Can you believe that we’re already about halfway through Session 5? Wherever the time goes, I’m sure I don’t know. Although our Campers have been here for just over 48 hours, we’ve seen and explored so much of the Preserve. Our Mentors have led 16 different morning hikes, to various scenic and ecologically interesting locations, from Uncle’s to the GRP Farm. The hike to Uncle’s Creek Falls follows the creek through a miniaturized valley, allowing geologically adept Mentors, like Andy and Emily, to show, on a small scale, the inner workings of a valley system. In this unique ecosystem, we find the perfect balance of life that we all wish could be seen in every valley on the planet. Unfortunately, in most cases, humans have built grocery stores, gas stations and retail super centers, with no regard to the land or waterways. Perhaps, in the future, the generation of youngsters who’ve learned about the importance of the earth, will make great changes towards a happier, healthier environment.
In the Green River, where paradise lay, we can find indicator species under rocks and in-between crevasse. These unique creatures are often quite small, like salamanders and crayfish, but they show us the extend of our land’s ecological harmony. While visiting the GRP Farm, this morning, we learned how to think about our effect on the land and the waters surrounding us. So many of our individual choices deeply effect the Green River. If we use harmful bug spray or sunscreen, then wade into the water, we’re effectively contaminating that habitat. The little things, that we may usually take for granted, can be detrimental to the environment.
Well, enough of the science lesson, let’s get back to the fun. During today’s first activity period, we enjoyed the sun while it lasted. Thanks to an extraordinarily powerful thunderstorm, our internet is down and activities have been moved indoors. With an array of games, instruments and the tools to inspire creativity, our staff and campers are making the best of what has become a bit of a rainy day. As I listen to the rumbling of thunder move into the distance, I hope that we get a chance for some night exploration after supper. Either way, today is a great day, because, in case you didn’t know, it’s Twinner! This means that each of us will try and dress the same as someone else, then show up to dinner to see how many laughs or smiles we can muster. Until tomorrow, seek the joy, y’all.
Story by Brandon S. Marshall with Photos by Samantha J. Keebler & Brandon S. Marshall