What Wonderful Connections We Build
By Green River Preserve
With the second week of Session 2 in full swing, campers and staff alike are settling in to GRP life. While last week the newer campers sought the guidance of returners, by now even first year campers seem like old hands. Having established new friendships and oriented themselves to the workings of Base Camp, I see them fostering deeper connections with one another and with nature.
Connections exist all around us, and we have been learning to keep a lookout for them. Friends cheer one another on at the Climbing Wall during Activities and on the tall platform in the lake during Free Time. They understand implicitly that a fear conquered by one is a fear conquered by all. At dinner, Ort Man and Scrappy point out the links between our production of Organic Recyclable Trash and the environment, and as the Session progresses, we consistently cut back on our ORT production. On Mentor Hikes, campers experience as a group the beauty, mystery, and function of nature. On a recent hike, Snow Bear, a Senior Mentor, advised the campers, “Look for the strings that connect.” This metaphor helped to start us thinking both specifically and generally as we considered our own place in the Green River Valley. Nearly everything at GRP circles back on learning, the joy of living, and respect of nature, self, and others.
As I write this post, Google Docs lets me know that it is “[t]rying to connect” to the internet. While this connection is something I rely on to enable me to communicate with readers (parents, friends, and loved ones interested in campers’ lives), it is a connection that I have, for the most part, forgone in my first four weeks at Green River Preserve. While so many of us depend on this type of connection to function in our daily lives, the connections our campers are forging here are so much deeper. They are learning to think each day about their place in the world, from the microcosm of their cabin communities, to the larger GRP community, to the macrocosm of Nature as a whole. We at GRP walk the land, and as we walk the land we become part of it, and it in turn becomes a part of us.