First, Tim wasn't too stoked to go camping for a week with hippies and compost toilets and no electronics. Duh. Teenager. When we got to camp he was concerned he wouldn't fit in as everyone his age seemed to already know each other pretty well. So for the first day and a half he was reluctant to have any fun and spent most of his time in Willie, our VW bus, reading Percy Jackson, counting the hours he would go home again to his geeky friends and Magic Cards.
He was the second youngest in the teen group (13 to 18 year olds). They played some games, some involving throwing pine cones, to get to know each other. Still he was reluctant to give in to the fun.
On Wednesday the group was sent off in a ceremony where parents sat behind the teens in a circle around the fire and lots of wisdom was shared. They went backpacking for 2 nights, hiking about 2 hours down the hill to a beach on the bottom of Mt. Tuam. Tim found a cozy spot to put his sleeping bag on some moss in the middle of a nice clearing with his new friend Isaac while all other teens slept in the connected clearing downhill nearby.
After dinner the boys made a fire pit for the girls, and the girls made a fire pit for the boys. Elders came and shared some stories about peacemaking. Tim went down to the ocean to watch the stars and was delighted to see some cool bioluminescence in the water. It was a little hard to fall asleep listening to all the mosquitos, but he figuring out how to zip up the hood of the sleeping bag only have a small breathing hole with little room for attacks facing the moss.
Woken by the instructors songs in the morning the group went down to the water do find a sitspot. Tim cautiously watched two wasps (ancestors) curiously checking him out and then trying to land on his arms and legs, which was slightly distracting from a good meditation in nature.
The rest of the day was spent with digging clams, throwing rocks, catching crabs and sea urchins, swimming, building a raft, and chilling at the beach. A group wanted to take the raft over to a nearby island, but failed miserably as the logs came apart right after leaving. They still journeyed over and had to swim back all the way.
At night the group shared stories of the day and favorite moments around the fire. The second night went pretty well as well after figuring out how to deal with these pesky mosquitos.
The morning was spent with ninja tag with clothespins before hiking back up the hill.
After lunch in the forest Tim's teen group was welcomed back to the hearth by everyone in the village:
Home I am going. Home I am going. I need a place to call my home.
Take me home. Take me home. Over the green green hills and far away.
Tim got a good hug from Mom and Dad and some yummy lemon cake from Heidi.
After his adventure he spent most of his time with his new friends and very rarely any time with his parents.
Curious Bee. Forest Steward. Nature Nerd. Climate Activist Mom.