Grow Where You're Planted : Sharing in the Wonders of Camp
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Grow Where You're Planted

by Sharilyn Ross on 07/07/11

Did you know that if you’re lost in the wilderness, nature has given you an emergency whistle? Really? Yup. If you have oak trees close by, you simply need to cup your thumbs over an acorn cap and blow a steady stream of air through the top knuckle of your thumbs and viola! Three short burst and help is on the way.

The year I was a junior counselor my good friend Shannon and I had a favorite oak tree out back of our cabins; cabin 14 for me and 13 for her, respectively. We’d nestle our backsides in the languid part of the trunk, playing guitars to our favorite little troop of boys and girls and the birds and the squirrels and anything else that happened by.

Good times.

I had quite an education in those few short years. I learned a lot about sharing my deficient little gifts, lack of confidence and all, but I just kept plucking away on those old nylon strings, believing someday that I would be a little bit better musician than I was right there, nestled in that tree; the oak that always seemed so sure of itself. So sure in fact that even as it dropped acorns, the staple food of the local critters, the old oak knew that part of its purpose was to grow more oak trees and those little bitty acorns knew it. Some of them decided to keep at it, growing into saplings that we harvested for our campers to plant in barren parts of the woods. The acorns had been born with the potential and ability to become mighty oak trees and we helped them along.

Looking back, my friend and that oak tree helped me along, offering encouragement, laughter, and a solid stage to play on. I guess I managed to grow just where I was planted too.

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