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GRP is Magic

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It’s not often that a few moments can define an entire session, but yesterday, I was lucky enough to find them. Group Learning Projects are often spread throughout Base Camp, from the Pottery Studio to the Climbing wall. For the last full day of Session 4, there were a multitude of choices for fun, creativity, and adventure. As one half of the GRP Media Team, it’s difficult to capture every GLP at the right time. We try to catch ‘em all (#Pokemon), but we’re sometimes forced to leave one area of camp to move onto the next awesome project that our Mentors, Counselors and Campers are creating. Upon discovering that one group of campers would be heading to the Cave, to light handmade torches within the antechamber, I knew I wanted to try my best to capture the magic.

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As I crept into the depths, I waited until everyone involved strode into the entrance room. Our fearless leaders made sure to spread us out in a half-circle, allowing us to light the torches together, safely, which in turn gave me a great opportunity for a well framed photo. As Zan lit his torch with a long-stemmed lighter, he methodically twirled it, slowly, giving the dry tufts of tinder a chance to fully ignite. It didn’t take long for the tinder to ignite and we had ourselves a means of lighting all of the torches, together. As each camper extended their own torch, each with a unique variety of tinder materials, they began to ignite and the cave was illuminated with a bright, fiery light.

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While we all became entranced with the flickering glow of the torches, a deep sense of awe and the feeling of being in an ancient story of adventure and astonishment, washed over the atmosphere. Little did we know, another particularly magical moment was occuring, right behind us, just outside the anteroom. While the afternoon sunshine shone through the tree canopy, it mingled with the flow of smoke leaving the cave. This created a sight I have yet to see at GRP, and it was one I shant soon forget. It was as if we had been transported to Middle Earth and we were, for the first time, witnessing the true magic of this realm. We often refer to this land as a magical kingdom and these moments captured a rare piece of that wonder that I hope will stick with these campers, forevermore.

Story and photos by Brandon S. Marshall