment that will be accompanied by the love, support and thunderous applause of the community. Words cannot describe the sense of comfort and acceptance that brings to many individuals here. I believe it is for these reasons that we all keep coming back to the Green River Preserve each summer. This small pocket of the mountains in Western North Carolina is our safe place to seek the joy in our trivialities and celebrate success.

Kristen, Whipoorwill 1 Counselor