I’m a huge proponent of Outdoor Education. Borderline nut about it because, if given the option I’d probably opt to have my children spend their entire school day outdoors, knee-deep in nature and skip the textbooks entirely. I’ve had too many positive experiences to NOT feel this way.
I’ve read a lot of research regarding this, and how one’s emotional/spiritual health can largely be tied & correlated to how much time they have with natural experiences. Without these experiences, one often is left depressed, lost, mentally unwell. I realized that, many of my own opportunities came with attending church camp at Alliance Redwoods. I found God at Alliance Redwoods- hidden along the mountains of the Sonoma Coast- and not because of the bible thumping they were doing there. It was pure freedom in a safe space. It was hiking on trails, swimming in the streams and rivers, sleeping in a bag looking up at the stars, getting utterly lost in a redwood forest, watching the glow of firepits and hearing it all like my senses were more alive than I could ever imagine back in city limits.
Most of my weeks spent at this camp were with Gina & Jessica, my best childhood friends. The last time we were together AND at camp was well over 10 years ago. I wanted more than anything to relive these moments, for nostalgic purposes. So, to check #57 off my list (visit Alliance Redwoods) Jessica & I made the drive the other day, and it was (almost) just as we remembered it.
We were talking about how, some days it seems like we are meant to wake up and find ourselves 10 years old again, ready to do life over. Like Time isn’t really happening and if we wished hard enough, we could be back at camp doing art at the craft shack, flirting with the boys, making calls on the payphone and doing silly cheers at the campfire circle. Right? Any morning now I’ll be back in my sleeping bag debating if I want to take that cold shower….
I’m glad the camp is still there, still thriving. I hope to send my own kids there one day.