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With the end of Session 3 fast approaching, we’re all just trying to soak up every last bit of the magic. It’s hard to end a conversation, because we don’t know how many chances we’ll get to chat before Thursday morning. All the smiles are bittersweet, already, knowing that by week’s end, camp will be over. Unfortunately, we have a whole bunch of campers that are aging out this year. Sure, there’ll be opportunities to join BRX, OBX and TBX, but it’s not quite the same as Base Camp. This community of around 150 people will remain in our hearts, but we will never be here again, at least not all of us at the same time. We’ve become a tight-knit group of individuals, who know everyone’s name, everyone’s personality and everyone’s desire to enjoy life and to protect the things that can’t fend for themselves. Whether it’s a turtle crossing the road or the need for sustainable living, we’ve all reached a point of understanding. Not to sound too deep, but as one walks around Base Camp, at any moment of the day, it’s visible that we’ve reached enlightenment, at least on some level.

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Tomorrow morning will be one of the most reverent experiences of the 3-Week-Session, the hike to Pretty Place. We’ll head out together, in the dark, bound for a small chapel that overlooks a range of mountains to the east. As the pale dawn light spreads across morning sky, we’ll be there, with tired eyes and full hearts, smiling with each other.

Story by Brandon S. Marshall with photos by Samantha Keebler