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Isaac's Story

The most memorable experience that I got out of Earth Camp was when we went out into the desert to camp. There were no bathrooms or electronics. It was completely natural. This experience influenced me because I realized that there is not that many places in the world left that are completely natural. If I ever hear that some person is going to demolish desert land and build a big housing development or office building than I’d feel obliged to do my best to prevent it from happening. Some people don’t care what they’re doing to the beautiful land and the animals that are living there. I wouldn’t have any problem with laying a guilt trip on the people. I’ll alert people to these dangers that oppose the natural world and organize protests. It could start with one little person, such as my dad, and then he could spread it on to his staff and clients and they could spread it on to their family and so on and so on. I could put up flyers calling out to people to do something like to sit in front of a bulldozer or hold up picket signs and perform chants. I myself could write a letter to the Arizona Daily Star. Everybody reads the newspaper. That would be an easy way to spread the word to almost the entirety of pima county. When I have free time I could create posters encouraging conservation of the natural world. How are we supposed to live in this world if it is not there for us to live on in the future.

At the 07 Earth Camp lots of cool people came to talk to us. One of my favorites was Sergio Avila from the Sky Island Alliance program came to talk to us about many different aspects of the animal world. One of the activities he had us do was splitting us up into groups of real life people and corporations. Basically, there were two sides. One side was pro building a development and demolishing natural desert land. The other side wanted to prevent this development. Each group had to present to the “senator” why they were correct in building or not building this development. I was on the side that didn’t want to develop the houses. In the end my side won and the decision was delayed for 17 years. This activity taught us about how we should fight to preserve the land and animals of the desert so that it will be there to observe for many years after.

During my time at Earth Camp we went on three camping trips. My favorite was when we went up to Mt. Lemmon. We created many new games. My favorite games were the pine cone fights. There were plenty of pine cones laying around on the ground. Basically you pick up a pine cone and throw it. It was usually boys vs. girls. After we frolicked in the pine cones we ate dinner. The menu included chili and quesadillas. In the morning Rex Adams from the Tree Ring Lab came to talk to us. We were able to take samples from the core of a pine tree and count up the rings to see how old it was. Just being in the cold mountain air was a relief. I took a deep breath and got to work.

One of the things that we did “repeatedly” were the “repeat” photography exercises. We did 2 of them. The first one was at the Desert Museum. We were given a picture taken a few years back. We had to find the place where the picture was taken and recreate it exactly. My group got a picture of the Desert Garden. It wasn’t perfect, but we did a pretty good job. The second picture was taken on the way up to Mt. Lemmon. We had to climb down a bunch of rocks to get to the spot where the picture was originally taken. That one was spot on. This exercise helped us to see how much things could change over the years and even over the seasons.

Another one of the other guest speakers that came to work with us was Jesus Garcia. My favorite thing we did with him was learning to draw animals using oil pastels. It didn’t matter what color we used, it still always looked realistic. Every time he showed us how to draw a new animal he would show us what the real life animal looked like by bringing it in and showing it to us under a document projector. He told us different aspects of each individual animal. He also showed us many of his journals from when he was a kid. They had lots of amazing drawings and sketches in them. When you looked at what the thing he sketched in real life the drawing looked exactly the same. Jesus proved that practice makes perfect.

    In conclusion, I would recommend this camp to anybody that wants to learn how to better live in harmony with our world and to become a leader for a shared planet.

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