A note from the founder:
In talking to our development folks I was asked “What compels you to do what you do?” I never really seriously considered this question until I was at a breakfast meeting with a potential funder. He posed the same question. I was aware this was my passion but what specifically motivates me? Maintains my tenacious drive?
Internally I know for a fact being in nature soothes, renews, replenishes, and restores my spirit. When life’s challenges such as loss of a loved one, flight of a child from the nest, discrimination, or separation from family (just to name a few) were overwhelming I retreated to my “sanctuary” in nature. This could be a physical trip to a park to experience the wonder of diversity and acknowledge the vastness of the world in comparison to this one small organism…me. I frequently take this trip mentally by seeking a sensational memory of the sky, a tree, or wonder in the face of another person. My passion is self-sustaining. Concession made to the undeniable, essential, necessity of connection to nature. I require nature and sharing my passion with others is a part of that fulfillment.
Externally the narrative of one youth experience best explains the motivation; While leading a summer camp I took a 14-year-old urban youth* on a nature trail. This youth was so afraid of the woods he had to cling onto my shoulder for security. This need of my protection astounded me, because he was larger, and definitely more fit than this white-haired lady who was charged with his safety. We told the group he was to assist me, so as to maintain his bravado. As we entered the woods (this was a major metro city park mind you) his anxiety was palatable. He would urgently but quietly inquire as to the proximity of his imagined dangers to which I provided reassurance of his safety. These dangers included insects, lions (yes lions – he had seen that on TV), and crocodiles (source – TV as well). As I explained the habitats of these particular dangers he began to notice his surroundings the trees, ferns, and beauty of the lake we were walking past. He began to release his grip but maintain his close proximity. His sense of wonder and discovery took over to the dissemination of his fear. By the end of our camp week, he proudly proclaimed his intent to become a scientist and study nature, which still brings tears to my eyes. (* Urban Youth – by my definition is one to whom the outdoors is foreign)
Educational opportunity in nature is enormous. Having just discovered in the last years “what I wanted to be when I grew up” the prospect of mastery of nature is comical. The opportunities to learn and discover are unlimited. As humans, we need to attempt to use our so called exceptional intelligence, as the smartest animal in the kingdom. If we are so smart why do we want more than we need? Use more than is sustainable? Claim to be masters of subjects while having only miniscule amounts of functional knowledge. The most hilarious is science is perceived only as a daunting school subject, not as one of my brilliant 6-year-old campers said “Science is life!”. Do you live (eat, breathe, move, see, think, hear)? Then guess what, you are science.
E-Corps provides Nature engagement in the Catawba River Basin, Piedmont areas of North and South Carolina. Our missions are accomplished by our affiliations/partnerships/sponsorships with other prodigious organizations in which we fuse skills, knowledge, energy and passion to facilitate renewal, replenishment, and restoration in nature.
Authentically & Naturally, Karan (Karan@e-corps.org)
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