News from the Mountain Top
Dear Campers and Camp Supporters:
I was reading the poem “Earthrise” by Amanda Gorman, and this excerpt resonated with me: “All of us bring light to exciting solutions never tried before, for it is our hope that implores us, at our uncompromising core, to keep rising up for an earth more than worth fighting for.” I think this quote shall soon find a place on a new camp T-shirt! How lovely to be reminded in such a poetic way that our earth is worth fighting for and that together we can prevail in our fight to save it.
People often discover a love affair with nature when they visit Camp. It’s hard not to be inspired when nature is all around you. Just the pine smell after a spring rain is enough to carry me away in my thoughts–instantly flooding my mind with memories of family outings into the woods. Yesterday I noticed that a crafty bird had built its nest right on top of the fire siren at the infirmary. It is a glorious nest, almost double the size of the siren it is perched upon, with peeping birds nesting deep inside of the woven twigs. It is so hard to resist peering inside to see the chicks. With a step stool, I could easily take a peek at the babies. But I respect the invisible “DO NOT DISTURB” sign.
As I walk through the camp I see that the volunteers have been working hard to pick up the hundreds of pine cones in the amphitheater area and along the trail. I do not recall seeing so many pinecones covering the ground at Camp before. Perhaps the recent forest fire and the loss of thousands of acres of trees have inspired our giant ponderosa trees to go into pinecone-production overdrive! And there are thousands of new oak trees popping up too. The acorns dropped by the zillions onto the cabin roof tops this past fall–pop, pop, pop on the shingles all night long! It made falling to sleep a trick on windy nights.
One sees the recovery of our forest in many different forms. I can’t help but feel Mother Nature is in the process of repairing the mountain, and we are witness to her magical work. Nature itself is indeed awesome and nurturing. Perhaps this is why we say “Mother Nature”—an expression of warmth and affection and one that recognizes the life-giving qualities of a Mother.
And as Amanda Gorman so perfectly expresses in “Earthrise”, let’s all come together to protect one another and this pale blue dot we call home.
Watch and listen to Amanda Gorman recite her poem here >>>
Until we see each other on the mountain top, please take good care. You are important to us.
Your Beloved Camp
Mothers’ days on the mountain
Nurturing and being nurtured are integral parts of the de Benneville Pines experience. From taking time in nature to sharing love and friendship with everyone around you, Camp offers comfort.
As birds build nests, plants drop their seeds, mammals tend to their young, and humans respect the place we share on the mountain top, Camp continues to hold your place for you. A place of love and care, nature and nurture.
Virtual camps, real love
From April 29th through May 2nd, Women’s Retreat 2021 saw over 60 women come together (virtually) to connect, laugh, cry, play, sing, move, relax, reflect, share, and be nurtured in the “Spiral of Resilience and Renewal”.
Thursday evening kicked off the retreat with games and frivolity. On Friday and Saturday evenings, campers were uplifted and entertained by the music of guest performers and Camp supporters Karen Hart and Emma’s Revolution.
Workshops and discussions on self-care, self-reflection, and self-assessment were offered throughout the weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, the retreat closed with an update from Director Janet James, followed by heartfelt and creative odes to Camp.
The camp was virtual. The experiences were real.
Join fellow camp-lovers for more virtual time this summer.
Virtual UU Youth Camps:
- Elementary (completed grades 2-5) – Week of July 11
- Junior High (completed grades 6-8) – Week of July 11
- Senior High – Week of July 18
Save these dates for more virtual camps for adults:
- Summer Break Camp for Adults – August 11 – 15
- Yoga and Whole Living Camp – September 10 – 12
Set your calendar now for Camp’s 60th Anniversary Celebration:
- Saturday, December 4, 2021 in San Diego, CA
Be sure to stay up-to-date and get details about virtual and in-person retreats on Camp’s website Calendar and Camp Connect pages.
Jonesing for Camp? If you were at de Benneville during the 1980s, it’s your turn to share your pictures, stories, and memories. Were you part of LRY, a first-time camper, a teen counselor, or a parent sharing Camp with your kids? Or perhaps you met the love of your life at Camp during this time? If you were stoked to be at Camp in the 1980s like the families pictured above, it would be totally rad to hear about it.
We will share stories and photos throughout the year, leading up to the grand 60th anniversary celebration, 60 Years of Love, in December 2021.
Send digital files to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also mail mementos to de Benneville Pines History, 41750 Jenks Lake Road West, Angelus Oaks, CA, 92305-9789. Do not send anything that you must have returned. If you don’t want to part with originals, please make good quality copies to send.
‘Sup? Do you have a picture of the 1990s?’ We don’t care. Keep it to yourself. NOT! It would be da bomb to see your picture next month. Get the 411 above.
Send your questions to email@example.com.
Give your mother flowers
Mother’s Day has come and gone this year, and we hope you had a meaningful day. You can continue to celebrate the mother we all share–the one we call Earth. One way to nurture Mother Nature is to plant native flowers and other native flora species.
Planting is a simple, gratifying, and significant way for you (and the children in your life) to contribute to the health and biodiversity of the ecosystem.
Whether you have space to plant a meadow or room for a couple of pots, you can make a difference. The links below can help you get started.
Learn about invasive and native species >>>
Gardening with California native plants >>>
Mothers in nature
View this sweet and calming video of nature’s mothers with their young and be transported into a world of natural love and care.
You’ll be reminded that there is love on this earth in unexpected places, and that you are a part of the love and the interdependent web of all existence.
At camp and in wildness, when you nurture nature, nature can nurture its own.
Watch the video here >>>
Keep the spirit of de Benneville Pines and yoUUr faith alive in your heart.