We are all storytellers

By Ruby Compton

[caption id="" align=“alignright” width=“625”]Storytelling at Fire Painting by David Sheldon[/caption]

Storytelling is an essential part of Green River Preserve. On arrival day, our campers are told the story of how Sandy’s family came to own this land and about the mountain people who shared with and instilled in him a love for the valley. Council Fires are filled with exotic stories of personal quests, unlikely heroes, outdoor explorations, and histories of Appalachia. Each evening, campers end their day sharing their “Rose, Bud, Thorn” with their cabinmates, describing highlights of the day and challenges they have faced.

Storytelling is a critical element in the experience of being human. In Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, the authors state, “A staple practice of hunters and gatherers around the world, storytelling knit the society together…This exchange of stories seems to be very important to humans. Survival once depended on information gained about food sources and other patterns in the landscapes.”

But it is not just people that do the storytelling. Hawk Hurst, senior mentor, stated on a hike this summer, “The forest has a great story tell. The real question is are you listening to it?” One such story was published in Sunday’s Hendersonville Times-News. Recounted by Sandy Schenck, the story tells of Joe Capps’ weekly 35-mile-round-trip walk to Greenville via the Blue Ridge escarpment to earn the money he needed at the mills to acquire beloved land in the Green River Valley to ensure his family’s livelihood.

Coyote’s Guide goes on to state, “You go out for adventures for a while and then reconvene to exchange the stories…These stories move our emotions, entertain us, and can easily turn a wet, cold, hungry experience into a memorable drama…Sharing stories with others builds a collective knowledge much greater than the isolated experience of one person.”

We are all storytellers, constantly experiencing and writing the stories of our lives. Make Green River Preserve a part of your story for summer 2013. We look forward to hearing about your school-year adventures when you arrive at camp for check-in; furthermore, we can’t wait to help you embark on the journey of writing your next chapter.



Young, Jon, Ellen Haas, and Evan McGown. Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature. Washington: OWLink Media, 2008.
Barr, Peter. “Residents have strong ties with their land.” Times-News 28 Jan. 2013.