Seeking the Joy of Life

By Green River Preserve

Let’s talk about joy. One of the best lines from the Woodcraft Laws states simply, “Seek the joy.” Many of our staff have taken that phrase and made it their daily mantra. Even better, our campers seem to realize exactly what it means and emblazon it onto their hearts and keep it fresh in their minds, always. While it would seem such a little thing to most, here, we are reminded in everything that GRP works hard to accomplish, with every word and each gesture towards creating a better society for humanity. Complete and utter selflessness make appearances at every meal, when campers will give up the last buttery biscuit for another in need. During free time, when a fellow camper helps another from the opposing team get back up after falling in spectacular fashion while playing an intense game of Ultimate Frisbee, the true colors of our community shine.

It’s Samwise Gamgee, in the Lord of the Rings, who says, “And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer." Knowing that everything our campers experience here gives them the tools to become fundamentally amazing individuals (and already are) is what comes to mind when I relate that segment of quotation to life here on the Preserve. Our campers really are going to become some of the great minds and beautiful souls of their generation. Astoundingly, they’re becoming these wonderful people while loving life, in the purest, most fulfilling way that I could ever imagine. Through group learning and hands-on skill sessions, out in nature, they are completely thrilled with each new piece of information or thoughts and ideas on how to improve upon what they already know.

The campers that have been visiting camp, once a year, for the last seven years, accept new campers as one of their own, because they know what this place is trying to accomplish and they are proud to bestow upon others that which makes this community thrive. This being my first summer here, I could not have envisioned a more perfectly nourished setting for which young people of varying backgrounds could simply enjoy life in the presence of others whom they knew or had never before met. It is the joy of living and being here that surrounds every moment which gives strength to those who need it and empowers those that are, perhaps, not quite sure of that strength just yet. The joy gives hope to all who see it and feel it with each kindness and every positive action. The joy revolves around every camper, like an aura that can be seen in every step they take, every single day.

Seek the Joy.

Brandon S. Marshall