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Kaitlyn's Story

After spending 10 days on earth camp, our newest challenge was figuring out what our earth camp commitment would be that we would carry home with us.

I thought very long and hard about this and came up with the idea of composting at my school in Wisconsin. The school I attend is a green school and we already have solar panels, a rain garden, and we do have a worm bin. Everyday we produce a lot of trash and recycle what we can, but some of the things we throw away are vegetables or food peelings. To reduce more waste and more of our carbon foot print, this was one idea I hope to accomplish. 

This idea will take a lot of work. It will include talking to the green school director, the principal, and hardest of all, the school board. The next step will be getting the school to agree and educating the staff and students on what we can put in the compost bin; orange peels, uneaten vegetables, apple cores, and banana peels, we will definitely have to watch out for meat being thrown in there, that is a big no. 

What I hope to do with the compost is use it to grow other vegetables, such as, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, potatoes, and squash. With this we will reduce our carbon foot print by not buying vegetables that our not locally grown, and that have came from all over the world.

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Day 7

We just woke up from our campsite called Wire Fence we were staying on during our rafting part of the trip. As always, we started by taking down our tents and cots which led up to our wonderful scrambled eggs, hash browns, and bagel breakfast our river guides cooked for us. After breakfast it’s straight to the rafts for the fire lines to load up our gear. 

This morning was going to be the first time I was on a duckie, a small blow-up kayak. I wasn’t too nervous because I’ve been kayaking and canoeing before but 

the duckies are easy to tip. I felt better being partnered on the duckie with Isabella, a returning camper from last years river trip. 

We finally headed out around 9 a.m., at first a feeling of excitement rushed over me. That feeling turned into being scared quickly when Lynn started telling us about the rapid that was right around the corner, three canyons rapid. Lynn warned us about the strong current, the rocks to each side, but just to stay behind one of the bigger rafts that the river guide Andrew was steering. 

Things were going smoothly, but I was still worried as the sound of the rapid grew and we were seeing it more clearly. Isabella and I got lined up with Andrew’s raft and were as prepared as possible. But like most horror stories, things literally got turned around.

As we got closer to the rapid, Andrew’s raft was slowing down as our little duckie was gaining speed and being carried by the current. As we were trying to stop our duckie to get away from the giant raft that could easily tumble over us, the same thing was happening to Emily’s and Mariah’s duckie. They were also gaining speed and being pulled closer to us. They ended up hitting us, which ultimately ended up as turning our duckie completely backwards. We started going down the huge, monstrous, rocky rapid... backwards.

We were trying to straighten ourselves out, which just turned us sideways making us take one huge wave to the side, amazingly we didn’t tip. We got back to riding the rapid backwards and continued to try to paddle as best we could, trying to stay away from the rocks and, of course, staying in our duckie. Surprisingly, we never tipped. And with only slipping just a few mind-bottling words.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting Arches National Park in Utah.

I was at Arches last year on a different trip, and I remembered how beautiful it was when  we hiked Delicate Arch and watched the sunset behind it. It was the same beauty this year as well. But with a new experience to go along with it. 

For me, it was amazing do have hiked up this arch and look at it in peace with 24 other people, all of whom I just met 9 days earlier. It really gives you a new connection with them all and great memories to take back home. 

Beauty lies everywhere, behind every rock, every tree, and every corner. You never realize it until you get out and see the world. I would encourage everyone who ever gets the chance to do so. You will always learn so much more about yourself, especially when you do it with people you just met. Even the smallest person will grow when they accomplish something they never thought was possible. The world's most mysterious, wondrous, magical, and beautiful places are everywhere, but they won't always be there. 


"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."  ~John Muir 

The easiest way to save all this beauty in the world, and to even save our planet is to start by changing ourselves first. 

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