Saturday, September 28, 2013


 Andrew Busker
Here we are at Yellowstone National Park, the first section of land in the nation to be recognized as a unique, beautiful are worth preserving, worth saving.  Like experiential learning and outdoor education, many people realized its effectiveness and deemed it worth preserving, worth saving.  37 years ago, the founders of ECOEE were aware that this unique program was worth saving, worth preserving.  Over the past couple days, the group has grown aware of our condition and we are now putting in the effort to save the group from our problems, to preserve the things our group does well.
Yellowstone National Park is home to the largest volcano system in North America and is the only place in the world to have this many volcano-related features packed into the area.  A massive chamber of magma lies only 5 miles below the surface, yet despite the uncanny closeness to the hot depths of the earth, the Yellowstone area is fairly stable and has not been home to a long time.  Some say that it is only a matter of time.  So far, our group has functioned in a similar way.  Each one of us has frustrations, irritations, and struggles with the group and ourselves that act like magma chambers flowing underneath our smiles and behavior.  Despite these frustrations, irritations, and struggles, our group tries to function and remain stable.  There has not been a large volcanic eruption in our group in a long time.  Today we made sure that it would not just be a matter of time.
Tonight we sat around a lantern and shared what we would like to accomplish as a group and established rules to assist in the attainment of our goals.  Unlike the magma chamber that is always flowing, always heating up the water in Yellowstone National Park, our frustrations, irritations, and struggles with the group and ourselves now have the opportunity to cool, to become a solid core behind our smiles and behavior.  Sometime in the future, our magma chambers will heat and a geyser of frustration will spew forth onto the group, but now, with the help of our new goals and clear rules, we will be able to effectively handle that frustration and turn it into a beautiful part of our group, a part of the group worth preserving, worth saving.  If the instability of Old Faithful draws a crowd that remarks in its beauty, then this group can turn its problems into a strengthening bond that makes us all proud.

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