As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm glow over the tranquil waters of West River, our STEAM in the PARK Ambassadors gathered for an opening meal that set the tone for a remarkable weekend. It was the beginning of an adventure, a retreat from the daily grind that promised not only rest for the weary soul but also a celebration of friendship, planning, and the joy of STEAM initiatives.
Our retreat at the West River Camp was the perfect escape from the routine. Nestled in nature, the lodge became our home away from home, with a common space that seemed designed for fellowship. Here, the buzz of technology gave way to the soft murmurs of storytelling and the hearty laughter that comes from shared experiences.
As STEAM advocates, we believe in the fusion of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, but this weekend reminded us that nature is the greatest teacher of all. We created a 'nature family portrait', a collage of found objects from the earth's canvas, symbolizing the collective creativity of our group.
The boating and kayaking adventure was not just a physical journey but a metaphorical one too. Each stroke of the paddle through the serene waters of the West River mirrored the collaborative efforts needed to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of educational outreach.
Evenings were a symphony of crackling campfires and the silent dance of our fireflies, a throwback to the innocence and wonder of summer camps long past. Stories and ideas were shared as freely as the marshmallows we roasted, igniting sparks of inspiration against the night sky.
I love Henry David Thoreau's words when reflecting on our retreat: "I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees." That sounds right, since we, STEAM Ambassadors, wandered through a 'woods' of inspiration and creativity over the weekend. Not only did we grow taller than the trees around us, but we grew closer, fortified by friendship and a unified vision for STEAM in the PARK 2024. Moments like these, so simple yet profound, remind us where true growth comes from.