Pam's great adventures

By Sandy Schenck

Pam Ritchie, Summer Program Coordinator at The Green River Preserve, just returned from some wild adventures during her vacation time!

I left Green River and went straight to my parents house in Shelby, NC, to help with last minute wedding odds and ends. My sister Amber, got married on November 17 to Seth Rickertsen. Both the Bride and Groom are teachers in Morganton. Seth teaches high school history and Amber drives the art bus for Burke county, sharing her love of art with children at different schools all over the county. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and lots of fun! I had a blast hanging out with my family and friends. I think my sister was the most beautiful bride ever!
The day after the wedding I jumped on an airplane and headed west to Idaho. I landed in Boise and traveled south to the desert to work a trip with a wilderness therapy program. Before I became the Summer Program Coordinator at The Green River Preserve, I was a wilderness instructor, working with at-risk youth. I spent two weeks in the freezing cold Idaho desert with an all girls group. My Thanksgiving was in the field with two other instructors and nine students. The kids get a special meal including, Cornish hens, sweet potatoes, stuffing, fry bread and even pumpkin pie. The entire day was spent relaxing, cooking over an open fire and talking with students about the things they are thankful for. This was my second Thanksgiving in the field and I loved being able to share it with a group of girls who are working to overcome some pretty intense obstacles in their lives. Being outside with only the necessities and working with these students really helps put what “being thankful” truly means into perspective.
Overall my trip in the desert was pretty exciting and event filled. I chased a student around one evening and woke up outside in the snow a few mornings. I feel good about the work that I did with my students and it was great to be able to go back to my old job and relax in the beautiful Idaho desert. I received my 30 week jacket (a big honor) and officially became a Master Instructor at the end of the two weeks. After my trip was over, I had a few days to hang around Idaho and visit with old friends. I headed back to NC on December 9th and after three plane rides, a five hour layover in Detroit and locating my lost luggage, I made it back to good old Hendersonville. I feel energized and excited about beginning my search for a great 2008 summer staff!