Just like that, Session 1 is underway. After the incredible journey of staff training, our team is fully prepared to encourage the magic. If I’m speaking candidly, in my 5 years here on the Preserve I have yet to witness such a high level of joy on Opening Day. Counselors, Mentors, Support Staff and Campers could be seen playing tag, laughing hysterically with each other and generally leaning into our mantra of “seeking the joy.” This is the day we’ve been waiting for. Although our staff is totally capable of creating our own very real magic, these campers have elevated that feeling, a hundredfold. With the beginning of a brand new summer, we’re all thinking of the fun times and adventures to come.
What will tomorrow bring? What sights will we see? Will we spot our Grand Slaminals this week, leading to what could be an epic ice cream party? Perhaps the most important question of all, what are we having for dinner?
Our eyes are wide open and our hearts are already full, ready to spread the joy. We’re all so fortunate to be here, in a place that generations of campers have called home. It’s not everyday you find yourself in such a pristine outdoor escape, and one of the most apparent shared feelings I’ve seen in just the last couple of hours is that we are so aware that we can be ourselves here in this grand kingdom of peace, wonder and ultimate happiness. Here is where we can be free to be who we are. Here is where we can find more joy in ourselves and our surroundings than the world outside often allows. Here is Green River Preserve, and it is home, in every sense of the word.
Story by Brandon S. Marshall with Photos by Samantha Keebler & Brandon S. Marshall