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Soaking Up the Fun

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We’re already five days into Session 3, proving just how fast time flies when you’re having fun. Although we haven’t yet seen a Grand Slam, there’s still plenty of opportunities ahead. Between mentor hikes, the upcoming DuPont Day hikes and, of course, the early morning hike to Pretty Place, there’s still hope.

Interestingly enough, we may have found an equally remarkable animal on the Preserve, yesterday morning. In a small, clear pool of the waters flowing below Big Laurel Falls, what we think might be a hellbender salamander was laying with his/her young under a flat stone. This is extremely exciting, and, as far as I know, there’s never been a sighting on GRP property. Over the upcoming weekend, we’ll be completing a little reconnaissance mission, with some underwater camera equipment. With some luck, we could capture a better glimpse at what might just be a hellbender, a species of unique interest in NC, as it may soon be an Endangered Species.

But enough about the wildlife, let’s talk about camp life! The Session 3 vibe is unlike any other camp session. There’s a symbiotic, mutual respect between each and every camper and member of the staff. We’re high-fiving as we pass between afternoon activities and we’re exploring new parts of the Preserve on our morning hikes. The sights and sounds around base camp are exactly what you hope to see and hear in a perfect world. It may all sound too good to be true or even a bit cliché, but just watching the campers enjoy life during free time makes it easy to understand that we can all be our best selves at GRP.

Story by Brandon S. Marshall with Photos by Brandon S. Marshall & Samantha J. Keebler