Have you been to a sanctuary recently? What does a sanctuary feel like? Did the atmosphere make you feel welcome? A sanctuary is a place of safety and belonging where life is nurtured. We work hard to make Camp a sanctuary for the troubled boys we serve – A place where they gain a healthy sense of self-esteem and can safely work through their issues. This session, we have been working on developing habitat on Camp’s property to make it more of a sanctuary for plants and animals. We have intentionally been planting various types of plants that provide excellent food and cover for critters.
Group Projects to develop animal sanctuary
The Woodsmen helped transplant cattails from our small pond to the new, larger pond. These cattails will provide excellent food, cover, and nesting habitat for various birds, including ducks. Frogs love to live among the cattails, and fish love to eat frogs and frog legs. So, these cattails will help make our pond a small aquatic sanctuary.
The Pioneer group helped me plant a native meadow beside the pond just below their campsite. This mixture of grasses and wildflowers is comprised of seeds that are native to the area and will display attractive colors from spring to fall. Birds, butterflies, and bugs will thrive in this native meadow. Recent rains have turned this plot into a carpet of green.
Near our chapel, the Mountaineers planted a plot designed to attract larger animals such as doves, turkeys, pheasants, and deer. In this plot, millet, sunflowers, and buckwheat are growing taller by the day. In the near future, we hope to be able to have some guest lurking near our chapel.
Removal of invasive species of plants such as multi-floral rose and poison ivy has made room for the beneficial species to thrive. Healthy, diverse plants around Camp mean healthy, diverse wildlife. Not only are these projects good for Camp, the hard work involved also helps create a sanctuary environment for the boys at camp.