Camp Earth Connection 2010

Camp Earth Connection 2010
Skiing at Camp

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The 2010 Season

Hi Everyone,

I am excited to have the 2010 Summer Program Schedule complete at this time. It seems many folks like to start planning early, and I always receive requests in January about our summer program, so here it is. Lots to look forward to this summer with returning programs and some new programs including a Family Camping Weekend, an Open House and a Womens Retreat Weekend in the planning for this Fall. Adoption Connection Camp will also be returning to Camp Earth Connection along with workshops for parents of adopted children.

We expect to be really busy this Spring too, with plans to give the Camp a "face lift" with a new gate, some necessary "landscaping", and finally getting our greenhouse constructed. We are also moving foward with plans for "indoor plumbing," and "three-season" buildings, which should be completed by the summer of 2011 if all goes well.

Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year.



PS Camp Earth Connection can also be found on Facebook now!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010: A Time for Change

The only constant is change. Through individual choice; by connecting with eachother - through grassroots efforts, by taking one step at a time, change happens. We live in an "urgent" time. It can be scary or it can be exciting. I choose to see it as exciting. I beleive by our choices we will influence eachother, our community and our world. The most dangerous choice that I see one can make, is the decision to do nothing. The decision to ignore or deny the urgency, deny the impact of global warming, war, the decision to deny our own addictions to "more," and deny our responsibility to educate ourselves and act as needed.

My intent this summer is to see that Earth Connection continues to find ways to help people connect to the Earth and themselves. We are of the Earth, we just need to remember and renew our connection. What are we. without water, air, food, and shelter? The Earth provides us with what we need - but we need to care for the Earth in turn. The Earth's water, air and food has been polluted. We are destroying the resources that give us what we need to survive. If our children do not learn how to care for the Earth, what type of future do they have?

I hope you and your family can join us at Earth Connection again this summer - as we re-new our committment to take care of our home, the Earth.

In Peace,

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No Fracking Way!

Dear Governor Paterson,

I hope you will take the time to read this letter and consider how many people are writing to you from their hearts, with concerns for our families and our children's families to come.
I am a land owner and also own and operate a children's camp in the Hammond Hill Forest in Dryden, NY. Almost three years ago today, I naively signed a lease (which does not allow drilling) but does allow a gas company to have access to the natural gas on my land. At that time the information I had was lacking to say the least. I trusted the information that I received from the "landman" and other information I had gathered from neighbors, and local education establishments. Unfortunately we did not have access to the information we have now. Now realizing the potential impact that the drilling will have on both the land and the water, I realize I have made a terrible mistake. "Camp Earth Connections" will certainly not operate and have the opportunity to educate hundreds of children about our environment if our water is poisoned, and the forest is destroyed. My land is surrounded by state forest which the gas companies also have drilling rights on. Our local community is doing everything we can think of to get your attention and the attention needed to let folks know that we value our lives and our environment!
On Saturday, December 5th, my 47th birthday I will be attending the benefit concert, "Life is Water." And it is true -we must value and take care of our most essential natural resources. Life is dependant on Water.
In truth, I fell into the same pitfall that many other did. In these times of financial hardship, I signed lease and I took the lease money from the gas company. I would and will return it in a heartbeat, if it can stop the gas drilling. Money is not and will never be as valuable as preserving our natural resources and the health and safety of our community. I have seven teenage children that I adopted when they were very young. I know that I need to show them, that I do care and our community does care about them and their future.
The saddest part about this is that the gas drilling is not about meeting a need that must be addressed. I believe and feel that everyone truly knows in their heart - the gas drilling is about money and greed. Why else would we put people in such harms way, and take the risk of polluting the one resource we all can't live without, water.
I hope you take this letter to heart, and hear all the people around you who really care about our future, and value what is most important about life. I hope you think about the children in your life, and their children.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
With Peace -
Susan Rausch,
Owner of Earth Connections, Inc.
and Citizen of the World

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where do we go from here?

