On Thursday afternoon, session six campers and staff packed a change of clothes, three days worth of food and the necessary camping gear before hitting the trail for the highly awaited backpacking trip of the session. This two-night and three-day backpacking trip is a special event that makes GRP a unique camp experience.
While many summer camps spend time enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, the Green River Preserve serves its mission of inspiring environmental stewards by learning about and walking the land daily during Mentor Hikes. For the two and three week sessions, these opportunities for joyful connections in nature are expanded by sending campers to learn about the art of camping in the mountains with trained and experienced staff members.
Before departure, mentors prepare campers for the amazing adventure they are getting ready to embark on by talking about camping traditions, “Leave No Trace Principles”, and their own personal campout stories. Campers and staff then work together to pack backpacks with the camping gear and food they will need before hitting the trail.
Each group is given a new location for each day of the trip to hike to based on the campers ages and hiking abilities. Once campers and staff arrive at their destination, they will then work together to prepare the campsite for living on. Staff will teach different camping skills to the campers which they can then use to collect and purify water, set up tents with tarps, collect firewood and build fires, as well as preparing and cooking food over a camping stove.
While all of these activities are taught and overseen by trained staff members, campout is an amazing opportunity for campers because this trip is the time when they get to be most involved in nature. By learning about how to seek the joy and simultaneously show respect to land and all living things, GRP works to “inspire environmental stewards through a joyful connection to nature.”
Story by Kalet Tritt with photos with by Brandon S. Marshall