Finding God, self, and community in wild spaces. The better we know our wild neighbors the more we'll discover ourselves.
A vision informed by Henry David Thoreau’s interpretation of sauntering, Jesus’ understanding of neighbor, Aldo Leopold’s concept of thinking like a mountain, Rachel Carson’s prophetic voice and John Muir’s way of capturing the beauty and uniqueness of wild neighbors with words.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

One with the forest, One with each other, One with God’s Spirit

Today’s nature time was another adventure in the creek for the campers at Camp Penn. Today we did more wandering than anything else; but as we sauntered along the trail we took time to give a name to some of our wild neighbors based on the qualities and characteristics that we notice about them. A redbud tree became a “heart tree” due to the heart-shaped leaves, a white pine became “Five fingers” due to its 5 needles per needle cluster, other pine trees took on the names “Acupuncture” and “Spiky boi” and an oak tree took on the name “Bob” and I’m still not sure why (a camper’s attempt at humor!).

The past several days Steven, Autumn, Garret, and Nyla have been working on a trail song that they have been belting out every time we hit the trails and following the tune of the hymn “One in the Spirit” it goes like this:

Verse 1
“We are one with the forest we are one with the woods, we are one with the forest we are one with the woods, We commune with all creatures as we travel through the woods, we are one with the forest we are one with the woods, we are one with the forest and the woods.”

Verse 2
“We are one with each other we will walk hand in hand, we are one with each other we will walk hand in hand, yes we’ll love one another so there’s peace throughout the land, we are one with each other we will walk hand in hand, we will walk with each other hand in hand.”

Verse 3
“We are one with God’s Spirit we are one with the Lord, we are one with God’s Spirit we are one with the Lord, we will thank God together now for all that God has done, we are one with God’s Spirit we are one with the Lord, we are one with God’s Spirit with the Lord.”

There is also another song they like to sing and it goes like this;

 “I love the forest, I love the rolling hills, I love the flowers, I love the daffodils! boom-deada boom-deada boom-deada boom-deada”

Oh what joy it is to journey in the forest with these campers and the other camp counselors!

What are you thanking God for today? What names night you come up with for some of your wild neighbors?


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