Crow’s Nest Camp Week Five
By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager. Photos by Pete Smyrl.
Our oldest group of campers came to Crow’s Nest last week. They are old hands at what to do at camp and make life easy for the counselors. There are some of the usual activities spent enjoying the preserve, but 7th-8th camp is a chance for them to see where Crow’s Nest fits into the larger conservation community—so we take a field trip to another Natural Lands preserve (this year, Fulshaw Craeg in Montgomery County).
We also paddle the lake in French Creek State Park and the waters of the Schuylkill River and Canal in Phoenixville.
The oldest group of campers also begins a commitment to service, giving back to the preserve to help future campers. Here the group replaces stepping stones along a path.
The end of 7th-8th camp is always bittersweet. The summer’s programs are finished with a sense of accomplishment but we are sad to see the kids go, particularly the 8th graders who are aging out of summer camp.
Many thanks go to the staff and volunteers at camp this year, the people who make it all possible: Molly Smyrl, our Educator, who does all of the administrating and organizing and holding planning meetings. Aubrey Smith, Assistant Manager, who staffed most of the weeks of camp so that I could keep up with the land management. Long-term Intern Riley Clark-Long, who finishes up his eleven months with us at the end of the week and has been a huge help in both Lands Stewardship. Sasha Rose, a former camper herself who was our Education Intern this whole summer. Pete and Eloise Smyrl who put in so much time as volunteers to make these programs possible. Cody Hudgens, Horticulturist at Stoneleigh Preserve (and former Intern and long-time camp staffer) helped with 7th-8th camp. We also benefitted from the dedication of several former campers who returned to help out: Garrett Bland, Serena Hertzog, Samantha Holmburg, Grace German, and Genevieve MacFarland. All of these folks made the summer a resounding success!
And finally many thanks to the parents who support and the kids who attend camp—without you it would be a lonely summer!