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June 12, 2013

You Are How You Eat

I'm going to camp!

Yes, you read that right: I'm going to camp.

I'm done with my degree, I have a gig lined up for the fall, and this summer I'm going to camp. I'm getting back to my hippy roots and taking some time to rest, reflect, absorb the forest, swim in a lake, read, write, and learn about food. I will be cooking at Tamarack Farm, the teen work camp of Farm & Wilderness, a Quaker-based system of seven summer camps in Vermont. The philosophy is living simply; values include inclusiveness and growth. Some of the food is grown on the farm, by the staff and the youth who come to work and live there. I am looking forward to cooking for these youth, learning more about where our food comes from and how to prepare it, and hopefully sharing some of my own communication skills with the campers.

The choice to do this was not an easy one. I'm 36, turning 37 next month, and just finished a second master's degree. Surely I'm qualified for something more than going to camp. Surely I can do something more exciting and exotic than spending a summer in Vermont. This can't possibly build my resume.

Yet, as much as anything, it feels right right now. I have had some upheaval in my life, and some uncertainty, and some big questions to confront. When my dear friend Anne put forth the idea to me in the Eastern Sierra, it started to make more and more sense. Elizabeth Gilbert went to Italy, India, and Bali. I'm going to Vermont.

The idea of feeding people—serving them in this way—sounds delicious. Participating in a camp focused on inclusiveness and working directly with teens is a great test for whether I want to pursue that in my professional and/or extracurricular life. (I love to teach.) And chunks of time outside to read and write in fresh air, and sleeping every night in a three-walled cabin, sounds dreamy.

I will try to update the blog throughout the summer, but time online means time inside. So, don't expect too much, as much as I'd love to write here prolifically.

Best wishes to you for a lovely summer.

Posted by beth at June 12, 2013 2:44 AM

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