Sustainability, Green River Preserve, and the Educational Benefits of Summer Camp: Part V
By Sandy Schenck
Personal character is a true measure of who we are. In his book, Cowboy Ethics, Jim Owen, says that there is a real hunger today in America for an anchor; a back to basics living, when life was simpler and people kept their word. Today the road to the top is often met with lying, cheating, and stealing. Rules are bent to work the system. Children are learning from these role models that these standards are acceptable. The moral compass of America has lost direction and there is a real cry for a solid belief system. People long for TRUST.
Tradition plays a big part in shaping the focus of the Green River Preserve and helps to keep us grounded in the belief that we can learn and grow as campers and as people without harming the land. Green River Preserve strives to teach personal responsibility, ecological respect and respect for others through an adherence to the “Woodcraft Laws” originally written by Ernest Thompson Seaton, a founder of the Boy Scouts of America. When summed up, these laws, love, truth, beauty, and fortitude define respect.
Camps hire staff based on their maturity, sensitivity, intellectual achievement, and integrity. They exemplify the role models we aspire to have for our children today.
Upon selection, they are carefully trained to ensure all campers get the rich and rewarding experience they should expect from camp. Through their staff, camps promote independence and encourage confidence in our children. Children feel prepared for the future and are not afraid to be leaders. Camp is a great opportunity for character education. The school drop out rate in America is 30%. About 70% of those who drop out end up in jail. A camp counselor provides inspiration for children. They are real life heroes who teach children to do the right thing even if no one is looking and that it takes courage to be who you are. Success in a camp is sending a child home a little better than they came. Parent testimonies continue to support this.
“Thank you for providing a place of truth and beauty, a place where young people know their truest, best self. How many lives have been changed by that experience? I know our son’s has and our family’s life has been transformed by GRP. Thank you dear, friends, for giving our son a place where he learned something that gives him peace today: knowing who God wants him to be at his very best.” - A GRP camper parent
(Part VI will be posted next week.)