Camp is "in progress" - the children are engaged in the many activites....sometimes games, games that require them to think, move and work together - hmmmmm - do video games do that? I suppose on some level. Sometimes the children are on one of Linda's special hikes....and why are these special? because after 7 summers at Earth Connections...and many hikes, she has found away to engage children - a way to get them thinking..analyzing and paying attention.....
Take for instance her graveyard hike - sounds kind of creepy? It's now one of the most popular hikes, as children go to an area of the Hammond Hill forest which is laden with bones - and nearby - what do they discover - but fox dens. But how did the bones get there???? The children put together the clues....and they figure it out. Then many collect some bones - as they recognize the value and use of bones. They see the world through different eyes. Human eyes that once more connect to their natural home, the forest, the streams, the ponds and the fields.
Children watch and partake in making fire using all natural materials and their own sweat. Children gather foods from nature, gardens and animals and help prepare snacks and lunch for the day. Children find out at Camp Earth Connection, that there is a place where adults will tolerate no "put-downs" and every time one person criticizes another person, it will addressed - and challenged and it will be clarified, that our community is to be a safe place for everybody.

I am ever grateful to all the educators who have worked here, and shared in my vision to help make Earth Connections a place where humans can interact in nature - in harmony - and as caretakers.

I am not sure where we go from here - but I do know there is much work to be done - and environmental education is critical at this time for both adults and children. I do have a hard time understanding the denial that seems to still exist within our community and our country as far as the future that our children our facing. For some of us, like myself who is not of native heritage to this country, it is hard to even begin to imagine a way of life which considers their 7th generation before they would think of cutting down a tree, putting up a building or constructing a mega mall. I am scared for my children - and more alarmed for my children's children...and wonder even if I want to see my children having I can almost feel the suffering they may have to endure.

But, I do understand that it is my responsibility to do everything I can to make a difference, whether I believe it will or not. I think of John Lennon's song "imagine" and i know that i am not the only one....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Camp Director's February Memoirs

It's not too soon to think about summer! Actually Camp Directors like Gardeners tend to do lots of planning during these late winter months, as we envision our programs, develop camp themes and start looking for those special people who will complete the camp "community." As I work diligently with Marty, the web manager,on updating the web page, I continously snag one of my kids.....reading them program descriptions, showing them camp photos and brochure designs, and asking them what would appeal to them.
What else is there to do anyway in February? Other then grab the few moments of sunshine when they appear; force one's self to go to the gym; or maybe get those cross country skis or snow shoes out and hit the trails at Hammond Hill. Of course if you know Linda - our Camp Naturalist and Tracker, then you might re-call that after the snow falls comes prime animal tracking time!
I don't know about you, but I will greet March with gratitude and a warm heart, as it brings the promise that Spring is near.

explorer camp

Photobucket Album

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hello Everyone. Sacred be the Spring. Camp Earth Connections is awakening, and projects are about to begin construction, with the arrival of a Green house in a couple of weeks. A variety of poultry chicks have been ordered, and we welcome our newest educator Kim Jaskula who will take on the responsibilitiues of Farm Manager.

This spring I will celebrate, Eastre, the Teutonic Goddess of Fertility.
"Eastre is also spelt Easter, Ostara and Oestre celebrated at the Vernal Equinox (first day of Spring), approx. 21st March. The Goddess is in her aspect of mother to be. Her symbol is the egg, symbolising fertility in nature and rebirth from the long winter months. The seeds are now sown, ready to grow and ripen. The Goddess is fertile, rich with promise and potential life. (It is from the word "oestre" that we get the word "oestrogen" - the female hormone). To the Saxons she was Ostara, in myth she is said to have amused children by turning her bird into a rabbit, the rabbit then laid coloured eggs much to the delight of the children. Day and night are in balance, the union of the Goddess and young God brings all life into order. She represents the blossoming of new awareness, joy in the new life springing forth from the Earth."

Enjoy the day! Peace