The Real World

By Green River Preserve

Here at camp, we talk a lot about the “real world” – that is, the world outside of camp. And the other day a friend of mine read some wise words about this. She said that out here, it can often feel as if we are in the middle of nowhere. For miles around, there are no cars or buildings, no sounds of rush rush rush. But, to be sure, this is not nothing. Rather, it is something quite extraordinary. Here, in the middle of somewhere, we are in the presence of so much: the trees, the mountains, the rivers. And so she read, perhaps this is the real world. Everything around us is real. More so than anywhere else. The Earth, the happiness, the friendship. I have never seen better friendships than I have here at camp. And that is not nothing.

Henry David Thoreau said that the language of friendship is not words but meanings. I ask my campers what they like best about camp and sometimes they say the hikes or the games. But more often they will say the people. When I ask them to elaborate they pause, think carefully, and say, “It’s hard to explain, there’s just something special about the people here.”

One of my campers said it’s like we gathered all the best people in the world and put them in one place. But still, there’s more to it that perhaps words cannot explain. In Creative Writing I tell my kids, “Write what you know.” The truth is, I don’t know much. My stories are the words of everyone I’ve ever met. But I do know this: Here at Green River Preserve, we live in the real world. And we could not be happier about it.

Andie TC 1