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Chaotic Chorus of Joy

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Everyone loves a good grand slam, the educational admiration of some of the Green River Valley’s most amazing creatures: the deer, the wild turkey, either the copperhead or timber rattlesnake, and the black bear. And after we see the Grand Slaminals (they’re out there!), we celebrate with one of mankind’s greatest creations: ice cream. Even after a wonderful and hardy dinner, you just can’t so no to ice cream, right?

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So, after a delectable supper made by our wonderful kitchen staff, after seeing the deer and the love it gives to the world, after witnessing the calls of the wild turkey and its truth to our homes, after safely admiring the beauty of the Green River Valley’s copperheads and rattlesnakes, after admiring the fortitude of our admittedly timid black bears, we get to celebrate with some fantastic ice cream sundaes.

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What was special about this session’s grand slam, was that campers and staff got to enjoy our splendid chocolate ice cream with gummy bears, oreos, marshmallows, chocolate sauce, and more during our Mountain Beach Party. While there is slightly less beach than there is mountain in the Mountain Beach Party, it is one of those special moments where you can truly see how Green River Preserve encourages you to become your best self, and seek the joy of being alive. The day was alive with the music of laughter, and the music of jazz.

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There was laughter from campers in the waterfront, specially open that evening program, as they got to play in our splendid little lake (or big pond, dependending on how you see it), which never ceases to humble you every morning as it carries the warped reflections of a mountain above us. There was laughter from the slip n slide - which may or may not just be a tarp with soap and water on it - which remained occupied with smiling campers and genuine giggles for hours. There was laughter in the gazebo, where campers could dive into the worlds, messages, laughs, tears, and lessons of literature, or from playing games with others.

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There was laughter on the field, where the evening rain coating the grass, and later our shoes, just added a fun twist and challenge to frisbee or soccer.

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There was laughter in the lodge, where the music of joy mixed with the music of jazz and blues; a bass joking with a piano, a drum set coursing through our veins, and a violin having a blast and not knowing what in the world to do.

It was a chaotic chorus of joy. After almost two years of dark silence in the Green River Valley, the music of joy had returned.

I’m still smiling.

Blog by Noah Gerhardt and photos by Samantha Keebler.

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