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As the sun shines brightly over us we are almost a week into summer camp. There are some familiar faces and some new ones too, yet all with a beaming smile. Campers are trying their hands on new skills and classes, others are excelling and mastering their previous artistries to advance their rankings. Each cabin is coming together to prepare for the much anticipated overnight campout this coming Monday. This is our way of promoting and encouraging the ENF community to be one with nature and explore all its wonders. As the day comes to an end all of our young campers unwind with exciting and engaging twilight activities such as letter writing, sports, arts and crafts, swimming and much more. To add to the fun we have new and fresh evening activities each night, the most recent one being, a five-minute movie re-enactment of a particular classic kids film. It is that time of the year when we see some old friendships blossom again and the creation of new ones.
It’s a beautiful day in the mountains and the summer camp season is now well underway. We had tribal hikes last night (and the new campers found out what tribes they were in), and we’re looking forward to cabin campouts early next week. I know that the campers will be excited for the mac and cheese lunch we’re having today (and I’m excited for Taco Tuesday)! From all of the smiles I’ve seen and laughter I heard over the last several days, it seems like everyone is very excited to be at Eagle’s Nest. I know that I am!
If you’d like to get a glimpse of the fun that we’re having at camp you can check out the photos and up-dates on our website. The best way to know when there is an up-date is to become our friend on Facebook or Instagram (@eaglesnestcampnc). You can access the photos through the “Camp Overview” page on our website (www.enf.org) and clicking on the Flickr icon, or by going directly to our photo page. We will up up-dating these sites every few days.
Do you remember your first Giving Day – getting to know the person whose name you chose at random, spending time making something heartfelt, and giving your gift at the Giving Day ceremony?
Do you still have the stained glass feather hanging in your window, or the handcrafted wooden box made just for you that sits on your desk? Giving Day gifts are one of a kind and forever cherished.
On July 11th, you’re invited to join the Eagle’s Nest and The Outdoor Academy community for Giving Day 2019 to relive this special tradition with another opportunity to receive a handmade keepsake to remind you of your time at 43 Hart Road.
Giving Day is 24 hours of giving, and we encourage you to rally your friends and classmates to join in the fun. Celebrity staff members are busy creating handmade treasures with you in mind, and these creations will be raffled throughout the day. Your name will be automatically entered into the raffles with each donation!
There are also Tribal and Semester Challenges, so vote for your tribe/semester with each donation. All donations made now through July 11th count toward Giving Day!
Do you want to make a big impact, but aren’t able to make a large gift all at once? You can set up a recurring monthly donation! With any recurring donation you set up (beginning now), the entire amount of your recurring donation counts toward Giving Day. It is a great way to give a smaller amount each month, while making a significant overall impact with your gift.
You can join the “Fire Keepers” by making a recurring gift to Eagle’s Nest and/or The Outdoor Academy of at least $10/month. With your annual gift of $120, you can stoke the fire and join our circle of friends and donors who support the important mission of experiential education in the natural world.
All donations made now through July 11th count toward Giving Day. Want to make your Giving Day gift today? Visit www.enf.org/give-now.
Recently I came across a beautifully illustrated children’s book titled “Florette” by Anna Walker. In this story, a little girl named Mae moved with her family to the city. Mae wants to take her garden with her but her mother tells her that she can create a new garden in the city. When Mae arrives at her new city apartment home, she finds that there is no space for her garden among the concrete and cluttered buildings. She attempts to use chalk to draw butterflies and trees on the sidewalks but, inevitably, rain comes and washes away her forest.
Then one day Mae, her mother, her little brother, and her dog go for a walk in the city and Mae spots a bird, a reminder to Mae of the garden she left behind, and so Mae chases it until the bird flies through an open window into a plant store, which appears to Mae from the sidewalk to be a forest inside of a building. The plant store is closed so Mae cannot enter the forest, but she notices a small green sprout peeking out through a crack in the sidewalk. She picks the sprout, Mae’s own “piece of the forest,” and, with her mother, brother, and dog in tow, she runs back home. Immediately, she places her sprout in a jar with soil and she situates the jar on a window ledge in her apartment. She waters it diligently and over the next few days it grows. The other children in her apartment building notice this and they plant sprouts of green as well and before long Mae’s concrete apartment building courtyard is brimming with a forest of plants, just like the garden she left behind. This makes Mae happy. She has re-created the garden she left behind in her new home in the city.
