In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Nature Camps, we’re introducing 40 alumnae, counselors and parents over the next several months.
These alumnae are dispersed around the globe, are passionate about their life’s work and the environment — many raising families and delighting in watching grandchildren — all continuing to work in the service of others.
In Polly’s Words: The memories of Nature Camp are infinite. I was lucky enough to be born the year Nature Camps started. I grew up at camp as it evolved and thrived. Nothing compares to that time for me.
There are moments I smell something that takes me back to that time — rope swings, sweaty horses and grass, chlorine scented hair, skunk cabbage, wet shoes, wet dog, and sweet musty woods and pine.
I felt princess-like in the woods, feeling like they were my woods for I knew them inside and out, in light or dark. Choosing every day what activity to do as it spoke to me was wonderfully liberating.
I remember meeting a former staff member years later that recalled me as a young girl, always climbing a tree or playing in mud and streams. It makes me remember such times fondly, as I think how wonderful it was to be so lost in what I was doing and creating. I had my independence early on and that has always stayed with me. I cherish that immensely.
At camp I was fascinated by critters and creatures as they were all around, big or small. Turning rocks over had the same feeling as opening a Christmas present — the anticipation of what could be or what was there was exciting and intriguing. To my delight I was never disappointed, learning or seeing something new with each rock, with each day.
My love affair with horses began early on. My initial fear and sense of wonder, turned to respect and love, as I was challenged how to communicate and even relate to these amazing creatures. I took riding lessons, eventually teaching riding. I became part of a separate riding school (Day Spring), where I flourished in proper riding and genuine care of horses. It lead me to Colorado, to work on a ranch leading trail rides into Rocky Mountain National Park. I became involved with the Equestrian Team at college.
Years later I pursued a degree in Equine Sports Massage Therapy as well a Veterinary Technician degree. I started Hands for Horses, providing massage therapy to horses. I love the work as I get to be outside with my favorite smells. I am fueled by the Colorado sunshine and my equine companions.
As I recall the words to the Circle Song, I think to myself things do have a way of circling back on themselves. And I am forever touched.