Session 2/3 Day 13

By Sandy Schenck

It is hard to believe that nearly two weeks have gone by! Session 2 campers headed out on their second camp-out today, while Session 3 participated in GLP’s (Group Learning Projects). This second camp-out for Session 2 was organized by theme; campers got to sign up from a list that included an international theme, a story-telling theme, an Appalachian Trail/Ultra-lite theme, and a wild foods and primitive skills theme. Campers and staff got their backpacks packed with sleeping bags, group gear, and food, and set out for a variety of destinations around the GRP. Everyone checked in this evening and all is going well; we’ll have more details on those camp-outs in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, back at Base Camp, Session 3 campers also chose from a variety of GLP’s. One group went on a blueberry hunt, hiking up at the Upper Bald and picking as many blueberries as they could; they gathered 2 gallons! When they got back, they made smoothies out of the blueberries and put them over ice cream—a sweet reward for a good hike! Other campers went on a “rocking” hike, hitting a circle of rocks around the Preserve; they started at Prayer Rock, hit Bear Rock and Peggy’s Rock, and ended up at Bald Rock. They saw lots of bear scat AND they managed to call in a bard owl in the middle of the day! Another group went on a fishing extravaganza; they started off in Base Camp, making their own poles and fishing in our ponds here. After frying up a lunch of their catch, they headed down to Hemlock Field, where they tried their cast in the Green River. Other groups stayed in camp. One group participated in a day-long Sweat Lodge, learning about this Native American tradition; another group learned about other ways to “seek the joy” in a Day of Zen. Our cupcake-making GLP made the dessert for dinner tonight—cute cupcakes, decorated like sunflowers and owls (who knew an Oreo could have so many uses?!?). And our last GLP worked on a beautiful mosaic that will go on the wall of the girls’ showerhouse—a gorgeous salamander framed by colorful bits of tile.

For Session 3’s evening program, we enjoyed a festive banquet in the Lodge, followed by our traditional closing Upper Council Fire. The cupcake-making GLP group decorated the Lodge with a camp theme, with references to different camp activities and programs, like the waterfront, BB Skeet and archery, and music. Dinner was delicious: fried chicken, green beans, rice, rolls, salad bar, and cupcakes. The Upper Council Fire was an excellent opportunity to think about how much we value our time here at the Green River Preserve. After the Upper Council Fire, campers and staff floated candle-boats in the canoe lake. It is a striking scene, with the candles floating in the water, lighting up the dark; looking up from the canoe lake, we see the backdrop of the ridgeline, slightly darker than the night sky, and we realize how lucky we are, to have been nestled here at the Green River Preserve and to have shared this experience with each other.

We hate to say good-bye to our Session 3 campers, but we are so glad they have been here!