Blog 3 Response
When I got the prompt my first thoughts were "what the? that's from the reading I didn't get."
When I first started reading the readings and had gotten to the Genius Loci text I had struggled
through about a page, maybe two before I just flat out gave up and skipped over that reading.
Going back I found Genius Loci means the "spirit of place". That set of another round of thoughts
running though my mind. "What places count? Which place means most to me?
Why don't I have any pictures of that place." Once I sat down at the computer and started on one idea
I finally came to an idea, my thoughts settled on a unschoolers camp that I have gone to out in Organ
for the past two years. The spirit of NBTSC (Not Back To School Camp) is very much like the spirit
I go through my life with so it's a very meaningful and special place for me.
Before I go into any long winded stuff I may as well explain what NBTSC is.
Not Back To School Camp was started 11 or 12 years ago by Grace Lewellen author of Teenage Liberation Handbook. A book that explains that there's a wold outside of public school or even any formal school setting, unschooling/homeschooling. There's many forms of homeschooling probably the most common is the right-wing, conservative, christian homeschooling. Grace and her book are about as far from that image as you can get
and still be classified under the same roof as homeschooling/unschooling. I had been homeschooling all my
life up until getting accepted into the University of Minnesota's post secondary enrollment option (PSEO) and
really PSEO is just a continuation in my self chosen education.
Camp is held at camp Mertlewood in Organ a few hours south of Eugene. Two years ago, when I first went out there on the train with around fifteen of my buddies I was amazed at how beautiful Organ was from the moment I woke up at 6 the morning and the train was running along the Columbia river and the sun was just rising.
When the bus bringing the Minnesota kids from Portland to Eugene stopped at the train station in Eugene where we were to be picked up by the camp people, I hung back behind the "old" campers but was quickly introduced and met with a wide grin by two brothers Nathan and Damian Lester, senior camp staffers. They loaded us onto another bus and took us to Monroe park where we waited for a bit more for the rest of the campers arriving by plain or driving to Eugene to gather, as I stepped of the buss I was promptly hugged by a random, at the time, stranger and other random people came and introduced themselves. That random hug pretty much sums up camp, as best as I can describe it, a open, loving and genuinely fun group of kids.
Camp is built on the foundation of the kids will to learn and teach and just have fun. Campers can sign up to lead a workshop or discussion on some topic they know something about or want to learn something about. It may sound structured but really, you could just spend the whole week laying around in the field or playing Foosball with other campers