Strange New World

By Green River Preserve

With 3400 acres within its borders, the Preserve holds a wealth of opportunities for exploration, discovery, and, of course, adventure. With each new morning comes a new chance to push further into a land that is often strange and new to our newest campers—it is a land quieter than most, without the sound of traffic, of cell phone beeps, or the constant hum of electronics. It’s a land with fewer walls, a ceiling of leaves, and trails instead of roads. We use old buses and our own feet to get around this place, not cars or subway systems, and we let the wildness run rampant.

This tract of land is more or less untouched, its waterfalls, streams, balds, and caves preserved and protected, free to exist without the risk of development. This is an unfamiliar place, then, compared to most of our homes. Not many of us are lucky enough to live somewhere with quite so much undisturbed wilderness, and this makes for a new—but uniquely special—world for many of our campers and staff.

This world is one that encourages adventures, even on the smallest scale. Perhaps this means having Rose, Bud, Thorn on the front field, or exploring the river on a morning mentor hike. Braving the salamander cave, too, on the Uncle’s Falls hike is a form of adventure, or clambering down the steep rock face of Lower Bald. Some might consider hands-free dessert a form of adventure, too, but, in any case, GRP gives us the opportunity to explore a world that is new, different, and unfailingly encouraging. This strange new world, filled with countless traditions, new sights, and potential friends, starts off unfamiliar. We each come here with much to learn about this community, and it takes us all a moment to reorient ourselves to the world created here. Quickly, though, this world becomes a home, with a floor of dirt, a ceiling of leaves, and a family made of the campers and staff who choose to let this place into their hearts.

Story by Katherine Poore
Photos by Brandon S. Marshall