Outdoor School spreads an appreciation for nature amongst its counselors

“Who will keep my Snapchat streaks while I’m gone?” That was the first question that crossed my mind as I turned in my outdoor school application. A week away from any form of technology seemed impossible until I did it. Little did I know, one week off the grid would change me for the better.

My week at Camp Loma Mar in Pescadero was filled with an endless amount of singing and cheesy inside jokes. I was lucky enough to be a counselor for a well-behaved group of seven sixth-grade girls, which made the week go by without a hitch. During our time together, we bonded really well and I got to know each one of my kids on a personal level.

Every day we experienced a new hike. Monday night took us stargazing, Tuesday was a trip through an oak tree forest, Wednesday was a stroll through the redwoods, and Thursday was an amazing experience at the tidepools of Pebble Beach. Each day we saw the world through different eyes. We learned to see the beauty in our time together rather than worrying about our lack of social media.

Out of all the fantastic things that we did that week, I would say that my favorite was campfire every night. We sang songs and told stories that made me feel completely at ease. This was the time that I felt my stress melt away as I listened to everyone in camp sing. I really enjoyed the fact that the campfire made us all feel like a family. That time of the day made us forget that we were away from home and out of our comfort zones.

This trip taught me so much. As each day went by, I learned to appreciate what I have around me. I saw the true beauty of Earth and fell more in love with the outdoors. I also made some amazing friends along the way.

When it was time to leave, it didn’t feel like a week had passed by. I wasn’t anywhere near ready to say goodbye to Pescadero (Oh Pescadero!). On the bus ride home, I noticed that my outlook on life really did change when I turned to my best friend and asked, “What even is the point of Snapchat?”

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