As I photograph Mentor Hikes, Activities, Free Time and Evening Programs, it’s apparent that we’ve got an abundance of happy campers. In the mornings, as we gather in the Back Field to load onto buses, every hike group has it’s own method of beginning their adventure. Some groups are divvying out snacks, while others are getting into a short “name game” and others are just having some great conversation about how incredible the blueberries were at the fruit bar during breakfast. Then we’re off! Buses roll out and we sing, together, all the way to our various drop offs to begin the hike. While some hikes require a bit more labor than others, every hikes gives us all the opportunity to be curious, to learn our own individual strengths and to feel at home in the natural realm of GRP.
After lunch, it’s straight into Rest Hour(the best hour) and next comes two one-hour Activity periods, where we spread out over Base Camp to learn new skills, hone in creativity or conquer personal challenges. Free Time lets us all enjoy an hour of swimming, zip-lining, playing in the Front Field or generally just enjoying whatever makes us happy, from reading a book to writing a letter home to hanging out and chatting with friends. To top it all off, every night we gather for a different and unique Evening Program, from Lower Council Fire to Capture the Flag and more. The whole time, you’d think we’d end up sluggish and ready to nap for an entire 24 hours, but this just isn’t the case. The happiness here creates and unending energy that simply does not go away, and I cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Story by Brandon S. Marshall with photos by Samantha Keebler