Tyron Alford, Michael Dickens, and Tori Epps describe a HERP Project HRE.
TA: I kind of like coming to this camp because at this camp, yeah you have cell phones, but cell phones aren’t really allowed. And being that we are in nature, and we’re in the woods, we have different activities that we may take a part of. Like some of the things that we do – it kind of opens my view; it makes me more adventurous to do some things that we do in nature because I’m not used to that. I’m not used to being in the woods. Being that we went high roping today, like who could say that they’ve been high roping in the woods? Who can say that they took a hike or listened to frog calls or identified frogs and, like, picked up snakes and toads and salamanders? Not too many people could say that. So being that we’re in the nature it makes me feel good.
And it’s like, we’re not around a lot of man-made things. We’re not like around a lot of cars, not around a McDonald’s. It’s a different environment. You get like a different feel from that environment. Like when you’re in the city it makes you feel a certain way and when I’m around nature, it makes me feel more calm, you know, more earthly, when I’m here. And it brings out a different side so that when you do go back to the city and when you do go back to your family at home, you have something to share with them. It’s a different experience. Like, I’m able to get away from things that, you know, may take a toll on you when you’re at home on your mind. And so here I can, like I said, you don’t use phones, so I can be away from my phone. I can discover a different side of myself. I have time to think about who I am and what I want to become, things such as that because of the environment I’m in.
TA: It’s so fun being able to tell what type of frog it is and know that you have the same frog here at your house, and it makes me want to go inside and look at my book and try to find what type of frog it is or just sit outside and try to hear the types of frogs. Because I would hear them at home but you know, you don’t pay attention to that. Like no one says, “Oh that’s the Fowler’s toad.” No one says that. But when you know it’s more fun and it makes you want to be more adventurous.
It’s a great experience. Not many people can do that. And so like when you do it, people that don’t know they’ll say, “Oh you’re so smart!” And I’m like, “Man if you only knew that I’m just learning.” There’s so much out there that we can learn that we just have no clue about. But the fact that I know as much as I do is a lot to the people back home because they have no clue! You say a Fowler’s toad and they’re like, “What is that? What are you talking about?” They think you’re crazy; they’ll think you’re a nerd or something. Like, no! No I just found this out. It’s so fun.
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