The Community We Have Here is Family

By Sara Huffman




As we begin our final week of this session, so begins a series of lasts for many of our campers. Today was our last Mentor Hike of the session, and for some, their last ever.  Many of the campers are aging out of Base amp, and hopefully continuing on with Expeditions.  It was a beautiful morning for these important Mentor Hikes, for it wasn’t too hot, and the skies were partly cloudy and most importantly; NO RAIN


At lunch, the Mentors reported the adventure of the morning, including exploring the Blue Ridge Expedition’s base camp, new Polar Bears (two campers even were under the falls for 10 minutes!), learning about trail building while going down one of the newer trails, and finding some giant crayfish. It sounded like Mentor Hikes went out with a bang.
For many campers, GRP is a second home, and the community we have is a second family. Some of the campers have been coming to camp with the same friends for five years, some are just now forming those lasting bonds. As a staff member, and former camper, it is beautiful to watch the friendships form, the likes of which I know, by experience, will endure. 
While there was a small amount of sadness going around the Lodge at lunch today, it was overshadowed by joy.  Joy that GRP is a place where such close friendships are formed.  Joy at the knowledge that they will continue, whether at Base Camp or on an Expedition.  Joy knowing that these kids have found a second family that will stand  by their sides through thick and thin, and that many more memories will continue to get made because of the powerful impact GRP had on them.