Time sure does move strangely at Red Spruce Grove. Because we do not use watches, we measure time by lengths of shadows, by when things are ready, by moments… When time does not exist, you can spend all the time you want, not on going somewhere, but by being exactly where you are. Being timeless brings you into the present; it frees you up to stand witness to the vastness and simplicity of the world. Three weeks is the blink of an eye to the towering Spruces, and an entire lifetime for the fleeting wildflowers. It is incredible to see how our community has grown and flourished in these past three weeks.

Our days at The Grove this week have been jam-packed with celebrating the campers’ returns from their 24-hour Solos, (a period of solitude spent deepening their connection with nature), harvesting materials for our Fair concessions, creating tokens given as affirmations in our community, and packing up our home on our mountaintop meadow to head back to Indian Brook.

After the campers returned from their solos, we celebrated with a diner-themed breakfast with pancakes and eggs made to order. Later in the day, we shared our experiences in a story council. Campers shared their thoughts and experiences from the previous day and night. We talked about successes, failures, what was learned, and what feelings came up during the time of solitude. The campers came back from solos feeling strong, wild, full of life, and excited to see the community again. This energy fueled the rest of the week!

Once we rested and recuperated from our solos, we got right to work preparing for Fair. We harvested wild blueberries & birch roots and boiled them down over the fire to make soda syrup that we will mix with seltzer to make a refreshing drink. We also were hard at work harvesting Spruce and Fir trees during the summer Bark Peeling Moon to make bark baskets! We are excited to share our wild crafts with you at Fair!

We also spent time this week creating tokens and writing words to give to other people in our community as affirmations. Everyone in the community gets affirmed for the light that they bring to our community. Tokens can be anything from a hand-carved spoon, a bundle of dried flowers from The Grove, a song, or a needle-felted wool patch. We sat around a fire to share our affirmations and reminisce about the time we spent together in our mountaintop meadow. Because everyone in our community got an affirmation, it only felt right to also affirm the land. Campers decided to make an offering presented to the land on a platter of Birch bark on our last morning at The Grove. After we said our appreciations and farewells to the land that held our community, we set off on our hike back to Indian Brook.

The Grovers really made the most of our last week at camp. It is amazing to think about the passage of time and how three weeks ago, we were all strangers to each other and to the land. Now, we are rooted together in our timeless memories of sun-filled days on our mountaintop meadow at Red Spruce Grove.

 

With gratitude,

Caleb

 

 

 

 

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