North Star Camp for Boys

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Rainbow Warriors

At our Friday Night service tonight, our ecology project head Reese gave the sermonette and spoke of the Lakota tribe. In the Lakota tradition, they speak of a period of darkness for the environment. But that ultimately, a coalition of people will save our planet, and be stewards of the environment - in their legends, they are called the “Rainbow Warriors.”

For all the talk of bear protocols, sometimes we need to take a step back and appreciate just what a natural paradise we live in up here in the Northwoods. To have these kinds of flora and fauna is such a treat for a bunch of campers, staff members predominantly hailing from urban and suburban home environments. It’s a big part of why we have campfires every week, why we send cabins off on canoe trips, and why we spend as much time outdoors as possible. And this week, it was the theme of our Friday Night Service: The Environment.

In a given summer, we only have so many weeks for Friday Night Service, and there are just such a huge amount of worthy themes out there, that of course we can only get to so many of them each year. But one that has a permanent spot every year, is our Environment service.

The land that North Star is built on, and all of the region actually, was home to the American Indian tribe of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe. And many still live on reservations and in the surrounding towns up here. As such, our Environment service in many ways is also intended to pay homage to the American Indian stewards of this land; those who’ve traditionally had a much more symbiotic relationship with the land than our own Western cultures.

It’s important for us at North Star to instill in our campers not just a sense of fellowship, of fun, and of community, but also a sense of respect and responsibility for the care of our environment. Because as we run around in the ball fields, or play disc golf, or compete in College Days (which, by the way, the College of Staten Island Dolphins team officially was announced as the winners today!), it’s all only made possible by this pristine slice nature up here in the Northwoods. And what better place for kids to be appreciating that than in a beautiful place like the Council Ring. As Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods wrote, “Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature.” May we all help raise a few more Rainbow Warriors.

Today’s Grace:
“He who knows not, and knows not he knows not, he is a fool - shun him;
He who knows not, and knows he knows not, he is simple - teach him;
He who knows, and knows not he knows, he is asleep - wake him
He who knows, and knows he knows, he is wise - follow him.”
- Anonymous

Be seated.