Anne hawkinsphoto.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

We Need Connection: GRP's 2019-2020 Impact Report

Please read our full 2019-2020 Impact Report Here.

There is a loneliness epidemic across the country. It started in the winter of 2020 and has continued to increase monthly. Children are connected through devices and less connected than ever to one another. The world is demanding that this generation be more curious, more creative and more educated. What’s a parent to do?

Now more than ever, people need to be fully connected to one another. Over thirty years ago, GRP founder Sandy Schenck envisioned a place where children and adults could slow down and learn together side by side in the outdoors. It would be a place where time was not the driver but curiosity, critical thinking, collaboration, and discovery set the boundaries.

It is rare to have a place like Green River Preserve in today’s world. Immersed in nature, the community of camp offers a whole other kind of education; skills that lay a foundation for respect - respect for one’s self, for each other and for all living things. Author, Florence Williams says it well in her book,Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative. “The science of nature shows that the experience of beauty makes us feel more connected to each other. Nature makes us feel part of something larger than ourselves. This is a fundamental lesson children need more than ever as they grow up today largely indoors, inundated with social media: that they’re not just individuals in a cog; that they need social bonding to grow in all ways.”

In a year when Green River Preserve did not operate, our administrative team focused on strategic priorities of the organization: mission, values, and the future. As part of that work, we simplified our mission statement: “to inspire environmental stewards through a joyful connection to nature.” At our core, this is what GRP does best. Through our strategic planning goals , GRP is taking steps to be a forward leader in the camping industry by examining our decisions and making sure they align with our values and remain mission focused. We believe we are the camp we need for the world we want.

Each year our administrative team selects a theme appropriate for growth within our community. This year, our team chose belonging; an anecdote to the loneliness epidemic. This winter, our admin team read Radha Agrawal’s book, Belong. According to Radha, “belonging is a feeling of deep relatedness and acceptance; a feeling of I would rather be here than anywhere else.” Community is defined as: a group of three or more people with whom you share similar values and interests and where you experience a sense of belonging. At GRP, these definitions ring true and are at the heart of our mission. This year, children need camp more than ever and they need to belong. We are dedicated to making that happen.

Thank you for joining us,

Anne & Stephen