Erin's Story

What will my role be as a citizen in the environmental community?

I think because of what I have learned in Earth Camp my role will be somewhat of a teacher or a mentor. There need to be more role models of globally aware citizens for others to follow. It may seem obvious to us as Earth Campers that we need to do more for our planet but to most people it is not. More accessible information needs be available so that every one can know what needs to be done. Each person makes an impact on the Earth in one way or another and it would be best if we made ours as positive as possible.

Every day we make decisions about our water use and waste that seem simple and unimportant but added up they mean a lot. Choosing to turn off the water when you aren’t using it in the shower or choosing to recycle and compost all that you can, can make other people more aware of how much they are wasting and what they can do to reduce the waste. It will take a longer thought process and a bit more work but when you are finally living a sustainable lifestyle on earth we will all thank you for starting the process.

We, as humans, have adapted to living in many different conditions by what we wear to our A/C and the heaters in our houses. Much of the variation in weather around the world is natural due to elevation and location, but now we are the creators of a more drastic climate change.  We are seeing the affects of gloal warming and as the creators it is only us who can make it better. The animals on the planet do not have the special adaptations that we have and the problems we are making are effecting them as well. We get 75% of our oxygen from our oceans but the ocean have a relatively constant temperature and many animals are only adapted to live in that small range. Now as it is getting hotter from Global Warming those creatures are having a much harder time surviving.

Growing up in the desert there are no lakes or oceans to see the type of life that lives in the water. I heard about shark, stingray and jelly fish injuries (see picture of Portugese Man-of -War above) and I was terrified to go in the ocean.  I could not understand why anyone would want to be in it. I always thought we would be better off without animals like that. But when I was snorkeling I saw bright blue and yellow Sergeants Major fish and another school of fish swam directly under me and I now understand the beauty that people are attracted to and what draws people into the water. We all grow up in different places, have different experiences and know about different things, but there are spectacular things about every animal or place in the world and we need to preserve all the areas for all the people who love them.

As an environmental citizen it will be my responsibility to teach my children how to show their respect for the earth and how they can show others. I will be responsible for making sure that I always do as much as I can for the world I live in. I can compost most leftovers instead of throwing them away, I can think harder about what I am putting in the trash, if it has to go in there or if I or someone else can reuse it. I will show my friends that their decisions are important and share with them what they can do. I can think about the decisions I make and how they will effect not only me but the animals who share earth.

We went snorkeling in two different places, one was shallow and simple so we could get used to using our gear in the water and the other one was deeper and had a lot more activity. I was really nervous about getting in the water but Amy stayed with me until I felt comfortable enough and I am very thankful for that because it made all the difference in the world for me. Once Lindsey said he thought he got stung by something and I swam as fast as I could back to the boat but Amy talked to me and said it was just a hydroid and I went back in. When I first got into the water I didn’t want to touch the bottom and I was nervous about looking in the water or whether it was safe or not. But when I was watching the fish swim around and all the sea stars on the rocks, they live in the water and seeing that I felt safer than I could have ever assured myself. I am so proud that I stayed in the water and I found beauty in something that used to cause me fear. Now I can’t wait to go back in

On Mt. Lemmon the girls (Katie R. and Kayla) woke up at about 12:00 am, they went over to the boy’s campsite, gathered all of the shoes that were lying out and using Amy’s locks, and locked their shoes together. Everyone started to wake up at around 5:00 am and I was super excited to see the guy’s reaction especially because before they were going to get their shoes back they had to bring all of our things up to the vans and pack away the tarps we used (we were going to make them make us breakfast but we just had bagels that morning). It was also very funny because the boys tried to pull a prank on us but it totally didn’t work. They tried to pretend to be a bear so they hid in a ditch behind this tree close to our campsite and were breaking sticks and throwing pine cones trying to make it sound like a bear was coming. But what kind of bear throws pine cones? Lydia and I were still awake and while I was lying there trying to get to sleep I suddenly heard all of the noise and knew it wasn’t a bear because the level of noise did not build up and get closer and closer, it just came out of no wear. I could hear the guys whispering and when Amy woke up and shined her flashlight on them Andrew's backpack was sticking out from above the ditch. The guys ran away when the light was on them and Andrew dropped his flashlight in the process, which Holly and I picked up later that night. The boys went to sleep after that but Lydia and I stayed up because we thought they were still awake. We thought we heard them whispering and we were talking to them and saying how dumb they were but really they were asleep so we were actually talking to the trees…