Why I come back to GRP (as a parent and as Camp Dad)

By Anne Mead

It turned out to be Snowbear playing a steel pan drum that he had received from a past community of his—friends and neighbors had pitched in to acquire it for him. I heard it last year when a soothing, ambient sound began to reverberate into the dimming nightshine. With barely a lick of the sun’s last rays remaining, the soft, low rhythms surrounded and filled me. I didn’t know the instrument or the agent, but the sense of wonder that I felt epitomizes GRP to me. It’s why I come back.

GRP is—at its core—a community, a particular community filled with music, rocks and streams, snacks, dancing, greenery in many shades, creative expression, and love. Campers and staff give back again and again to this shared community, and it’s lovely to watch on a day to day basis. This year, I relaxed in a dark cave while Senior Mentor Jon played the digeridoo and the campers hummed and sang along. That sense of community happens again and again, and it feels so innate and simple. It’s why I come back.

My GRP personal top five offers more reasons for why I come back:
1. Mentor hikes: the beauty, the learning, and sometimes, the music…
2. Council fires: definitely the music. (As well as mountain tales, bear sightings, and the peace of a crackling fire.)
3. Ziplining into the “swimming hole” during free time.
4. Meal time music, learning, and theatrics, including ORT Man and Scrappy, Wise Words, Dr. Dodo, and spontaneous flash mob singing and dancing. Meals in the Lodge are filled with smiles and joy.
5. The peace of the gazebo and its role in opening day respect circle: it’s a wonderful way to begin the shared experience of camp. (I also do yoga there during campout weekends when everything’s so chill at base camp.)