Nature Camps has changed my life; I say this in the most serious of manners. Not only has it greatly expanded my knowledge of the beautiful earth on which we live, but it has been an inspirational and exciting source for my poetry and writing.
At camp, we keep Nature Journals in which we record thoughts, pictures, and just doodles that remind us of days in the summer sun. I always enjoy journal time at camp. But, I also enjoy my personal journal time, when I arrive back at the comfort of my home and look back at the day that has just passed. In it, I record other thoughts: the goals that I accomplished that day, the things I need to work on for tomorrow, and the never-ending list of funny memories that seems to grow longer and longer each summer.
I was shy and quiet growing up, and one day, when I was six years old, I followed my older brother, Matt, out to Nature Camps. After one summer, they could never get rid of me. So, for nine summers, I have spent my days under the canopy of endless woods, in a little wonderland of leprechauns and faeries, and the most amazing and talented staff I have yet to know. They are all genuine people, knowing and caring about each child individually. I watch the staff and take into account all the decisions they make, learning from their wisdom and hoping to use some of their tactics if I ever become a counselor myself! They are wonderful, talented individuals, with more excitement and flair for life than some have.
At Nature Camps, I have learned my limitations as well. I have learned what works and what doesn’t work for me. It has changed my outlook on life, and how I view others and myself. I have a more positive image of the world and the people in it, while spending my time at camp, and always try to carry that love of life outside the camp to the world around me. Nature Camps is contagious. One gets caught up in it, and they are pulled in strong by the fairytale nature of it, and the wonder and beauty.
In the simplest terms, there is only one way to describe the overwhelming feeling that I get in the bottom of my stomach when I pull up the dirt road for the first time each June: Summer just wouldn’t be summer without Nature Camps.
— Lauren Barrett