I was especially drawn to this children’s book because I have a daughter, who is four, and, recently, we moved from our home with a large yard, three garden boxes, and lots of trees and flowers into a small apartment with only a tiny concrete patio. I wrestled with how to re-create this outdoor space for my daughter who would spend hours digging in the dirt and watering plants. After reading “Florette” to her, I promised her that I would take her and her little brother, who is two, to the plant store where they could pick out whatever flowers they wanted and we would plant them in pots for our patio garden. So, one Saturday, we went to the plant store and she and her brother chose a radiant collection of pinks, purples, shades of green, oranges, and yellows. True to my word, I let them choose whatever they desired. We gathered our array of colorful plants and took them home. We spent the entire afternoon getting dirty, re-potting our garden into various pots, and watering them. Since then these plants have grown and taken over our patio. My daughter and son play among them daily and each time I look outside I experience an overwhelming sense of calm and wonder. It’s not the same expansive garden we had at our old home but it’s a “piece of the forest” in our new home and it’s just as wonderful.
I am sharing this story because it reminds me of camp. Every summer, at the end of May, I pack up to go to camp. When I arrive at camp I am always awestruck by the overhanging trees, the forest that stretches for miles, the birds singing, basically the calm of nature. And then at the end of the summer, I go back home, which looks nothing like camp, but, each year, I try to take camp home with me in some way. It could be in growing herbs in a window box or going once a week to a city park to read under a tree or volunteering at a nearby urban garden. Camp is a beautiful natural space, and for most of us home looks very different from camp. Nevertheless, we can interact with the environment and nature everywhere we go. We can be environmental stewards in many ways when we leave camp. Environmental stewardship is a fluid construct that manifests in many different places and many various forms. Checkout Tyree Guyton, a well-known environmental activist, who uses his graffiti and urban environmental art to reshape Detroit’s East Side with his ongoing Heidelberg Project. For Guyton, “You can’t heal the land until you heal the minds of the people.” When you arrive home from camp this summer don’t forget to re-create your “piece of the forest” at home. I know I will, but I don’t yet know what that will look like.
Sending your child to summer camp can be hard for you as a parent! We appreciate you putting your trust in the staff at Eagle’s Nest Camp to care for your camper. You may be thinking: Will my camper make friends? Will they be homesick? What will they eat? Will the remember where their extra socks are in their trunk? These are all normal concerns for parents, whether this is your child’s first summer away from home or their fifth. In our final video in our Parent Orientation Series, hear from some of our current camper parents on their perspective of Eagle’s Nest Camp. As you begin to pack for camp, please reach out to me, email@example.com with any lingering questions or concerns!
This past month, western North Carolina has been bustling with blooming trees, warm days, blue skies (for the most part), and nature beckoning us to come and play. Eagle’s Nest Camp is surrounded by green spaces and we can’t wait to get out and explore with campers this summer. Ever wondered why people love being outside at summer camp? Here are 5 benefits:
Being in nature simply makes you happier. According to a study (highlighted here on the New York Times), walking in green spaces has shown to immediately improve a person’s mood.
Trying new things (I see you eyeing a Hante trip), challenging ourselves, and overcoming obstacles develops resiliency and self-confidence; giving campers a sense of pride and the tools to tackle some of life’s challenging moments during the year.
Wilderness is FUN! Fun (n) : what provides amusement or enjoyment. Whether swimming in the lake, hiking to the top of the mountain, or canoeing down a rapid, we love to have FUN!
Plugging into wilderness. In a distracting digital world, wilderness offers the perfect space for campers to slow down, connect with each other, and focus on the sights, sounds, and smells around them.
Anyone can participate. Being outside is not limited to a certain person, anyone can go! At Eagle’s Nest Camp, we offer a variety of programs for campers of different skill and comfort levels.
Interested in getting outside? We still have one or two spaces on an Added Adventure and Hante Adventure trip this summer.
Added Adventures: Sea Islands – Head to the Sea Islands; a chain of tidal and barrier islands off the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia for a week of camping and exploring coastal ecosystems!
Hante Adventures: AT Trek – On this Hante you will have the wonderful opportunity to travel simply through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains with a close community of friends and peers on a 100 mile section of the Appalachian Trail!