They saw bears. They felt accepted, not judged. They received career advice. They felt more connected to God.
Those were some of the memories and reflections from three days of canoeing on the Shenandoah River, followed by a rest break at Shrine Mont, and then three days of backpacking on a challenging trail.
For the eight boys of Explorers’ the Great Camp, their Powerpoint presentation at the July 2 closing ceremony added visuals to the words. There were turtles, scenic views and “the best meal ever” (what seemed to be a wilderness-inspired stew), and, from their time at Shrine Mont, costume parties and musical events.
A booklet prepared for the 15- to 17-year-old campers combined Scripture about the stewardship of creation with environmental quotes from an array of notables, ranging from Mahatma Gandhi to Theodore Roosevelt.
The spiritual connection to nature is a theme you can find in all sorts of places at Shrine Mont, from recycling efforts to sleeping in the woods.
That message came home when, during the closing ceremony, one of the campers referred to this quote from Gandhi: “What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
Six days on the river and the trail leave you feeling connected to nature.
By Ed Jones
Spreading the good news of Shrine Mont Camps into the Valley of the World.
The View from the Mountain is written by a rotating cast of staff writers and contributors.