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The Beauty of the Present

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When I was a child I thought being bored was awful. I thought that boredom was a sign of time wasted. Coming to GRP, I experienced boredom in a new way.

In my first year as a camper here, I left for a three-day backpacking trip with my cabin. Being at Basecamp had already separated me from my usual vices (television, video games, etc.), but Campout was a new challenge.

I hiked for miles, carrying tarps, food, and cooking supplies; I built campfires and saw wild animals; I struggled and I persevered; I laughed and I grew.

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Campout allowed me to breathe: To take in my surroundings and experience the beauty of the moment. No clocks, no schedules, and no wake-up bells, only the wilderness and me.

During Campout I spent hours sitting and staring off into the trees. The breeze rustling the leaves and sunlight streaming through the cracks of the foliage. Entertainment became effortless as I awoke to songbirds and I breathed in the mountains. I greeted the day with newfound excitement.

In a book I read recently—Way of the Peaceful Warrior—the teacher asks his student, “Where are we?” The student answers “Here” The teacher asks, “What time is it?” The student answers, “Now.”

GRP has been my teacher, constantly reminding me of the beauty of the present. Through high school and college and out into the world, I’ve taken this lesson with me. Of all the gifts GRP offers, this is one of the most precious.

Story by Joe Heck with photos by Brandon S. Marshall & The GRP Media Team