Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thoughts on Nature

It has been a busy successful spring at High Trails.  With our outdoor education season wrapping up, plans for the summer are in full swing and we are getting excited for the arrival of staff and campers.  It is easy to look forward to spending time with kids in nature and it is empowering to hear what they have to say about the time they share with their natural surroundings.  Here are some thoughts from students who were here during the past six weeks.  They wrote these on their first day at High Trails in their Special Spots.

"The beauty of nature, the grace that it holds.  The mist in the air, the breeze rufflin' my hair.  The woods so lush, the trees so green, the wolf and coyote with their eyes so keen.  The bear so bold with its glossy sheen the wilderness holds many secrets never seen."

"Life is fast but it suddenly slows down when you're in nature."

"This spot helps me relax my mind, soul, and body."

"Life is better if you open your eyes and see the many different dimensions of the world."

"People need nature more than they think.  If we lose nature, we have nothing."

"I can feel life all around me and the melting of the forest into spring."

"After sitting at my special spot for only a little while I have learned that there is so much more to nature.  Not just trees, rocks, and animals, but small things like the way the sun hits a leaf or the way the wind blows the grass."

"I feel more calm and open to nature than I was before in the city.  People are always so stressed and in a hurry.  In the forest I feel like there is no need to hurry; just relax, because we have all the time in the world.  In the forest you can stumble and get right back up again.  In the forest I feel like people don't care what you look like-they just like you to be yourself and remember the beautiful things around you."

As a youth development professional in the camping world I know the value of being in nature but what better way to help others understand than to share it with them.  The students that have come through this spring now have an intrinsic understanding of the importance of their time spent here.  What more powerful proof is there than a child's written testimony to the value of being in nature  Whether it was 3 days, 4 days, or 5 days, they can now put their experience into words and it will stay with them for years to come.  

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