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You know what they say–it always rains on Campout! Well, folks, it’s Campout…and it’s raining. Having said that, the power of positivity will undoubtedly prevail, in the face of whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

A seemingly endless stream of campers filed into a sun baked back field, earlier this morning, to pack up for the journey. Each of eight backpacking groups scattered themselves around the field to split up camping equipment, cooking gear and all other necessities for a successful excursion into the wild. The adventure of Campout brings us to various locations spread out around the entire Preserve. Campers will cook for themselves, make shelters, gather fresh water to purify, and they’ll even get to clean up after meals! It’s really about the experience of being in the woods with friends, to learn what it means to sleep under the stars(or the storm clouds) and what it’s like to really put yourself in nature. Counselors and Mentors are there to guide them along, but for the most part, the kids will be running the show. This gives each camper a chance to shine, to offer skills learned during Activities or from prior learning. Some campers will form units to complete tasks while others might work best alone. After camp is set up and meals are over, there will be games, time to relax and enjoy the moment and maybe even a round of s’mores before bedtime. Either way, it’s going to be a blast and I’m sure there will be many stories told upon their return!

Story and photos by Brandon S. Marshall

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