Shelbi's Story

Every day we use natural resources for granted. Every day trees, water, and our world is slowly disintegrating to nothing. Before we know it, they will be all gone. Before our eyes, we are living in a cement environment. Not many people realize that we have to take care of our world before it is too late. Some people like Laurel Clark, The Sky Island Alliance, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum are out there trying to protect what we have left of our world. These people can only do so much. To get teens more involved in their world, Earth Camp was created. Students from all over the Tucson area go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the University of Arizona to learn about animals, nature, plants, and the natural world around us. Just like twenty other people, I came to have fun. Every day we had hours of enjoyment, but we also got an experience of a life time. At Earth Camp, I got a reality check: we only have one world to live on, and we were treating it like an old toy at the back of our closet. Because I went to Earth Camp, I was inspired to help my community in every way I can. I don’t just mean to recycle a little, I mean to make a difference. Every day I will use less water when I brush my teeth, wash my hands, do the dishes, and with other numerous activities. Every week I will try to clean up my community in some way. When I get back to school in two weeks, I will show my peers how much water, paper, plastic, and electricity they are wasting by demonstrating and showing them the facts about our world during assemblies and morning announcements. The truth is, we need to do something to help our world before it is too late. I promise that I will make a difference in our shared planet.

During Earth Camp, we visited many people who know how to preserve and save water in our drought weather by reclaiming it, recycling it, and by being careful of how I use it every day. I met Brad Lancaster who knows everything about surviving in the heat and how to use natural resources for the better. He is so independent, he is cut off from electricity and water from the city. To survive he collects rain water to drink, cook with, and use every day. He has four huge solar panels on his roof that uses the sun’s rays to power everything in his house. Everywhere he goes, he rides a bike.  Every year he saves thousands of dollars by not driving a car, recycling everything, and by placing his house to gain natural heat and ventilation in the summer and the winter. Earth Camp is all about saving our natural world. During the two weeks of camp, you will go on many field trips to see how people save and preserve our natural world.

When you are with twenty other people for over eight hours a day, you form friends. At Earth Camp I met many people who sometimes got on my nerves, but in the end, when Saturday comes, I don’t know if I could say good by. Everyone was different and made a difference on me. Some could make me laugh, others made me feel special. Some I knew for years, others I have known for only the two weeks of camp. Even though we came from different parts of the United States, we will always remember each other as the Earth Camp Group of 2007. I will miss them, but when the reunion comes in a year, it will be fun to meet everyone again and know if we are the same strange campers, or if we are a little bit more mature. For all of you new campers, have fun with your friends. For all of my fellow campers, I will miss you.