While I was staying with a friend I met at camp in Salt Lake City she mentioned that she worked at Camp Rancho Framasa for a few summers and they were doing some amazing sustainable initiatives there. She connected me with Kevin and Angi Sullivan, the Camp Co-Directors, and two weeks later there I was sitting with Kevin in their LEED Certified office building discussing the practical applications of sustainable initiatives.
At Camp Rancho Framasa, Kevin has the reputation of openly communicating his passion for conservation and sustainability. This passion was clear during our discussions and tour of the facility as he pointed out examples of sustainable initiatives they have implemented over the years. We also spoke about working with non-profit boards on sustainability initiatives and agreed that you should start with specific and measurable outcomes. These outcomes should represent the environmental, educational and economic benefits of a sustainable initiative. For example, the Green Camps Audit Tools can calculate the energy consumption of a space heater based on wattage, operation time and energy costs. With this information you will have a baseline to approach potential solutions such as behavior change, retrofitting and upgrading. With behavior change accomplished through education such as signage.
The chickens were probably my favorite program I learned about on the tour. Mostly because Kevin’s 12 year old daughter not only takes care of the chickens throughout the year, but that she leads a staff training session about the chickens. How awesome that a 12 year old has the opportunity to demonstrate and share her knowledge and experience to a group of young adults? #campkid We also visited the dining hall where they had replaced the existing lights with high efficiency LEDs.
Word of the Day:
a scrap or remainder of food from a meal.
Behind the dining hall was a three bay composter. In addition to teaching me the word ort, (Also called “Organic Recyclable Trash” at Green River Preserve) Kevin and I discussed the challenges of composting such as what to do with the final product. Developing an effective compost program requires considering several factors such as the quantity of your compost materials, a system to collect, store and process compost materials and how to get the campers and staff on board. Measuring your food waste or ort can demonstrate the quantify of food waste a group can produce. This visual can provide a way to encourage campers and staff to reduce their individual food waste. While we shouldn’t encourage campers to overeat to clear their plate, we can encourage them to make a conscious decision of how much they take and remind them they can always come back for seconds. “Take what you can eat and eat what you take”
For a list of other ways that Camp Rancho Framasa is actively demonstrating the principles of sustainability check out this list that Kevin shared with me![embeddoc url=”http://greencampsinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Did-you-know-about-CYO-Camp.doc” viewer=”microsoft”]
Watch the Green Camps Webinar I Can Compost for more information on composting with presentations by the US Composting Council, Frost Valley YMCA, Camp Stevens and Green Camps Initiative.
Thank you to Camp Rancho Framasa for hosting the Sustainable Camps Road Trip and for all that you are doing to demonstrate your commitment to sustainable education and development.
Donate to support the Sustainable Camps Road Trip.
Your donations will help cover basic expenses for the trip including meals, camping reservations and trees that will be planted to offset the carbon emissions resulting from the 4,250 miles driven during the tour.