Here it is. The last report from GPC’s 2019 NextGen Outdoor Camp. Be sure to tune in next year for more Words from the Woods!
It was a whirlwind summer for NextGen Outdoor Campers. We rode bikes, horses, and waves. We picked plums, pulled ivy, and plotted the slope of Lions Park Beach. We learned important lessons about the rich and complicated history of our home-place, and met with mentors whose passion for their work was inspirational. NextGen Outdoor Camp provided an amazing opportunity for tomorrow’s environmental decision makers to see the wild as something worth preserving, and I cannot help feel anything but pride and hope in the mutual restoration that takes place when nature and young people are introduced.
Throughout the summer, NextGen students were asked to write about and draw their outdoor experiences. You’ll find a few of their thoughts here.
“I will tell my family that [hiking Green Mountain] was awesome and they will want to go with me and it might be hard, but very fun and awesome. It will help with my depression. It is going to be fun!”
“I’m glad I learned how to garden, because now my sister wants to start one!”
“I was really scared to go all the way up the rock climbing wall, but people kept encouraging me so I did it!”
“One thing I’m super glad I learned [with Olympic Mountain Rescue volunteers] is what to do when someone has heatstroke. I’m glad I learned this because I was with my mom and she had heatstroke and if I had not learned that something really bad could have happened.”
“Horseback riding was my favorite field trip. I loved learning how to take care of them. I even want to take lessons. It inspired me to try something new.”
“One goal I came to camp with and conquered was being more social.”
“My favorite fieldtrip was the Yama Village archaeological site. I found it super interesting that there was once a building where we were standing.”
“I have too many adventure stories to write. I’d have to say them out loud. I’ll write a journal and show you later.”
It’s true, there were just too many adventures and too many people to thank for helping to make those experiences and opportunities come to be. Nonetheless, thank you to everyone who played a role as stewards of a bright future for our community’s youth and for our local environment.
As is the NextGen way, may we all continue to enjoy the wilds of our beautiful peninsula with a sense of kindness, respect, and responsibility, and with each visit strive to leave them a little better than we found them.
Claire “The Clam” Voris
GPC Events and Outreach Associate