Imagine you’re on an adventure–a three day and two night backpacking trek within the Green River Valley, surrounded by 3,000+ acres of untouched wilderness. You’re pack is filled to the brim with select camping gear, perhaps some food, as well as a few personal belongings. You’ve brought a favorite novel, your most comfortable fleece pajamas and a journal to document your experience. A rain jacket is tucked safely into an easy-access pocket on your pack. You ran out of water earlier but you’ve recently refilled your canteen with recently purified freshwater after your fellow campers retrieved it from a cool mountain stream. Your Chacos dangle from a carabiner, attached to a bungee chord, wrapped tightly around your sleeping pad. The sandals sway from left to right while hiking the trails(maybe your back is aching and the sun’s too bright, too–inside joke for any and all who’ve experienced our bus songs). The weather has been unusually, well, perfect. This is the last Campout of the summer and you are totally into it.
Our campers are experiencing the joys, the hardships and the comradery of backpacking. It’s not always easy, nevertheless, it’s a unique opportunity to live in nature, become closer to the natural realm and to acquire new skills and wisdom that simply cannot be learned elsewhere. Some campers find Campout to be their favorite part of camp. Others might find themselves curled up against a mossy log, lost in their favorite book or doodling in their journals after setting up shelter. Either way, there exists a level of freedom in the woods that doesn’t occur on Base Camp and certainly not back in the “real world.” Camp groups choose their own trail routes, setup their own tarps and cook for themselves as they please. When they’re not hiking, setting camp or making meals, campers are generally free to explore their surroundings with their counselors and each other. Muscles may be sore. Eyelids might be heavy. The clouds may billow and a the heavens may unleash a deluge. Whatever the case may be, campers and staff, alike, will be there for one another to make the most of their time in the forest.
Story by Brandon S. Marshall with photos by Brandon S. Marshall & Samantha Keebler