By Cabin Leader Isabelle Staph
Growing up in “The Region”, Indiana Dunes National Park was always the destination when it came to field trips from elementary school through high school. Bailey Homestead, West Beach, and even a three-day trip at the Dunes Learning Center itself were all trips I remember fondly, and have started to resurface a lot more in my head since starting training in the beginning of June.
Every year, Dunes Learning Center hosts schools for a three day experience during which they get a taste of what summer camp is like, called Frog in the Bog. In fact, when I was in fifth grade, I attended said trip (and trust me, it was the event of the year at the time). If someone had asked me what I did on that trip two months ago, I probably wouldn’t have been able to remember anything besides rolling down the dunes and eating some really good mac ‘n cheese for dinner one night. However, as soon as I began training in early June this year, I was suddenly flooded with memories from my three days at Dunes Learning Center nine years ago. My memory was quickly jolted by things like the Cowles Bog Hike, campfire songs, and of course, the food waste challenge.
If someone had told me in fifth grade that I would eventually end up working as an intern here at DLC, there is no way I would have believed them! Back then, I had little to no interest in working outdoors, or really anything concerning the environment. Now, I could not picture a job more suited for me. Every day at DLC brings new adventures and challenges, whether it is trying to memorize trails for the night hike, or having to reassure my cabin kids that the spider in the shower will not hurt them.
What inspired me to write about my experience at DLC from nine years ago to now, was to illustrate that the memories formed in a place like this are ones that last a long time; and to show that Dunes Learning Center can be fun not just at age 11, but even more so at age 20!